One team will be in the MIAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship for the 11th time, while the other will be making a first appearance when top seed Northwest Missouri takes on second seeded Nebraska-Kearney at 3:30 p.m. Nebraska-Kearney defeated Missouri Southern 80-61 while Northwest Missouri won their semifinal 69-51 over Fort Hays State.
For the Bearcats Justin Pitts is leading the way averaging 20.9 points and a team best 5.0 assists per game. Conner Crooker is averaging 12.6 points while Chris-Ebou Ndow is averaging 10.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest. NWMSU is averaging 75.7 points while allowing opponents 65.3 points per contest.
The Lopers are led by Connor Beranek who is averaging 24.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per contest. Trey Lansman is averaging 15.8 points and Ethan Brozek is averaging 13.2 points and a team best 3.6 assists per game. UNK is averaging 79.4 points while they allow opponents 73.6 points per contest.
The winner will receive the MIAA’s automatic bid into the NCAA Division II National Tournament for which the field will be announced at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 6 at ncaa.com.
This will be the first MIAA title appearance for the Lopers, after picking up their first two wins in Kansas City
This will be the first meeting between UNK and NWMSU in the post season
Northwest Missouri is appearing in their 11th championship game with a 4-6 record
NWMSU last appeared in the championship game in 2013, losing 79-76 in overtime to Central Missouri
NWMSU last won a championship game in 2008 when they defeated Emporia State 57-71
The top seed has won the tournament 15 times while the second seed has claimed 12 titles
The last time the top two seeds appeared in the title game was 2006 when top seeded Southwest Baptist defeated second seeded Central Missouri 78-71