Kansas City-area programs Park (Mo.) and William Jewell (Mo.) enter the Championship unseeded. Park will battle Georgetown on Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. William Jewell begins action with a Thursday game at 6:15 p.m. against No. 2 Concordia (CA.) in the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship, held March 17-23 in Kansas City, Mo.
No. 1-seed Mountain State (W.Va.) tops the list in its 12th straight Championship. The 26-2 Cougars have now earned the top seed in four of the last seven Championships, winning one title in 2004.
Coined College Basketball’s Toughest Tournament, Municipal Auditorium will be the site for the seven-day event. The Championship is a single-elimination tournament featuring 17 automatic qualifiers from 11 Division I affiliated conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.), 1 host berth, and 14 at-large berths.
Mountain State begins its Championship by facing first-year participant Bacone (Okla.) on Wednesday at 10:45 a.m. CST. The Cougars are 19-10 in the Championship. The event kicks-off with No. 16 Oklahoma City facing Southern Polytechnic State (Ga.) at 9 a.m. The Stars, who are back after an 11-year run from 1998-2008, are 47-12 overall with six national championships.
No. 11 Georgetown (Ky.) is making its NAIA-record 19th straight Championship and 29th overall. The Tigers are 49-27 in this event, tied for the most wins with No. 3 Oklahoma Baptist. The Bison are 49-20 overall in their 23rd Championship.
For the second straight year, the defending national champion did not make the Championship field. One year after winning its first national title, Rocky Mountain (Mont.) did not qualify.