SEWARD, Neb. – Little more than a month removed from an appearance at the NAIA national tournament, the Concordia University men’s basketball program now eyes the 2020-21 season. The slate for the upcoming campaign has been announced today (April 21) and features the standard 20 GPAC and 10 nonconference regular-season games. For the second year in a row, the Bulldogs will open up their season at the Hastings College Classic (Oct. 30-31).
Ben Limback’s seventh season as head coach turned out to be his best while leading his alma mater. Behind the likes of seniors Tanner Shuck and Brevin Sloup, Concordia reached the national tournament after winning the GPAC postseason championship. Both accomplishments were firsts for the program since 2005. The 2020-21 team will move on without senior starters in Chuol Biel, Shuck and Sloup, but will return steady backcourt performers in juniors-to-be Carter Kent and Justin Wiersema.
The Bulldogs will make their home debut of 2020-21 at the 21st annual Cattle Classic (Nov. 6-7), an event that will include the University of the Southwest (N.M.) and Graceland University (Iowa) as opposition. Other highlights of the nonconference slate will be the NAIA Basketball Showcase (Nov. 27-28) in Kingsport, Tenn. (opponents to be determined) and a rematch from this past season with MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.), a 2020 NAIA Division I national qualifier.
The Concordia University Invitational Tournament also makes its return to Seward for the 70th annual event. Shuck earned CIT MVP honors in 2020 while steering the Bulldogs to blowout wins over Concordia-Ann Arbor and Concordia-Wisconsin in Chicago. CUNE last hosted CIT in 2017 when Chandler Folkerts collected MVP accolades in another one-sided CIT that went the way of the Bulldogs. The 2021 CIT will be held Jan. 29-30 with CUNE taking on Concordia-Chicago on day one.
Conference play will open up in mid-November with the Bulldogs hosting back-to-back games versus Midland (Nov. 10) and Northwestern (Nov. 14). Concordia tied for fourth place in the GPAC this past season with a 12-8 league record. A total of 14 home games are scheduled to take place during the regular season. The Bulldogs went 12-4 at home in 2019-20.
Dates for the GPAC tournament are Feb. 24 for the quarterfinals, Feb. 27 for the semifinals and March 2 for the championship game. The national tournament will have a new format this coming season as the NAIA merges the two basketball divisions into one. As part of a 64-team bracket, the NAIA National Championship opening round is set for March 12-13 with the proceeding rounds to take place March 18-23 at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo.
NOTE: The junior varsity schedule has not yet been announced.