Top seed Crusaders advance

By SUSAN RIDDELL State Journal Sports Writer Published:

Tennessee Temple is back in the National Christian College Athletic Association Division I men's basketball championship after a two-year absence and the Crusaders wasted little time making a statement as the tourney's top seed.

The Crusaders knocked off eighth-seeded Crichton College 94-77 in the opening game Thursday at the Civic Center.

Next up for Tennessee Temple is fourth-seeded Bethel, a 101-77 winner over No. 5 Oklahoma Wesleyan. Those two teams will meet tonight at 6 p.m. in the semifinals.

Christian Heritage, seeded second in the national championship, will face third-seeded Grace College in Friday's other semifinal game at 8 p.m.

The finals are set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday night.

Crusader coach Kevin Templeton said it's anybody's tournament, despite the fact his team is the No. 1 seed.

"I don't think there's any extra pressure on us because we're the top seed," Templeton said. "It doesn't matter who's seeded what. What matters is who can put together three wins in a row. These teams are here for a reason."

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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