KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has officially released the field of 32 teams for the 21st Annual Division II Men's Basketball National Championship. The event will be held for the 13th-straight time in Point Lookout, Mo., on the campus of College of the Ozarks from March 7-13. The official 32-team bracket will be unveiled by 6 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 appearance to the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Tournament in program history. The Trojans advanced to the NAIA's 'Final Four' in 1992 with an overall record of 19-16. Dakota State's overall national tournament record is 3-1.
DSU earned an automatic bid to the national tournament by defeating then-No. 25 Valley City State 82-73 in the semifinals of the State Farm A.I.I. Men's Basketball tournament on Feb. 25. The Trojans defeated nationally-ranked Jamestown 80-71 on Feb. 26 to claim A.I.I. conference tournament champions.
Defending national champion Cornerstone (Mich.) is one of 10 at-large selections in the 32-team field. The at-large teams are determined using the final 'Top 25' rating released today. Twenty-two other programs qualified as an automatic berth out of their conferences or Independent group.
The Golden Eagles are one of four teams in the tournament with at least 20 postseason wins. They are 26-8 in 10 previous championship appearances. Northwestern (Iowa) and Oregon Tech both share the championship record with 28 all-time victories. Ozarks is making its tournament-record 16th trip to the event.
No. 1-ranked Northwood (Fla.) and McPherson (Kan.), out of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, each are tied for the most wins in the country with 30. They join a list of 24 other programs since the start of the tournament in 1992 to enter the tournament with 30 or more victories. Conversely, Ozarks is one of 25 teams all-time to enter with a sub-.500 record. The Bobcats stand 14-15 overall and mark the fifth team in the last six years to bring a losing record to the event.
Six teams among this year's qualifiers have won at least one previous national championship. Cornerstone, Northwestern and Oregon Tech each have claimed a pair of rings. Out of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, the Golden Eagles are trying to become the second team in history to repeat, which would join Bethel (Ind.) who did it 1997 and 1998.
Saint Francis (Ind.), who earned the eighth at-large spot, was the 2010 national champion prior to a national runner-up status last year. The Cougars are one of six qualifiers this year with at least 10 postseason wins to their credit.
Three conferences landed four programs in the championship field, which is the most among any conference or independent. The Cascade Collegiate Conference, Mid-Central College Conference and Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference all send a quartet to Point Lookout.
NeuLion is the NAIA's Digital Media Partner and official video-streaming company of 10 select NAIA National Championship events. The first 30 matches from Point Lookout, Mo., will be available via live video stream for $29.95 and any single day can be purchased for $9.95. Also, one can purchase the all-tournament package of all four basketball tournaments for $49.95. For more information and to pre-register, go to http://www.naia.org/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=27900&ATCLID=205384192.
The National Championship final on March 13 will be televised live on CBS Sports Network at 6 p.m. (CST).
|School||Qualification||Record||Appearances^||Last Time||Tournament Record||Titles|
|Bellevue (Neb.)||Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||27-5||13||2011||18-12||0|
|Briar Cliff (Iowa)||At-Large No. 7||21-10||8||2011||2-7||0|
|Cal Maritime||California Pacific Conference Tournament Champion||21-9||First||--||0-0||0|
|Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||28-5||9||2011||4-8||0|
|Cornerstone (Mich.)||At-Large No. 9||19-12||11||2011||26-8||2|
|Daemen (N.Y.)||American Mideast Tournament Champion||20-10||4||2006||2-3||0|
|Dakota State (S.D.)||Association of Independent Institutions Tournament Champion||18-12||2||1992||3-1||0|
|Davenport (Mich.)||Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion||29-4||3||2011||2-2||0|
|Dordt (Iowa)||Great Plains Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion||28-4||2||2006||0-1||0|
|Eastern Oregon||At-Large No. 10||19-10||5||2011||5-4||0|
|Grace (Ind.)||Mid-Central College Conference Tournament Champion||24-7||6||2011||8-4||1|
|Indiana East||At-Large No. 6||24-7||2||2011||0-1||0|
|Indiana Southeast||Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||25-7||9||2011||3-8||0|
|Indiana Tech||At-Large No. 4||23-7||6||2008||3-5||0|
|Indiana Wesleyan||Mid-Central College Conference Regular-Season Champion||21-11||5||2011||8-4||0|
|Jamestown (N.D.)||Association of Independent Institutions Tournament Runner-up||25-6||8||2010||5-7||0|
|Lourdes (Ohio)||Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Tournament Runner-up||17-15||First||--||0-0||0|
|Marian (Ind.)||At-Large No. 5||19-10||4||2004||3-3||0|
|McPherson (Kan.)||Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion||30-3||3||2011||2-2||0|
|Northwest (Wash.)||Cascade Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Runner-up||27-4||3||2011||3-2||0|
|Northwestern (Iowa)||Great Plains Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||25-6||15||2011||28-12||2|
|Northwood (Fla.)||The Sun Conference Tournament Champion||30-3||6||2011||6-5||0|
|Oregon Tech||Cascade Collegiate Conference Regular-Season Champion||29-4||14||2011||28-11||2|
|Ozarks (Mo.)||Host Berth||14-15||16||2011||25-14||1|
|Saint Francis (Ind.)||At-Large No. 8||21-12||5||2011||11-3||1|
|Saint Mary (Kan.)||Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular-Season Runner-up||25-5||2||2001||1-1||0|
|Saint Ambrose (Iowa)||Midwest Collegiate Conference Tournament Champion||25-8||9||2005||5-8||0|
|Saint Thomas (Fla.)||At-Large No. 1||22-8||4||2009||0-3||0|
|Tennessee Wesleyan||Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||24-9||4||2006||0-3||0|
|Warner (Fla.)||At-Large No. 3||23-10||4||2003||7-3||0|
|Warner Pacific (Ore.)||At-Large No. 2||23-8||7||2011||3-6||0|
|William Penn (Iowa)||Midwest Collegiate Conference Tournament No. 2 seed||17-14||3||2008||0-2||0|
^Includes 2012 National Championship
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director