MIAMI SHORES, Fla. -- Barry University men's basketball team will play No. 26 Delta State in the opening round of the NCAA Division II National Tournament noon Saturday at Jenkins Fieldhouse in Lakeland, Fla.
The Buccaneers (19-8) will meet the Statesmen (24-6) for the first time in school history. The Bucs are the No. 6 seed in the South Regional, while Delta State earned the No. 3 seed.
"It's a great start," Bucs first-year coach Butch Estes said. "You put all this together, and your dream is to play for a national championship. You've got all new players and a new system, and everything's new. I'm kind of amazed that we were able to get this far this fast, but it's great and certainly something we don't want to take for granted."
Barry will be making its fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament in school history -- all within the past 10 years. The Bucs' last appearance was in 2010 when they went 1-1 in the national tournament, advancing to the Round of 32. Barry beat Florida Southern, 64-59, before losing to Rollins, 74-71, that year at Arkansas Tech in Russellville, Ark.
Delta State won the Gulf South regular season title. The Statesmen lost in the GSC Tournament semifinals. Barry finished fourth in the Sunshine State Conference before being eliminated in the first round of the SSC Tournament last week.
Statesmen senior forward Willie Readus is averaging a double-double at 19.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Freshmen forward Devin Schmidt is averaging 15.2 ppg, 6.0 reb and a team-best 4.2 assists. Sophomore guard Jack Magden is scoring 9.5 ppg and shooting just over 40 percent from long range.
"I don't know a lot about Delta State, but I'm sure they're a good team," said Barry senior forward Magne Fivelstad, who is averaging 11.8 ppg and 7.2 reb. "We're going to have to prepare for the best."
Barry is coming off one of its most poor performances of the season in which the Buccaneers shot a season-low 36.5 percent from the field. There's still a bitter taste lingering from their meltdown in the opening round of the SSC Tournament.
"I made them think about and reflect on the feeling they had in the locker room afterwards," Estes said. "Our thought of the day was second chances only have meaning if you realize the mistake you made when you had the first chance. Hopefully we've learned and we've grown a little bit."
Bucs junior guard Juan Ferrales, who leads the team in scoring at 15.7 ppg, is expecting the unexpected.
"We don't know what could happen, so we have to prepare for every little thing," Ferrales said. "I've said it before, but we have to take the mature step."
LAST TIME OUT: Barry lost to Eckerd, 83-73, in the first round of the Sunshine State Conference Tournament ... Magne Fivelstad had 21 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals.
SERIES RECORD: Barry and Delta State are meeting for the first time.
EYES ON OPPONENTS: The Statesmen were ranked No. 25 last week before getting beat in the Gulf South Tourney semifinals by Christian Brothers, 67-64 ... Willie Readus averages 19.8 ppg and 10.8 reb ... Devin Schmidt averages 15.2 ppg, 6.0 reb, 4.2 apg ... Jack Madgen is scoring 9.5 ppg and shooting 40 percent from 3-point range.
NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY: Barry is making its fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament ... The Bucs last qualified in 2010 ... Barry is 1-3 in NCAA Tournament games, with its one win coming in 2010.
FAN BUS: Barry is taking a fan bus to Lakeland for Saturday's game ... Anyone interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-899-3749305-899-3749.
AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Barry is 2-1 against ranked teams this year ... Barry was ranked No. 25 earlier this season.
OFFENSIVE PACE: Delta State averages 74.2 ppg ... The Statesmen are giving up 65.2 ppg ... Barry is scoring 81.7 ppg and allowing 75.8 ppg.
SHOOTING STATE: The Statesmen are shooting 48.5 percent from the field ... The Buccaneers are shooting 47.0 percent.
CLOSE CALLS: Barry has been involved 12 games decided by five points or less ... The Bucs are 8-4 in those two-possession games.
200 CLUB: Barry Jr. PG Deric Hill, who broke Nelson Fonseca’s 1993-94 season assist record, became the only player in school history with 200 assists in a season ... He has 208 this year.
AMONG NATION’S BEST: Deric Hill ranks third in the nation in assists per game (7.7) ... He is fifth in total assists (208) ... Hill ranks sixth in the country in steals per game (2.56) ... He is ninth in total steals (69).
