March 05, 2013
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - (Bracket) The 22nd annual State Farm-NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Championship tips off Wednesday when the first of 31 games gets underway at 8:30 a.m. CST. The last two teams standing will meet in the championship game on March 12 at 6 p.m. CST. That contest televised live nationally on CBS Sports Network.
For the 16th-straight season, the national championship will be held in Sioux City, Iowa, at the Tyson Events Center. The arena has been especially kind to Northwestern (Iowa), which has won all five of its national championships at the venue. Leading the Red Raiders is senior Kendra De Jong, the Great Plains Athletic Conference Player of the Year. Northwestern will take on Mayville State (N.D.) Wednesday at 1:45 p.m.
Morningside (Iowa), which topped the poll for the first time in the final-regular season edition of the Coaches' Poll, draws Webber International (Fla.),The Sun Conference Tournament Championship, in Wednesday's first round action. The Mustangs are one-of-two teams other than Northwestern who is in the championship field that have won a national championship. Morningside is the last team not named Northwestern to win a national championship when the Mustangs raised the banner in 2009.
Eastern Oregon will make its seventh all-time appearance and second-straight trip to the national championship. The third-ranked Mountaineers will enter their Thursday game against Southwestern (Kan.) with the nation's longest active winning streak at 25. Senior Brook Randall powered Eastern Oregon to a perfect 18-0 record in the Cascade Collegiate Athletic Conference and a 31-2 overall record.
A total of eight programs from this year's field have made 10 or more trips to the national championship. College of the Ozarks (Mo.) leads this year's field with 19th all-time appearances, while Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) is second with 17th e. Meanwhile, Northwestern boasts the most all-time national championships with five. Morningside (3) and Indiana Wesleyan (1) are the only other schools in this year's 32-team field with national titles.
Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) finished the regular season as the nation's highest scoring squad. The Tigers poured in 102.2 points per game, while on the other end of the spectrum Indiana Wesleyan ranks first in scoring defense limiting opponents to 48.2 points per contest.
Mayville State, Oklahoma Wesleyan, Purdue Calumet (Ind.), Reinhardt (Ga.), Roosevelt (Ill.), Saint Xavier (Ill.) and Siena Heights (Mich.) are making their first appearance at the national championship. Olivet Nazarene (Ill.), Point Park (Pa.), St. Thomas (Fla.), Valley City State (N.D.) and Webber International (Fla.) have each made prior appearances but are still looking for their first tournament victories.
NeuLion is the NAIA's Digital Media Partner and official video-streaming company of 12 select NAIA National Championship events. The first 30 games from Sioux City, Iowa, 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.
To view live statistics throughout the tournament, click here.