KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Dakota State University men's basketball team (22-9 overall record) will face the national's No. 5 seed Warner Pacific (Ore.) (27-6) in the opening round of the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Tournament. Tip-off is set for 9:15 p.m. on Thursday night, March 7.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has officially released the bracket for the 22nd annual Division II Men's Basketball National Championship. The 32-team, single elimination format will take place from March 6-12 in Point Lookout, Mo., on the campus of College of the Ozarks (Mo.).
The championship kicks off at 8:30 a.m. (Central Standard Time) on the first three days of competition, with eight games scheduled each day. Quarterfinal action tips off at 1 p.m. on March 9 with the semifinals slated for March 11 at 6 p.m. The championship final, which will be televised live on CBS Sports Network, will start at 8 p.m. on March 12.
Dakota State, which captured their second straight Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Division II Conference Tournament Champion, currently holds the school record for most victories in a single season with 22 wins. The Trojans will be making their second straight trip to the national tournament and their third overall trip to the nationals (3-2 record in nationals). DSU qualified for the national tournament by defeating then-No. 23 Valley City State (N.D.) 58-53 in the A.I.I. semifinals on Feb. 23. Dakota State defeated Jamestown (N.D.) 78-76 in the A.I.I. championship game on Feb. 24.
Warner Pacific will be making their eight consecutive trip to the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship. The Knights won the Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) Tournament with a 67-63 win over Southern Oregon on Feb. 26. Warner Pacific shared the CCC regular-season co-championship with a 15-3 conference record. The Knights have an overall record of 4-7 in the national tournament games.