HASTINGS, Neb. – From preseason write-offs, to GPAC Conference Champions, the Hastings College Men's Basketball team is preparing for their biggest test yet as underdogs in the NAIA Tournament. 

The Broncos are headed to the NAIA National Tournament for the first time since 2010. Coming into the season, the Broncos were not expected to be a threat in the conference and were written off before the season even began.

"We already knew we were the underdogs, we were ranked 9th (preseason)" said Sophomore Guard Reggie Thomas. "The goal from the start was to win the conference championship, and to make it to Nationals."

The Broncos took that personally and proved everyone wrong. Not only were they regular season conference champions, but they won the GPAC Tournament for the first time in school history.

Thomas says the team’s bond with one another helped them be successful this season.

"It was around Tyrique's (McMurrin) birthday, and our team chemistry was just amazing," said Thomas. "We just spent a lot of time with each other, and after that day it just felt like our team chemistry and our dedication to the game was way better after that."

While Thomas has opened eyes on the court, winning GPAC player of the year, and leading the team in scoring, another leader has been flying under the radar in his four years with the Broncos.

Senior Grady Corrigan has stepped up into a leadership role this year as a starter. In fact, he’s the only of the five seniors on the team who has stuck with the team the past four years through a tough rebuilding stretch.

"This season has definitely been one of the most rewarding experiences for me, you didn't know if it was going to pay off, but that's part of athletics," said Corrigan. "I'm so happy I did, and I'm happy to do it with these group of guys."

The Broncos will head out to Kansas on Thursday and play Friday against Mid America Christian in the first round of the national tournament. The Broncos are excited, but are staying humble as they’re set to dance on the big stage. 

"We're approaching it the exact way we approached game one, and game 10, and game 30, it's no different," said Corrigan. "Obviously the stakes are a bit higher, everybody's locked in, but we've been like that all season and we're continuing to build on that."

The Broncos game vs. Mid-America Christian is on Fri. Mar. 15, at 8 p.m. and can be heard on KHAS Radio. The winner of Friday's game will play again on Saturday.