PARK CITY — The Ottawa University men’s basketball team will learn a lot about its next journey on Wednesday afternoon.
The NAIA will release the bracket for the NAIA Men’s Basketball Division II National Tournament at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Ottawa enters the national tourney on the heels of Monday’s 74-68 loss to Oklahoma Wesleyan in the KCAC Tournament championship game at Park City.
Ottawa (27-6) is making its first national appearance since the 2008-09 season when the Braves advanced to the Sweet 16 before bowing out.
Ottawa and Oklahoma Wesleyan battled each other hard in the title game. Each team answered each others runs throughout the game. Ottawa fell behind 8-0 early and the Eagles led 26-11 before the Braves settled in at Hartman Arena. Ottawa climbed within 33-29 and tied the game at 41-41 at halftime.
The Eagles broke a 52-52 tie with a 12-0 run in the seond half. Ottawa kept chipping away and came within 67-64 with 5:15 remaining. Ottawa came within 69-68 with 2:50 left, but did not score again.
This was the third straight KCAC title game appearance for No. 18 Oklahoma Wesleyan, which snared a national tourney berth with the victory.
Senior Mat Baldeh led the Braves with 13 points. Mason McDow finished with 11 points. and Jaquan Daniels scored 10 points. Andre Jackson led Ottawa with 11 rebounds.