Bluffton welcomes strong field for Fourth Annual McDonald's of Bluffton Holiday TournamentDecember 27, 2001
Ohio Dominican College
Complete tournament coverage
In what could be strongest tournament field ever in the four years of the McDonald's of Bluffton Holiday Tournament, the Bluffton College men's basketball team will set out to win its fourth straight championship when the action heats up in Founders Hall on December 28 and 29.
Visiting teams this year include Bridgewater College (Va.), Millikin University (Decatur, Ill.) and Ohio Dominican College (Columbus, Ohio).
"We're very excited about the high quality of the tournament field this year," said Bluffton Head Coach Guy Neal. "This years' tournament field is quite possibly the toughest from top to bottom that we've had in the four years we've run the tournament with Bridgewater, Millikin and Ohio Dominican all being solid programs and teams."
In the opening game on Friday at 6:00 p.m., Millikin (4-4) will take on Ohio Dominican (7-5). Both teams are scoring machines, as Millikin leads the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin in scoring (87.7 ppg) and Ohio Dominican is averaging 83.6 points per game and has outscored their opponents by an average of 17.1 points per game, best in the American Mideast Conference.
In the nightcap on Friday, Bridgewater (5-2) will meet Bluffton (5-5) in a matchup of two strong defensive teams. Bridgewater ranks second in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference is scoring defense, allowing just 63.9 points per game, while the Beavers are third in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in that department, allowing 68.8 points per game.
"Each team has excellent coaches who run good programs and we're real excited about having them on our campus for two days," said Neal, "and we're looking forward to some great basketball in the Fourth Annual McDonald's of Bluffton Holiday Tournament."
The winners of the two games on Friday will meet for the tournament championship at 3:00 on Saturday afternoon. The consolation game tips off at 1:00.
"We'd like to thank Lou Britt and the people at McDonald's of Bluffton for being our sponsor once again this year, as well as Jim Clement and the people at Adidas for sponsoring our tournament t-shirts," added Neal.
In the first two years of this event, Bluffton won the championship games by a total of 14 points. Last year, however, BC defeated Urbana by 18 points in the title contest and tied a tournament-record by scoring 100 points. In that game, Bluffton shot 82.6% from the free throw line (third best ever in a holiday tournament game) and held a +8 advantage on the boards (second best ever in a tourney game).
Being home for the holidays has been good for BC in recent years. In the last six seasons the Beavers are 19-3 in Founders Hall in the month of December, and Bluffton is a perfect 6-0 in the McDonald's of Bluffton Holiday Tournament.