This year’s tournament, including Grace’s men’s and women’s basketball teams, features eight games over the weekend and six teams either ranked or receiving votes nationally.
Admission to watch the games is $5 per day, and all proceeds will go directly to Kosciusko County Cancer Care Fund (KCCCF). The tournament is sponsored by Bennigan’s of Warsaw and the Warsaw Morning Optimist Club. All cancer survivors are welcome to attend the tournament free of charge.
“Our goal each year is to raise around $2,000. We want to raise money but also to raise awareness in the community,” said Grace’s men’s coach Jim Kessler. “We chose to channel our money to KCCCF rather than the Jimmy V Foundation like most other schools do because all of the money stays local to benefit the area. It’s been a neat thing for us to be involved with as a team.”
The women’s tournament is a classic format with all four teams appearing in the NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 Preseason Poll. No. 1 Indiana Wesleyan will face No. 9 St. Xavier at 2 p.m. on Friday, and No. 20 Grace will host No. 21 Purdue-Calumet at 6 p.m. On Saturday, Indiana Wesleyan will take on Purdue-Calumet at 10 a.m. with Grace and St. Xavier squaring off at 2 p.m.
The men’s bracket kicks off on Friday at 4 p.m. with a pair of NAIA Division I schools. University of Cumberlands (receiving votes nationally) will play Missouri Baptist at 4 p.m., and 16th-ranked Grace will host Holy Cross at 8 p.m.
The men’s consolation game will take place on Saturday at noon with the championship game to follow at 4 p.m.