No. 4 seed Columbia (Mo.) is heading to its third-straight Second Round in as many years after an 81-57 win against Belhaven (Miss.) Thursday evening in the 2014 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship in Municipal Auditorium. The margin of victory was the second largest win in 28 championship games played by the Cougars.
The Cougars will battle Mid-America Nazarene (Kan.) on Friday at 8 p.m. CDT. Friday’s Second Round game is a rematch of the 2009 National Championship Semifinal in which Columbia won by a 60-56 score.
Fueled by strong outside shooting, No. 7 Talladega (Ala.) won its first-ever game at the national championship with an 88-71 victory against Evangel (Mo.) Thursday afternoon.
Talladega was dominant from three-point range, converting 12-of-22 attempts (54.5 percent). The Tornadoes three-point total is the second-highest output in the First Round of this year’s event. Talladega ended the night shooting 54.5 percent from the field (30-for-55).
Westminster (Utah) became the third No. 1 seed to punch its ticket to the second round with a 66-50 win over William Woods (Mo.) in the final morning session game Thursday.
Westminster closed the half on a 19-5 run to lead at the break, 38-29. The Griffins held William Woods to 9.09 percent shooting (1-for-11) from the floor in the final 10 minutes of the half, including an eight-minute drought from the floor by the Owls.