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Womens Basketball invited to NAIA Division II National Tournament


Published Date3\3\2011
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has released its 32-team bracket for the 20th Annual State Farm-NAIA Division II Womens Basketball National Championship. The Tyson Events Center/Gateway Arena in Sioux City, Iowa will host the event March 9-15.

The tournament will start with the first round games on March 9 and March 10 and will end with the championship game on March 15 at 7 p.m. CST.

Thirty-one games will be played out in Sioux City. The first 30 games will be video-streamed by NeuLion, the parent company of JumpTV. Three different subscription plans for basketball (Mens and Womens Division I; Mens and Womens Division II) will be available for tournament coverage. Users can purchase the All-Tournament pass, which includes every event offered on College Sports Direct from all four basketball tournaments for $39.95. Each of the four basketball tournaments can be purchased separately for $24.95 and any single day can be purchased for $9.95. In order to view the streaming, click here.

Saint Francis (Ind.) (25-8) and Cedarville (Ohio) (22-9), two at-large bids, will jumpstart the National Championship action on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. The Cougars, who have been a stronghold in the top-10 this season, will look to avoid a first-round upset, after losing to Aquinas (Mich.), 67-65 (OT), last year. Saint Francis was the only team in 2010 to lose to a lower-seeded opponent in the first round.

En route to its third national title last season, Northwestern (Iowa) plowed through its competition, setting a new record for most points scored with 457, in addition to tying the most field goals made with 163. NAIA All-American and 2010 Tournament MVP Becca Hurley returns to Sioux City looking for a second straight title. In the championship game against Shawnee State (Ohio), Hurley hung 23 points on the Bears and also dished out seven assists.

Four games will be matchups between conference tournament champions. Davenport (Mich.), the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference champion, will take on newcomer and Sunrise Conference winner Maine at Machias. Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference champion College of the Ozarks (Mo.) will take on Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference winner Cardinal Stritch (Wis.). Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference champion Kansas Wesleyan will take on Holy Names (Calif.) of the California Pacific Conference. Florida Memorial, winner of The Sun Conference will battle American Mideast Conference champion Walsh (Ohio).

Three schools have captured back-to-back titles in Division II history. Western Oregon (1995 and 1996), Hastings (Neb.) (2002 and 2003) and Morningside (Iowa) (2004 and 2005) all defended their title after winning their first championship.

The Great Plains Athletic Conference trio of Hastings, Morningside and Northwestern has captured the most championships with three each. Only two other schools have won multiple crowns, Northern State (S.D.) and Western Oregon, both former NAIA schools. The GPAC schools have teamed up to win nine of the past 10 national championships.

For more information on the Championships, click here.

(Official Bracket) (Team Information)