NORTH NEWTON, KAN.--The Bethel College men's basketball team won the 2002-2003 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season championship, earning an automatic bid to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division II National Tournament. The 12th annual national tournament will be played March 12-18, 2003 at the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo. This will be the Threshers' first trip to the national tournament.
[ UPDATE : Download a printable version of the Men's KCAC post-season playoff bracket. The women's playoff bracket is also available. ] Bethel finished the regular season with a 13-5 conference record, 16-12 overall to win their second championship in five years. After leading the conference for most of the season, the Threshers entered the final weekend of conference play in a tie for first place with Bethany College. A 77-70 win at McPherson College, combined with Bethany's loss at Sterling College, gave the Threshers the conference title outright. As the conference champion, Bethel also earned the top seed in the KCAC Postseason Men's Basketball Tournament.
"I can't say enough about this group of guys," said Bethel head coach Gary Chupp. "Our current senior class is my first recruiting class, and all six of these guys have been in our program for four years. One of our goals has always been to get to the National Tournament, and to accomplish this goal in their final season means a lot."
The Threshers are coached by Gary Chupp. Members of the 2003 team include seniors Garry Albright, Inman, Kan.; Brett Esau, Beatrice, Neb.; Frank Flores, San Antonio; Chez McGavock, Houston; and Jarod Powell, Spearville, Kan.; juniors Ray Garcia, San Antonio; and Adrian Howie, Little River, Kan.; sophomores Jayson Artaz, Burdett, Kan.; Ryan Gerber, Beatrice, Neb.; Russell Haug, Jetmore, Kan.; Tony Hoops, Byron, Neb.; Lance Tally, Madison, Kan.; and Ty Unrau, Moundridge, Kan.; and freshman Jason Gregory, Corrigan, Texas; and Steven Morgan, Peabody, Kan. Assistant coaches are Aaron Stucky, Matt Flaming, and Derek Schutte.