KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has officially announced the 32-team field for the 22nd Annual NAIA Division II Men's basketball National Championship. The event will be held for the 14th-straight year in Point Lookout, Mo., on the campus of College of the Ozarks (Mo.) from March 6-12. The official championship bracket will be announced via a graphical selection show at approximately 7:15 p.m. (Central Standard Time) on www.NAIA.org.
Dakota State, representing for the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.), will be making their second straight appearance (third overall) to the NAIA Division II Men's basketball National Tournament in program history.
DSU earned an automatic bid to the national tournament by defeating then-No. 23 Valley City State (N.D.) 58-53 in the semifinals of the A.I.I. Division II Men's Basketball Conference Tournament. The Trojans defeated host-team Jamestown (N.D.) 78-76 in the A.I.I. championship game. Dakota State's overall national tournament record is 3-2.
Defending national runner-up Northwood (Fla.) receives its seventh-straight berth into the national championship by claiming 1-of-12 available at-large positions. The at-large teams are determined using the final regular-season Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 poll released today. Twenty other programs qualified as an automatic berth out of their respective conferences or independent group.
Top-ranked William Penn (Iowa) (30-1), Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) (30-3) and Northwood (30-3) are tied for the most wins in the country with 30. The trio joins a list of 26 other programs since the start of the championship in 1992 to enter with 30-or-more victories. Conversely, 2012 semifinalist McPherson (Kan.) (15-17) and Jamestown (N.D.) (15-18) enter the event with winning percentages below .500.
Five teams among this year's qualifiers own at least one national championship, led by Bethel's (Ind.) three crowns (1995, 1997 and 1998). Northwestern (Iowa), who claimed the top prize in 2001 and 2003, is the only other qualifier with more than one title.
Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Champion College of the Ozarks is making its qualifier-best 17th appearance in the national championship. The Bobcats are 20-12 on the season and boast a 25-15 all-time championship record, including a title run in 2006. Outside of College of the Ozarks, only Bethel (26-6) and Northwestern (29-13) have 20-or-more victories amongst the field.
Four squads punched a ticket to their first-ever national championship: Madonna (Mich.), Rochester (Mich.), Saint Xavier (Ill.) and Valley City State (N.D.). Saint Xavier, who is in its first season as a member of Division II, had made 10 prior trips to the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship, with its last appearance coming in 2010.
The Association of Independent Institutions and the Cascade Collegiate Conference each landed four programs in the championships field, which is the most among the 13 conferences/independent groups.
NeuLion, the NAIA's official video streaming company of 12 select NAIA National Championship events, will be broadcasting the first 30 games from Point Lookout, Mo. An all-tournament pass (30 games) is available for $29.95, while a single day pass can be purchased for $9.95. For more information and to pre-register, go to http://www.naia.org/ViewArticle.dbml?&&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=27900&&ATCLID=205423235.
2013 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship Qualifiers
|School||Qualification||2012-13 Record||Appearances||Last Time||Tour. Record||Titles|
|Bellevue (Neb.)||At-Large No. 5||23-10||14th||2012||19-13||0|
|Bethel (Ind.)||Crossroads League Tournament Champion||23-9||10th||2010||26-6||3|
|Cal Maritime||California Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||24-6||2nd||2012||0-1||0|
|Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion||30-3||10th||2012||6-9||0|
|Dakota State (S.D.)||Association of Independent Institutions Tournament Champion||22-9||3rd||2012||3-2||0|
|Davenport (Mich.)||Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion||27-6||4th||2012||5-3||0|
|Dordt (Iowa)||Great Plains Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||26-6||3rd||2012||2-2||0|
|Eastern Oregon||At-Large No. 2||28-4||6th||2012||5-5||0|
|Embry-Riddle (Fla.)||The Sun Conference Tournament Champion||25-8||13th||2011||15-11||1|
|Grace (Ind.)||At-Large No. 6||21-9||7th||2012||8-5||1|
|Indiana Southeast||Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||27-4||9th||2011||3-8||0|
|Indiana Wesleyan||Crossroads League Regular-Season Champion||25-6||6th||2012||8-5||0|
|Jamestown (N.D.)||Association of Independent Institutions Tournament Runner-Up||15-18||9th||2011||3-8||0|
|Lourdes (Ohio)||At-Large No. 12||22-9||2nd||2012||0-1||0|
|Madonna (Mich.)||Wolverine-Hooiser Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||24-8||1st||----||--||--|
|McPherson (Kan.)||Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||15-17||4th||2012||5-3||0|
|Midland (Neb.)||At-Large No. 11||19-12||2nd||2000||0-1||0|
|Mount Mercy (Iowa)||At-Large No. 3||27-5||2nd||1996||1-1||0|
|Northwest (Wash.)||At-Large No. 9||22-10||4th||2012||5-3||0|
|Northwestern (Iowa)||Great Plains Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion||24-6||16th||2012||29-13||2|
|Northwood (Fla.)||At-Large No. 1||30-3||7th||2012||10-6||0|
|Ozarks (Mo.)||Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||20-12||17th||2012||25-15||1|
|Rochester (Mich.)||At-Large No. 4||20-4||1st||----||--||--|
|Saint Mary (Kan.)||Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion||22-8||3rd||2012||1-2||0|
|Saint Xavier (Ill.)||Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Runner-Up||28-5||1st||----||--||--|
|Southern Oregon||Cascade Collegiate Conference Tournament Runner-Up||24-8||4th||2006||2-3||0|
|Saint Thomas (Fla.)||At-Large No. 7||20-11||5th||2012||1-4||0|
|Tennessee Wesleyan||Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||25-7||5th||2012||0-4||0|
|Valley City State (N.D.)||At-Large No. 10||21-8||1st||----||--||--|
|Warner Pacific (Ore.)||Cascade Collegiate Conference Regular-Season Champion||27-6||8th||2012||4-7||0|
|William Penn (Iowa)||Midwest Collegiate Conference Tournament Champion||30-1||4th||2012||0-3||0|
|York (Neb.)||At-Large No. 8||23-8||1st||----||--||--|