Bulldogs end season ranked 11th in NAIA Coaches' Poll

Published on
March 26, 2015

Union College finished season ranked No. 11The Union College men's basketball team can now add one more historic accomplishment to the list for their banner 2014-15 season, as the Bulldogs end the year with their highest ranking in program history, coming in at No. 11 in the final NAIA Division II Coaches' Poll of the year. 

The Bulldogs, who finished the year with a program-best record of 30-5 overall, jumped up four spots from the last poll of the Regular Season from 15th to 11th. To end the year, Union was ranked in the final six Coaches' Polls.

The ranking caps off an historic season for Union and third year head coach Kevin Burton, who was named the Appalachian Athletic Conference's Men's Basketball Coach of the Year for the second straight season in 2014-15.

First, the Bulldogs finished the AAC Regular Season with a 17-1 record, capturing their final 12 games in conference play to win their second straight AAC Regular Season title. Then, at the AAC Tournament, the Bulldogs steam rolled their way to their second consecutive Tournament Championship, finishing it off with a 84-63 win in the title game over Milligan (Tenn.).

With the pair of titles, it marked the first time since the early 1970's that a Union men's basketball team had won both a regular season conference championship and a conference tournament in consecutive seasons. Also, the Bulldogs at one point had NAIA Division II's longest winning streak, which ended at 21 games (a school-record). 

At the NAIA Division II National Championship, the Bulldogs got over a big hurdle, as they won the first game in Union College history on the National Stage when the Bulldogs beat Northwestern Ohio in the First Round, 64-58. In the Round of 16, the Bulldogs bowed out of the Tournament to eventual National Semifinalist Embry-Riddle (Fla.), 89-75, completing an historic campaign for the team.

Leading the way all season for Union was center Deante Johnson, who earned NAIA All-American Honorable Mention honors for the second straight season for his play. Johnson, who was also an All-AAC First Team pick, ended the year leading the team in scoring at 14.5 points per game, and also ended the campaign leading all of NAIA Division II in field goal percentage at 71.5 percent, as well.

To view the full final NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Poll of the 2014-15 season, click here