MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) -The Bethany Lutheran College men's basketball team is heading to a second NCAA tournament appearance in the last three years after taking down College of St. Scholastica for the UMAC tournament title over the weekend.
Sports Director Rob Clark has more from the Vikings.
“This group is really ready. We’ve prepped for this all year, and we’re all just excited to get this opportunity,” said Brian Smith, BLC junior guard.
The Vikings are on a five game winning streak heading into the dance as Bethany gears up for the biggest game of the season this Friday.
“When your back is against the wall, it’s a fun experience. I’m excited to see these guys compete,” said Matt Fletcher, BLC head coach.
Two years ago, Bethany advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history. In that appearance, the Vikings wasted no time earning their first win at the competition by upsetting Saint John’s in the opening round.
“I think it really helps, just gives us some more faith that we know we can’t beat any team that we get. To do this again, to go to another tournament, play another team. We believe in ourselves that we can upset anybody, and to be honest, we don’t think it’s an upset for us as long as we just do what we’ve been told to do,” said Trenton Krueger, BLC senior forward.
Coming into the season, the Vikings wanted to bounce back after missing out on the NCAA tournament last year.
“Without an NCAA tournament, this year was going to be a bust for us. That fueled them all year long. That’s what they wanted, that was the only goal. We missed the regular season championship, but at the end of the day, that championship Saturday is all they focused on,” said Fletcher.
The Vikings are set to tip-off against WashU in the first round of the NCAA tourney this Friday at 5:00 in the evening.
We’ll have more from the squad later this week on KEYC News Now.