ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – It’s an exciting time to be at Abilene Christian University (ACU), with the ACU men’s and women’s basketball teams learning that they will play in the NCAA tournament.

The men’s first game will be against perennial powerhouse University of Kentucky, while the women will take on the number one overall seeded Baylor Bears Saturday in Waco.

“We know we’re representing you, our ACU community,” women’s head coach Julie Goodenough
says. “Every time we’re out on the court, and we want you to know that. We take a lot of pride in being your representatives.”

“We’ve got an unbelievable week ahead of us. My promise to everybody out here, all these students, really just for the students: Over these next few days, we’re going to go out and sell your story,” men’s head coach Joe Golding said.

That story is of the small christian college that fills more than just a spot in this year’s bracket.

“We grow from the things. You live and learn, but here at ACU, when playing a sport, we’re not just playing it for ourselves, or for our teammate, we’re playing it for God,” freshman Ashley Smith says.

That doesn’t mean there’s no focus on the game, however.

“We can watch our guys that we know, we love, we’re friends with them, and see them do what they love to do. To play basketball,” says junior Ethan Bailey.

ACU fever is sweeping the town now, but soon, it moves to Jacksonville.

This is the first time in 25 years that a school has seen both its men and women debut in the national tournament in the same year, and only the fourth time that it has ever happened.

The men’s game will be nationally televised on CBS this Thursday starting around 6 p.m. on KTAB, while the women can be seen Saturday around 4:30 p.m. on ESPN2.