LSUS to Face Mountain State in National Tournament
March 12, 2009
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (official bracket (http://naia.cstv.com/photos/schools/naia/sports/m-baskbl/auto_pdf/2009DIMBB_Bracket.pdf)) LSUS and Mountain State will open up the 72nd Annual Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship, as the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has officially released the game times and pairings for the 2009 National Tournament.
LSUS (22-11) enters the tournament unseeded and will face the No. 5 seed Mountain State University Cougars (27-4) in the opening game of the tournament at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning. In all, there are 31 games spanning seven days, with he first three days packing in eight games each day starting at 9 a.m.
Coined college basketball’s toughest tournament, the Championship is a single-elimination tournament featuring 18 automatic qualifiers from 11 Division I affiliated conferences, Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.), 1 host berth, and 13 at-large berths, which are determined using the final regular-season rating released yesterday (March 11).
LSUS was an automatic qualifier after winning the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament championship, while Mountain State received an at-large berth after falling to Life University (Ga.) in the semifinals of the Division 1 Independent Tournament.
The Pilots are making their fifth consecutive tournament appearance, advancing to the Sweet 16 in 2005 and 2008. Mountain State is making their 12th overall appearance and finished as the National Championship runner-up in 2008 and 2003, while winning the National title in 2004.
No. 1 Rogers State (Okla.) earns the top seed and will face William Jewell (Mo.) on Wednesday, March 18 at 6:15 p.m. CST. The Hillcats are one of 17 new teams to compete compared to last year’s event. Standing 30-1 overall on the year, RSU is one of five teams from the Sooner Athletic Conference, which is the highest amount of teams from any conference. The Golden State Athletic Conference claims four teams led by No. 9 Fresno Pacific (Calif.).
The event has a host as the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) serves that function. Three teams have qualified from the HAAC: Central Methodist (Mo.), MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) and William Jewell (Mo.). The HAAC was a member of NAIA Division II before this season. Central Methodist plays on Wednesday at 2:15 p.m. against No. 4 Georgetown (Ky.) while MNU takes on No. 15 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) on Thursday (March 19) at 6:15 p.m.
Of the 32 teams, Georgetown (Ky.) is making the most appearances with its 28th and holds the most all-time wins in the Championship with 49 victories. Oklahoma Baptist is making its 22nd event and is 48-19 all-time. Defending national champion Oklahoma City did not make this year’s championship.
The first 30 games of the Championships will be video-streamed live on the Internet, while the National Championship Game on March 24 at 8:50 p.m. CST will air live nationwide on CBS College Sports Television with Jason Knapp calling the action and Sean Farnham providing color analysis.
Single session and all-tournament tickets are on sale through the Municipal Auditorium Box Office or Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.com/, by calling 816-931-3330 or in person at any Ticketmaster outlet throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area.
For more information on the Championships, click here (http://naia.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/103106aab.html).
For complete conference tournament breakdown, click here (http://naia.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/020609aai.html).