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DII MBB Championship Qualifiers Announced

February 29, 2012
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By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Sports Information & Media Services

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has officially released the field of 32 teams for the 21st Annual Division II Men's Basketball National Championship. The event will be held for the 13th-straight time in Point Lookout, Mo., on the campus of College of the Ozarks from March 7 - 13. The official 32-team bracket will be unveiled by 6 p.m. CST on NAIA.org.

Defending national champion Cornerstone (Mich.) is one of 10 at-large selections in the 32-team field. The at-large teams are determined using the final Top 25 rating released today. Twenty-two other programs qualified as an automatic berth out of their conferences or Independent group.

The Golden Eagles are one of four teams in the tournament with at least 20 postseason wins. They are 26-8 in 10 previous championship appearances. Northwestern (Iowa) and Oregon Tech both share the championship record with 28 all-time victories. Ozarks is making its tournament-record 16th trip to the event.

No. 1-ranked Northwood (Fla.) and McPherson (Kan.), out of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, each are tied for the most wins in the country with 30. They join a list of 24 other programs since the start of the tournament in 1992 to enter the tournament with 30 or more victories. Conversely, Ozarks is one of 25 teams all-time to enter with a sub-.500 record. The Bobcats stand 14-15 overall and mark the fifth team in the last six years to bring a losing record to the event.

Six teams among this year's qualifiers have won at least one previous national championship. Cornerstone, Northwestern and Oregon Tech each have claimed a pair of rings. Out of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, the Golden Eagles are trying to become the second team in history to repeat, which would join Bethel (Ind.) who did it 1997 and 1998.

Saint Francis (Ind.), who earned the eighth at-large spot, was the 2010 national champion prior to a national runner-up status last year. The Cougars are one of six qualifiers this year with at least 10 postseason wins to their credit.

Three conferences landed four programs in the championship field, which is the most among any conference or independent. The Cascade Collegiate Conference, Mid-Central College Conference and Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference all send a quartet to Point Lookout.

NeuLion is the NAIA's Digital Media Partner and official video-streaming company of 10 select NAIA National Championship events. The first 30 matches from Point Lookout, Mo., will be available via live video stream for $29.95 and any single day can be purchased for $9.95. Also, one can purchase the all-tournament package of all four basketball tournaments for $49.95. For more information and to pre-register, click here.

The National Championship final on March 13 will be televised live on CBS Sports Network at 6 p.m. CST.

School Qualification Record Appearances^ Last Time Tour. Record Titles
Bellevue (Neb.) Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Champion 27-5 13 2011 18-12 0
Briar Cliff (Iowa) At-Large No. 7 21-10 8 2011 2-7 0
Cal Maritime California Pacific Conference Tournament Championship 21-9 First -- 0-0 0
Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Champion 28-5 9 2011 4-8 0
Cornerstone (Mich.) At-Large No. 9 19-12 11 2011 26-8 2
Daemen (N.Y.) American Mideast Tournament Champion 20-10 4 2006 2-3 0
Dakota State (S.D.) Association of Independent Institutions Tournament Champion 18-12 2 1992 3-1 0
Davenport (Mich.) Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion 29-4 3 2011 2-2 0
Dordt (Iowa) Great Plains Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion 28-4 2 2006 0-1 0
Eastern Oregon At-Large No. 10 19-10 5 2011 5-4 0
Grace (Ind.) Mid-Central College Conference Tournament Champion 24-7 6 2011 8-4 1
Indiana East At-Large No. 6 24-7 2 2011 0-1 0
Indiana Southeast Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Champion 25-7 9 2011 3-8 0
Indiana Tech At-Large No. 4 23-7 6 2008 3-5 0
Indiana Wesleyan Mid-Central College Conference Regular-Season Champion 21-11 5 2011 8-4 0
Jamestown (N.D.) Association of Independent Institutions Tournament Runner-Up 25-6 8 2010 5-7 0
Lourdes (Ohio) Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Tournament Runner-Up 17-15 First -- 0-0 0
Marian (Ind.) At-Large No. 5 19-10 4 2004 3-3 0
McPherson (Kan.) Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion 30-3 3 2011 2-2 0
Northwest (Wash.) Cascade Collegiate Conference Tournament Runner-Up 27-4 3 2011 3-2 0
Northwestern (Iowa) Great Plains Athletic Conference Tournament Champion 25-6 15 2011 28-12 2
Northwood (Fla.) The Sun Conference Tournament Champion 30-3 6 2011 6-5 0
Oregon Tech Cascade Collegiate Conference Regular-Season Champion 29-4 14 2011 28-11 2
Ozarks (Mo.) Host Berth 14-15 16 2011 25-14 1
Saint Francis (Ind.) At-Large No. 8 21-12 5 2011 11-3 1
Saint Mary (Kan.) Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular-Season Runner-Up 25-5 2 2001 1-1 0
St. Ambrose (Iowa) Midwest Collegiate Conference Tournament Champion 25-8 9 2005 5-8 0
St. Thomas (Fla.) At-Large No. 1 22-8 4 2009 0-3 0
Tennessee Wesleyan Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament Champion 24-9 4 2006 0-3 0
Warner (Fla.) At-Large No. 3 23-10 4 2003 7-3 0
Warner Pacific (Ore.) At-Large No. 2 23-8 7 2011 3-6 0
William Penn (Iowa) Midwest Collegiate Conference Tournament No. 2 seed 17-14 3 2008 0-2 0
 
^ Includes 2012 National Championship