UGF, Carroll and MSUN Get At-Large Berths to National Tournament - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

UGF, Carroll and MSUN Get At-Large Berths to National Tournament

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The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has officially announced the 32 qualifiers and bracket for the 36th annual NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship. The event will be held at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence, Mo., for the second-straight season from March 16 – 22.

This year’s field is comprised of 14 automatic berths, 17 at-large selections and championship host William Woods (Mo.). Automatic qualification is given to conference regular-season champions, tournament champions or tournament runners-up depending on the league. At-large teams were determined using the final regular-season Coaches’ Top 25 poll released today.

The NAIA Network – the association’s official video streaming home – will broadcast the first 30 games leading up to the championship final on ESPN3. The video platform, powered by Stretch Internet, allows users access to live video, statistics, and social interaction on a number of devices, including mobile. Single day passes can be purchased for $9.95, while an all-tournament package is available at $29.95. For more information and the pre-register, click here.

For more information on the 2016 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship, click here.

Qualifier Highlights
- Overall No. 1 seed Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) enters the national championship riding a NAIA-best 29-game winning streak. The Saints (29-2) have not dropped a contest since Nov. 15.
- Our Lady of the Lake and Lyon (Ark.) are tied for the NAIA lead in victories with 29.
- Two-time defending national champion Oklahoma City returns to the event for the 19th-consecutive season and 22nd time overall. The Stars, who own a NAIA record eight national titles, are looking to win three-or-more consecutive titles for the second time in program history (four-straight from 1999 – 2002). Oklahoma City claimed an automatic berth after finishing runner-up to Wayland Baptist (Texas) in the Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament.
- Outside of Oklahoma City, Vanguard (Calif.) (2008) and Westmont (Calif.) (2013) are the only qualifiers with at least one national championship.
- Twenty-six of the 32 qualifiers participated in the 2015 event.
- All four semifinalists from a year ago are back in 2016 – Campbellsville (Ky.), Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), Oklahoma City and Westmont.
- Campbellsville is making its NAIA record 24th all-time appearance. The Tigers, who are still chasing that elusive first national championship, finished runner-up at last year’s event.
- In addition to Campbellsville, seven teams in this year’s field have appeared in the national championship at least 15 times – Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (19), Freed-Hardeman (20), Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) (19), Oklahoma City (22), Vanguard (18), Wayland Baptist (Texas) (23) and Xavier (La.) (19).
- Freed-Hardeman boasts the longest active consecutive appearances streak at 20-straight.
- There are no newcomers in this year’s championship field.
- Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) snaps the longest championship drought among the qualifiers, appearing in the national championship for the first time since 2009. All other programs have reached the tournament at least once since 2013.
- The Mid-South Conference boasts six programs in the 2016 field – Campbellsville, Cumberland (Tenn.), Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Pikeville (Ky.) and Shawnee State (Ohio) – which is the most of any league. The American Midwest Conference, Frontier Conference, Heart of America Athletic Conference, Red River Athletic Conference and Southern States Athletic Conference are all tied for second with four clubs each.
- Fifteen programs will also have representation at the 2016 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship – Campbellsville, Carroll (Mont.), Columbia (Mo.), Freed-Hardeman, Langston (Okla.), Lewis-Clark State, LSU Shreveport (La.), MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), Oklahoma City, Our Lady of the Lake, Pikeville, Talladega (Ala.), Wayland Baptist, Westmont and Xavier (La.).

Click here for the complete bracket/schedule

NAIA Sports Information

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