The NAIA has officially released the bracket for the 30th Annual NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship. The 32-team championship will be held March 17 – 23 at Oman Arena in Jackson, Tenn. Columbia College, William Woods, Evangel and William Jewell will represent the state of Missouri.
Defending national champion, Union (Tenn.) is making its 19th consecutive appearance (1992-2010) and 21st overall, the most among all teams in the field. The Lady Bulldogs lead all schools in the championship field with 54 total wins; Oklahoma City is second with 44 wins.
Montana Tech, Southern Polytechnic State (Ga.) and Southwestern Assemblies of God (Texas) are each making its first appearance in the event. Montana Tech received an at-large bid, while Southern Poly was the Southern States Athletic Conference regular-season champion. Southwestern Assemblies of God qualified as the Red River Athletic Conference tournament runner-up.
Four previous national champions have made the 32-team field. Oklahoma City leads the field with five titles (1988, 1999-2002), while defending national champion Union is second with four (1998, 2005-06, 2009). Lambuth (Tenn.) (2007) and Vanguard (Calif.) (2008) each have one national championship.
William Woods (Mo.) and Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.) will get the championship under way on March 17 at 8:30 a.m. CST. The first and second round (March 17 – 19) will feature eight games in three days, followed by the quarterfinals on March 20. After an off day, the semifinals take place on March 22 and the National Championship is scheduled for March 23. The Championship final will be televised live nationally on CBS College Sports Television with tipoff at 9 p.m. CST.