BILLINGS, Mont. – (Schedule| Bracket) The 38th annual Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship, presented by Wells Fargo, tips off Wednesday at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark. The single-elimination championship begins at 8:30 a.m. MT and runs through the championship final on March 21.
The first 30 games of the national championship will be video-streamed live on the NAIA Network at www.NAIANetwork.com, the NAIA’s official video platform powered by Stretch Internet. The championship final is distributed on ESPN3 for the fifth-straight season on March 21 at 7 p.m.
2018 National Championship
- Columbia (Mo.) and Benedictine (Kan.) – the No. 2 and No. 7 seeds out of the Duer Bracket – open the action Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. The Cougars (28-5), qualified for the tournament as the American Midwest Conference regular-season and conference tournament champion. The Ravens (23-8) received an at-large bid and this is their ninth appearance in the championship.
- This year’s field consists of 14 automatic berths, 17 at-large selections and championship host Rocky Mountain (Mont.). Automatic qualification is given to conference regular-season champions, regular-season runners-up, tournament champions or tournament runners-up depending on the league. At-large teams were determined using the final regular-season Coaches’ Top 25 Poll released on March 7. CLICK HERE for the poll
- Shawnee State (Ohio) enters the tournament as the overall top seed for the first time in school history.
- Campbellsville (Ky.) will make its 26th appearance in the DI Women’s Basketball National Championship. The Tigers have the most appearances in the championship field. Wayland Baptist (Texas) follows with 25 championship appearances.
- Including Campbellsville and Wayland Baptist, there are three other teams that have 20-or-more appearances: Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), Oklahoma City and Vanguard (Calif.).
- There are only four teams in the championship field that have won one-or-more national titles. MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), Oklahoma City, Vanguard and Westmont (Calif.).
- Oklahoma City has won four of the last six national championships and owns an NAIA record nine red banners. The Stars – 71-14 all-time at the event – now hold the record for most all-time national tournament wins after their 2017 championship run. Union (Tenn.) formerly held the record with 67 wins.
- Arizona Christian, Grand View (Iowa) and Menlo (Calif.) qualified for the championship for the first time in 2018.
- Twenty-three of the 32 qualifiers participated in the 2017 championship.
- Dillard (La.) returns to the championship snapping a 13-year drought with their last appearance in 2004.
- Fifteen programs will also have representation at the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship in Kansas City, Mo. – Campbellsville, Carroll (Mont.), Central Methodist (Mo.), Columbia (Mo.), Dillard, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), LSU Shreveport, Montana Western, Oklahoma City, Our Lady of the Lake (Texas), Science & Arts (Okla.), The Master’s, Wayland Baptist, Westmont (Calif.) and William Penn (Iowa).
- The Golden State Athletic Conference and Heart of America Athletic Conference each boast five programs in the 2018 field.
- For more information on the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship, click here.