Tigers earn at-large bid to NAIA Nationals
Author: Wendy Reid
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 4:58 PM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The No. 24 Olivet Nazarene University women’s basketball team was given a new life line when the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) officially released the field of 32 teams for the 22nd Annual State Farm-NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Championship, held March 6 - 12 in Sioux City, Iowa, at the Tyson Events Center. The Tigers snuck in, claiming the ninth of 11 at-large bids.
Olivet (23-8, 17-5) failed to earn one of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference’s (CCAC) two automatic bids when they finished tied for second in the regular season and made an early exit in the tournament, falling 112-99 to Purdue University-Calumet (Ind.). The fact that the Tigers have been ranked in the NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 Poll all season was helpful in them getting an at-large bid. The Tiger’s rank ranged from sixth to their current 24th.
The 32-team field is comprised of 21 automatic qualifiers from NAIA affiliated conferences and independents, plus 11 at-large selections, which were determined using the final Top 25 poll released on Wednesday. The CCAC landed five squads in the National Championship field besides Olivet: Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.), Purdue -Calumet, Roosevelt University (Ill.) and Saint Xavier University (Ill.).
The official bracket will be released by 7 p.m. CST today on NAIA.org.