Ferris State Preps NCAA Division II Elite Eight

Riding a 23-game win streak, the Ferris State men’s basketball program is making its first NCAA Division II Elite Eight appearance since 1988.

Ferris State will take on Barry (Fla.) in an NCAA Division II Elite Eight quarterfinal Tuesday in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Ranked second nationally, the Bulldogs (35-1) have won 23 straight since a 79-74 loss to Lake Superior State on Jan. 16. Ferris State won its second NCAA Midwest Region championship with an 80-65 victory over Findlay last Tuesday. The Bulldogs have also picked up wins over Ohio Dominican (75-57) and LSSU (94-71) this postseason.

“I feel like we can always play better, you know, and that’s something that Coach (Bronkema) has always preached to us is continue to peak, don’t hit your peak yet, continue to grow all the way through and then hopefully we can just peak at the championship game,” Ferris State junior and Charlevoix native Zach Hankins said.

Barry (23-8) is making its second Elite Eight appearance and is in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth consecutive year and eighth all time. After falling to Eckerd in the Sunshine State Conference tournament championship game, the Buccaneers recorded wins over West Florida (90-73), Claflin (89-64) and Eckerd (79-72) to capture the NCAA South Region title.

Barry faced a pair of common opponents this season, picking up a 94-69 win over Grand Valley State and coming up short against Bellarmine (75-69).

“We were able to win any game that we’ve played this year, and we’ve won a lot of them,” Ferris State coach and McBain native Andy Bronkema said. “I think it will continue in the Elite Eight. We’ll be able to win those games, but you know winning’s not a right, and if we don’t play well, we’ll lose.”

Tipoff Tuesday is set for 3:30 p.m.