Arkansas State leads after first day at 2018 Prairie View A&M Invitational


Arkansas State always seems to be in the mix at the Prairie View A&M Invitational, but the Red Wolves still are looking for their breakthrough performance at the International Training and Research Center.

Through five five-game Baker matches, Arkansas State leads this year's field of 12 teams at the 2018 edition of the event and will look to maintain that momentum when the event shifts to traditional play Saturday morning.

The Red Wolves posted a perfect 5-0 record on the way to a 25-game total of 5,204, a 208.16 average. Sam Houston State, the 2014 National Collegiate Athletic Association bowling national champion, also went undefeated Friday, posting a 5,165 pinfall total.

Newcomer Sacred Heart turned in a 3-2 record Friday and sits in third place with a 5,040 total, followed closely by 2016 NCAA champion Stephen F. Austin (2-3, 5,003).

Vanderbilt, the 2007 NCAA national champion and winner of the inaugural Prairie View A&M Invitational in 2012 and 2017 runner-up, is just outside the top four with 4,996.

The three-day event features a combination of Baker and traditional games, with total pinfall determining the seeding for Sunday's best-of-seven Baker brackets, but each individual match along the way also counts toward the teams' records for the 2017-2018 season.

Nebraska, the five-time defending champion at the Prairie View A&M Invitational, finished the opening day of the 2018 tournament in ninth place with a 4,904 total and 2-3 opening-round record.

The 2018 edition features 12 of the top 25, and eight of the top 10, teams in the most recent poll and a variety of exciting formats.

All 12 teams in the field bowled five five-game Baker matches Friday and will be back on the lanes at the ITRC for five traditional team games Saturday. Tournament action will continue Sunday with one additional team game before the winner emerges from the best-of-seven match-play brackets.

Seeding for the brackets will be based on total pinfall from the 25 Baker games and six traditional games.

Along with the Prairie View A&M Invitational trophy on the line, each match the teams bowl goes toward their overall record, which helps determine the teams that qualify for the 2018 NCAA Bowling Championship being held in St. Louis from April 12-14.

All rounds of the 2018 Prairie View A&M Invitational are being broadcast live on BowlTV.

Here's the lineup of teams as they appeared on the featured pairs Friday, along with the schedule for Saturday's five games:

Match 1: Sacred Heart vs. Louisiana Tech; McKendree vs. Vanderbilt
Match 2: North Carolina A&T vs. Sam Houston State; Louisiana Tech vs. Nebraska
Match 3: Nebraska vs. Maryland Eastern Shore; Stephen F. Austin vs. Sam Houston State
Match 4: McKendree vs. Stephen F. Austin; North Carolina A&T vs. Arkansas State
Match 5: Louisiana Tech vs. Vanderbilt; Maryland Eastern Shore vs. Prairie View A&M


Match 6: Sam Houston State vs. Prairie View A&M; Sacred Heart v. Fairleigh Dickinson
Match 7: Stephen F. Austin vs. Nebraska; Arkansas State vs. McKendree
Match 8: Maryland Eastern Shore vs. Arkansas State; Nebraska vs. North Carolina A&T
Match 9: Prairie View A&M vs. Sacred Heart; Sam Houston State vs. Louisiana Tech
Match 10: Fairleigh Dickinson vs. McKendree; Vanderbilt vs. Stephen F. Austin

Prairie View A&M Invitational champions
2012 - Vanderbilt
2013 - Nebraska
2014 - Nebraska
2015 - Nebraska
2016 - Nebraska
2017 - Nebraska