By Jed Flemming, Athletic Communications and Media Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Bracket) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has officially released the bracket for the 2018 NAIA Men's Tennis National Championship, May 15 – 19 in Mobile, Ala. The 67th annual event is hosted at the Mobile Tennis Center.
The field consists of 12 automatic berths, 11 at-large selections, and the host berth Mobile (Ala.). Automatic qualification is given to conference and unaffiliated grouping tournament champions.
At-large teams were determined by the NAIA Tennis National Selection Committee (NSC). The NSC consists of one representative from each geographic area, a representative from the National Administrative Council (NAC), the president of the Tennis Coaches Association and two at-large members. The committee evaluated teams throughout the year on various criteria.
The single elimination, tournament commences with eight first-round matchups on May 15 starting at 1:30 p.m. CDT. The top-eight seeds received a first-round bye and will begin action on May 16 at 1 p.m. The event concludes on May 19 with the championship match slated for a 1 p.m. start.
Georgia Gwinnett headlines the national tournament once again after a perfect 23-0 season. In just their fifth season as a program, the Grizzlies are a perfect 16-0 at the national tournament and are the four-time reigning NAIA national champions. The Georgia Gwinnett Grizzlies are the only program in the field this year to have won a national championship.
The No. 1 overall seed Georgia Gwinnett starts its journey for a fifth-straight red banner on May 16 against the winner of No. 17 San Diego Christian (Calif.) and No. 16 Tennessee Wesleyan.
Keiser (Fla.) captured the No. 2 seed in this year’s tournament and looks to claim its first red banner. The Seahawks will have to wait to see who they will face in the second-round. They square off against No. 15 Westmont (Calif.) or No. 18 Union (Ky.).
Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), which is making a field-high 16th appearance in the national championship this season, is the No. 3 seeded team. The Blue Raiders will face the winner of No. 14 Reinhardt (Ga.) and No. 19 Lawrence Tech (Mich.) in the second-round.
Texas A&M-Texarkana opens its first-ever tournament by facing No. 10 Campbellsville (Ky.) in the opening round.
For more information on the 2018 NAIA Men's Tennis National Championship, click here.