The 25th-ranked Oilers, seeded 6th in the NCAA DII Midwest Regional Tournament, will face 2nd-ranked Bellarmine, who is the top seed, in the finals of the NCAA DII Midwest Regional at 7 p.m. on March 14 in Louisville, Ky.
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The Oilers are 3-2 all-time against Bellarmine dating back to the 2001-02 campaign when Findlay came away with a 93-85 win behind 25 points from Kyle Hunt.
The two programs met last year in Croy Gymnasium and the Oilers claimed a 70-69 win. Findlay grabbed 14 offensive rebounds in the win compared to only eight by Bellarmine. The Oilers defense also forced 19 turnovers in the game.
The Oilers also claimed an 89-86 win over the Knights in the regional final of the 2008-09 campaign. The win lifted the Oilers to the Elite 8 and they eventually went on to win a NCAA Division II National Championship.
Josh Bostic paced Findlay in that win with 37 points.
The Oilers are ranked 25th in the nation with a 25-6 record. It's the 11th time in the storied program's history that they have reached the 25-win plateau and the first time with Charlie Ernst at the helm.
The Oilers topped 16th-ranked Southern Indiana in the opening round by a score of 70-69 to reach the semifinals of the Midwest Regional. They then scored a 68-63 win over 14th-ranked Ferris State in the second round to reach the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in school history.
Junior forward Taren Sullivan has led the Oilers in the NCAA Division II National Tournament and sports averages of 23.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game in the tournament wins.
Senior forward Tyler Stern-Tucker has had an outstanding start in the tournament and is averaging 15.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest.
Junior guard Martyce Kimbrough is also averaging in double figures during the NCAA Tournament at 15.5 points per outing.
The Knights are 30-3 on the season and ranked second in the nation. They advanced to the regional finals with a 93-64 win over Quincy on March 12.
Adam Eberhard leads the team and is averaging 17.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.
Rusty Troutman is producing 15.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists per contest while Al Davis is averaging 11.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
The Knights are scoring 82.1 points per outing and shooting 53.4 percent from the floor as a team.
Junior guard Martyce Kimbrough was named first team all-Midwest Region by the Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) on March 13.
Kimbrough is averaging 19.5 points per game for the Oilers this season and has made a school record 112 three pointers. A first team all-conference pick in each of the past two seasons, Kimbrough is also shooting 94.4 percent from the free throw line, the fourth-best mark in the nation.
The Lima, Ohio native has recorded 605 points for the Oilers this season, the eighth-highest single-season total in school history. He has scored 1,054 career points for Findlay in only 59 games.
In addition, junior forward Taren Sullivan was named second team all-region. Sullivan has averaged 18.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game for the Oilers this season. He is also shooting 54.8 percent from the floor and canning 43.5 percent of his three point tries.
Sullivan, also a native of Lima, Ohio, has scored 558 points for Findlay this season. His point total is the 16th-highest output in school history. He has also accumulated 1,039 career points, which ranks 40th all-time at Findlay.
An Elite Program
The Oilers have one of the best winning percentages in NCAA Division II competition since the year 2000, having won 416 games and lost only 104 for an overall winning percentage of .800. During that timeframe, the Oilers reached the Elite 8 in 2005, appeared in the Sweet 16 in 2008 and won the NCAA Division II National Championship in 2009 with a perfect 36-0 record.
The Oilers have appeared in 13 NCAA Division II National Tournaments since joining the DII ranks as a full member in 2000-01 and have recorded an 18-11 record in those games. They have appeared in the national tournament during the 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2016-17 seasons.
The team reached the Elite 8 for the first time in school history during the 2004-05 campaign and advanced to the Sweet 16 during the 2007-08 season and again in 2016-17. They then used those experiences to win a NCAA Division II National Championship during the 2008-09 campaign, finishing the year with a perfect 36-0 record. They claimed the title with a 56-53 overtime win against Cal Poly Pomona on March 28, 2009 in Springfield, Mass. Their 36 wins as an undefeated national champion are the most in the history of NCAA Division II men's basketball.
A Model of Consistency
The Oilers have not had a losing season since the 1981-82 season when they finished with a 9-17 record. They have gone 35 straight seasons with a record above .500.