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Bulldogs face Union in NAIA national tournament

UMW News Bureau

It will be Bulldog vs Bulldog as Montana Western faces Union University in a first-round match-up at the NAIA Division I men's national tournament in Kansas City, Mo. on Thursday, March 18. By Wally Feldt It will be Bulldog vs Bulldog in a first-round match-up at the NAIA Division I men's national tournament in Kansas City, Missouri on Thursday, March 18. The Montana Western Bulldogs will face the Union University Bulldogs at 8:45 p.m. MST Thursday, March 18 at Municipal Auditorium. "We are very excited about going to the national tournament," Bulldog coach Steve Keller said. "I think we can play whatever tempo the other team wants to play, whether it be a slow, half-court game or an uptempo game. This team is definitely capable of winning some games at the tournament." Montana Western, 24-9 on the season, is making its eighth trip to the national tournament. The last time was 1989 when the Bulldogs upset the tourney's No. 1 seed and the defending national champions Grand Canyon 79-65. The Bulldogs lost to the College of Idaho 68-63 in the next round. Union University, 26-7 overall and champions of the TranSouth Conference, is making its 13th trip to the national tournament and its sixth in the past seven years. "Union is a very good team," Keller added. "They lead the NAIA in field goal percentage defense and they have national tournament experience." Union is the tournament's No. 10 seed. The UMW Bulldogs enter the tournament unseeded. In the final Top-25 of the season, Montana Western was ranked No. 22 while Union was ranked No. 10. The championship, nicknamed "College Basketball's Toughest Tournament," is a single-elimination tournament featuring 17 automatic qualifiers from 11 Division I affiliated conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.), one host berth and 14 at-large berths, which are determined using the final regular-season rating released March 2. The game will be shown via webcast in the Great Room of the Swysggod Technology Center. The webcast is sponsored by the Montana Western Foundation.