NAIA
NAIA
Men's Basketball - Tue, Mar. 28, 2017
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BARBOURVILLE, Ky. – Two weeks ago today, the Union College men's basketball team capped its amazing season by cutting down the nets after winning the 2017 NAIA Division II National Championship.

Over the next several days, we will take a look back at the Bulldogs' magical season as we try to digest and appreciate the achievements the team accomplished.

In this first installment, we will take a look at some of the extraordinary numbers, which highlight Union's season and title run.

33: Thirty-three wins in a row.

That is how the Bulldogs closed out the year; with a 33-game winning streak. Union opened the season with a pair of wins before losing three in a row. The last loss came on Nov. 8.

During the 33-game win streak, the Bulldogs were dominant as they won by double digits 26 times.

21:47: Of the 200 minutes it played in the NAIA National Championship Tournament, Union only trailed for a total 21 minutes and 47 seconds. The Bulldogs played form behind the most in the title game as Cornerstone (Mich.) led for 10:22. In the game that was the closest, Union trailed College of Idaho for 3:14, while only leading by as much as 10 points and winning by one in the second round.

In the other tournament games, Union trailed Indiana Wesleyan for only 2:45 and Aquinas 5:26 while leading from wire-to-wire over Trinity International (Ill.).

6: The most points Union trailed in a game was six during the national tournament, coming against Aquinas in the opening round. College of Idaho led by as much as four points in the second round, while Indiana Wesleyan and Cornerstone owned five-point leads in the semifinal and championship rounds, respectively.

1: While Union did trail for brief periods of times during the national tournament, no team had more than a one-point lead over the Bulldogs during the second half. In fact, only College of Idaho and Cornerstone managed to take the lead over Union during the final 20 minutes of the game.

The Bulldogs trailed the Yotes of College of Idaho for only 37 seconds during the second half, while Cornerstone led for a total of 1:21 of the final 20 minutes of the title game.

No. 1: For the first time in program history, Union was ranked No. 1 in the nation. On Feb. 21, the Bulldogs were voted as the top-ranked team in NAIA Division II and went on to be the No. 1 overall seed in the national tournament.

No. 1 is significant for a couple other reasons. Union became the top-ranked team in the land by being the top offensive and defensive team. The Bulldogs ranked first nationally in total steals (387), total rebounds (1,626), and total points (3,414).

20-0: Union secured its spot in the national tournament by winning the Appalachian Athletic Conference regular-season championship, and the Bulldogs did so in convincing fashion. Union went a perfect 20-0 in league play, winning the regular-season crown by seven games over second-place Reinhardt (Ga.), which went 13-7 in conference action.

4: The Bulldogs completed their fourth season in a row by winning both the AAC regular-season and tournament championships.

29: Union has won its last 29 road conference games. The Bulldogs' last road conference loss came on Feb. 14, 2014, at St. Andrews (N.C.) – a 61-60, overtime loss.

121-20: Gerrard Newby (SR/Lexington, Ky. ) is the only four-year member of the Bulldogs on this year's team, and he has compiled some pretty stout numbers. Yet, the most staggering number of all might just be the team's record with him on the squad. Over the last four years, Union has gone 121-20 – averaging a tick over 30 wins per year.

35 and 38: While we are on the subject of wins, the Bulldogs set the single-season record for wins with 35, beating the old mark by five. Along with that, Union played the most games it has ever played in a season with 38.

Zero: Union did not play in any overtime games this season. During the previous four seasons under head coach Kevin Burton, the Bulldogs played in six overtime games.

622: The Bulldogs dished out 622 assists this season, recording 20 or more in a game 13 times. Union posted a season-high 30 assists against Warren Wilson (N.C.) on Nov. 12 in what turned out to be Game 1 of the 33-game win streak.

7: On the year, Union outrebounded its opponents 1,626-1,306. Yet, the Bulldogs lost the battle on the glass seven times during the year, including in the NAIA National Championship game as Cornerstone owned a 43-36 advantage – which of course, is a differential of seven.

7 (Part 2): The Bulldogs hit the century mark seven times during the year. That is the most since the 2013-14 season when Union scored 100 or more points in nine games.

5: Union had five players to end the year averaging 10 or more points per game. Newby led the way with 20.4 points per game with Paul Stone (SR/Danville, Va.) following with 18.0. Also showing their scoring prowess were Tyrone Sherman (SR/Chicago Heights, Ill.) (13.8), Jaylen Daniel (SR/Winchester, Ky.) (11.0), and Mike Martin (SR/Flint, Mich.) (10.7).

18: Eighteen times this season Union defeated an opponent by 20 or more points. When the Bulldogs began the 33-game winning streak, they did so by winning the first four games by the margins of 42, 37, 34, and 23 points.

10: Union played in 10 games this season in which were decided by less than 10 points this season, going 8-2. The Bulldogs lost the first two games but won the next eight, including a four-game stretch from Jan. 28 through Feb. 8.

4 (part 2): Union averaged 89.8 points per game and regularly put up points in bunches. Union, though, was held under 80 points in four of its 35 wins. The fewest points Union scored in a win came in a 70-43 win over Rio Grande (Ohio) on Nov. 27. The second-lowest point total did not happen until March 14 when the Bulldogs won the national title with a 72-69 decision over Cornerstone.