HELPING HANDS: Barry ranks fourth in the nation in assists per game as a team at 19.0 ... The Bucs 19.0 assists per game ranks first in school season history ... They have 512 assists this year, which is second to the 545 that established a school record in 1991-92.
DOUBLED UP: Bucs Soph. F Yunio Barrueta has 12 double-doubles this season ... He ranks 20th in the country in that category ... Barrueta has scored in double figures in the last 21 straight games ... He’s reached double figures in 24 of the 27 games.
MAGNE-FIED: Sr. F Magne Fivelstad ranks second all-time in school history in field goal percentage (.583) and third in free throw percentage (.811) ... His .840 free throw percentage this year ranks second among school single-season leaders.
RAINING 3s: Barry Jr. G Juan Ferrales ranks third in school season history in 3-point FG (79) ... He needs 10 more triples to tie Cliff DuBois’ season record of 89 in 1997-98.
GARNERING ATTENTION: At 6-foot-2, Jr. F Savad Garner currently ranks sixth in school single-season history in offensive rebounds (85) ... With five more, he would move into the top five among school season leaders.
ALL BUT ONE: Barry’s had multiple players score in double figures in every game this year ... In all but one game -- the loss at Saint Leo -- at least two starters have reached double figures.
4 FOR 30: The Bucs have had a player score 30 or more points in a game four times this season ... Juan Ferrales has done it in 3 games ... Fr. F Adrian Gonzalez scored 30 once ... The last time a Bucs team had a player score 30 or more in four games was the 2000-01 season when Jason Junker did it three times and Travon Broadway did it once.
TRIPLE PLAY: Barry buried 10 or more triples in 10 games this year ... The 204 threes this year is tied for fifth in school history.
ALL-SOUTH REGION: Yunio Barrueta was a Second Team All-South Region selection.
NEWCOMER OF YEAR: Yunio Barrueta was named the Sunshine State Conference Newcomer of the Year ... Barrueta was also named First-Team All-Conference.
FRESHMAN OF YEAR: Adrian Gonzalez was named the SSC Freshman of the Year ... Gonzalez scored 29 points at Jenkins Fieldhouse this year.
SECOND-TEAM SELECTION: Deric Hill was named to the Second Team All-SSC.
BUCS RECORD WHEN ...
Overtime Games: 1-0
Home Games: 11-3
Road Games: 6-4
Neutral Games: 2-1
Night Games: 16-3
Day Games: 4-5
Leading at Halftime: 14-4
Trailing at Halftime: 5-4
Tied at Halftime: 0-0
After a Loss: 6-1
Scoring 80+ points: 13-2
Scoring 70-79 points: 5-3
Scoring 60-69 points: 1-1
Scoring 50-59 points: 0-1
Games Decided by 2 points or Less: 3-3
Games Decided by 5 points or Less: 8-4
Games Decided by 10 points or Less: 11-6
Games Decided by 11-20 Points: 4-2
Games Decided by over 20 Points: 4-0
Outrebounding Opponents: 15-5
Opponents Outrebound Bucs: 4-3
Matching Opponents in Rebounds: 0-0
Committing 10 or Fewer Turnovers: 3-1
Committing 11 or More Turnovers: 16-7
5 Starters Reach Double Figures: 1-0
4 Starters Reach Double Figures: 9-3
3 Starters Reach Double Figures: 17-3
2 Starters Reach Double Figures: 19-7
1 Starter Reaches Double Figures: 19-8
Shooting 50% or Better FG: 8-1
Shooting 40-49% FG: 9-3
Shooting Under 40% FG: 2-4
Opponents Shoot 50% or Better FG: 6-3
Opponents Shoot 40-49%: 9-5
Opponents Shoot Under 40%: 4-0
Shooting 80% or Better FT: 7-2
Shooting 70-79% FT: 5-3
Shooting 60-69% FT: 7-3
Shooting Under 60% FT: 0-0
Opponents Shoot 80% or Better FT: 4-2
Opponents Shoot 70-79% FT: 4-4
Opponents Shoot 60-69% FT: 6-2
Opponents Shoot Under 60% FT: 5-0