KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Bracket – PDF | Video Announcement| Schedule) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has officially announced the 32 qualifiers for the 27th annual NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship, presented by Cypress Risk Management. The event takes place at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D., March 7 – 13.
This year’s field consists of 22 automatic berths and 10 at-large spots. Automatic qualification is given to conference regular-season champions, regular-season runners-up, 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. To access the poll, click HERE.
The NAIA Network (www.NAIANetwork.com) – 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 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 $34.95.
• Defending national champion Union (Ky.) enters the event looking to become only the second team in Division II men’s basketball history to win back-to-back national titles. Bethel (Ind.) accomplished the feat in 1997 and 1998.
• The Bulldogs have won 13 of their last 14 games, including a 73-69 victory over Truett McConnell (Ga.) in the Appalachian Athletic Conference title game.
• IU East (Ind.) is the overall No. 1 seed at this year’s championship. The Red Wolves, who reached the quarterfinals a season ago, boast an NAIA-best 31-2 overall record including a 17-0 mark in the River States Conference. IU East has won 25-straight games – the longest active streak in Division II. The Red Wolves last loss came on November 17 at Taylor (Ind.), 80-78 (OT).
• Sixteen teams return to the championship from the 2017 field, including all of last year’s Fab Four squads – Bellevue (Neb.), Cornerstone (Mich.), Indiana Wesleyan and Union.
• Thirteen teams have made at least 10 appearances at the national championship. Bellevue leads the group with 2018 counting as its 19th time competing in the tournament. Northwestern (Iowa) is next with 18 appearances.
• Nine different clubs in this year’s field have won at least one national title. Bethel (1995, 1997, 1998), Cornerstone (1999, 2011, 2015) and Oregon Tech (2004, 2008, 2012) pace the field with three national titles each.
• Antelope Valley (Calif.), Governors State (Ill.), Michigan-Dearborn, Roosevelt (Ill.), Stillman (Ala.), and Voorhees (S.C.) are all making their first-ever trip to the national championship.
• The Crossroads League and the Great Plains Athletic Conference each boast four teams in the field, which is the most among the 12 Division II conferences.
2018 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship Qualifiers (alphabetical)
|School||Record||Qualification||Appearances||Tour. Record||Last Time||Titles|
|Antelope Valley (Calif.)||20-7||California Pacific Conference Tournament Champion||1st||0-0||n/a||0|
|Briar Cliff (Iowa)||24-7||At-Large||12th||5-11||2017||0|
|College of Idaho||27-6||Cascade Collegiate Conference Regular-Season Champion||13th||14-11||2017||1|
|Cornerstone (Mich.)||28-4||Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion||16th||37-12||2017||3|
|Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||22-10||At-Large||10th||7-9||2017||0|
|Governors State (Ill.)||25-8||Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion||1st||0-0||n/a||0|
|IU East (Ind.)||31-2||River States Conference Regular-Season Champion||6th||5-5||2017||0|
|IU Southeast (Ind.)||23-8||River States West Division Champion||13th||7-11||2017||0|
|Indiana Wesleyan||26-7||Crossroads League Regular-Season Champion||11th||25-8||2017||2|
|Mayville State (N.D.)||18-10||North Star Athletic Association Tournament Champion||7th||8-6||2007||0|
|Michigan-Dearborn||21-12||Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||1st||0-0||n/a||0|
|Milligan (Tenn.)||15-13||Appalachian Athletic Conference Regular-Season Runner-up||5th||1-4||2015||0|
|Morningside (Iowa)||26-6||Great Plains Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion||6th||5-5||2015||0|
|Northwestern (Iowa)||25-6||Great Plains Athletic Conference Tournament Runner-up||18th||30-15||2017||2|
|Oklahoma Wesleyan||25-8||Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||6th||12-4||2014||1|
|Roosevelt (Ill.)||26-7||Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Runner-up||1st||0-0||n/a||0|
|Saint Francis (Ind.)||25-8||Crossroads League Regular-Season Runner-up||10th||20-8||2017||1|
|Southeastern (Fla.)||21-9||The Sun Conference Tournament Champion||2nd||3-1||2014||0|
|Southwestern (Kan.)||26-7||Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion||4th||0-3||2016||0|
|St. Thomas (Fla.)||22-7||The Sun Conference Regular-Season Champion||8th||3-7||2015||0|
|Stillman (Ala.)||27-4||Association of Independent Institutions Tournament Champion||1st||0-0||n/a||0|
|Trinity International (Ill.)||21-10||At-Large||5th||3-4||2017||0|
|Union (Ky.)||23-7||Appalachian Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion||6th||6-4||2017||1|
|Voorhees (S.C.)||18-10||Association of Independent Institutions Tournament Runner-up||1st||0-0||n/a||0|
|Warner Pacific (Ore.)||23-9||Cascade Collegiate Conference Regular-Season Runner-up||11th||6-10||2016||0|
|WVU Tech (W.Va.)||20-11||At-Large||2nd||0-1||2017||0|