The Berea College men's basketball team will take to the floor tonight in its quest for a National Championship when they take on the Warriors of Rochester College (MI). The top four seeds have all advanced in the Men's Division I bracket, so tonight's semi-finals pits #1 Daemen College (NY) vs. #4 Concordia College (AL) in the early game followed by the #2 Mountaineers and the #3 Warriors.
This match-up has the potential to be an epic contest between differing styles. Berea is the #1 offensive teams in the USCAA; while Rochester boasts the #1 defense. BC will run and gun offensively; while Rochester is more methodical and will look to use its size advantage down low. Berea is the talent newcomer to the USCAA; while long-time member Rochester has captured three Division I National Championships with the last coming in 2012-2013.
The Warriors are paced by their First Team All-American Paris Pereira (#3). The 5'10" point guard averages 13.8 ppg and also leads the team in assists. His favorite target to whom to pass is Honorable Mention All-American Milton Gribbs (#2), a 6'5" forward who scores at 11.5 ppg pace. Don't forget about 6' shooting guard Second-Team All-American Nick Tatu (#11) as he looks to spot up on many of Pereira's drives into the paint. Rochester is known for their defense and that effort starts with 6'2" guard/forward Matt Gold (#1), who is the warriors designated "shut down" defender.
Expect the Warriors to look low early to Gribbs and 6'8" Jeron De Baat (#44) and take advantage of their size; while Gold covers Berea's All-Americans, Richard Parker and Daishon Robinson. The two teams have one common opponent - Wilberforce University. Rochester split their two games with Wilberforce winning by two at home, losing by three on the road. Berea won its two games by a combined 54 points - including 34 on the road. The winner will play for the USCAA Division I National Championship at 12:30 pm on Saturday, March 4th.