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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 9:10 pm

NAIA Tournament

3 area basketball teams in NAIA tournament

JOURNAL GAZETTE

Three area NAIA college basketball teams are dancing.

The Indiana Tech men and women and the Saint Francis women all received bids to the NAIA Division II National Championship on Wednesday.

The Warrior women were made the No. 2 seed in the Naismith Bracket and will play No. 7 West Virginia University Institute of Technology 2:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.

The Warriors (30-3) are making their seventh trip to the national championships. Tech, which won the WHAC regular season and tournament titles, received the conference’s first automatic bid as the regular season champions for the second straight season.

Tech is 4-6 all-time in the national tournament.

The winner of the game will play the winner of Eastern Oregon and Saint Francis at 9:30 p.m. March 8.

Sixth-seeded Saint Francis (20-12, 11-7 Crossroads League) will play No. 3 Eastern Oregon at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday in the Naismith Bracket. The Cougars tied for fourth in the Crossroads League with Huntington. The Cougars eliminated the Foresters 84-80 in OT in the quarterfinals.

Eastern Oregon, located in LaGrande, Ore., was ranked No. 9 in the most recent Top 25 rankings. Eastern has the sixth best record in the field at 28-3 and are members of the Cascade Collegiate Conference.

Saint Francis is 31-16 in 17 NAIA championship appearances. The Cougars lost in their last appearance in 2016-17 to then-No. 1 seed Davenport 80-73. Saint Francis is 13-4 in NAIA Championship first round games.

The No. 7 seed Indiana Tech men will play former WHAC rival Spring Arbor in the first round at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. The 2nd-seeded Cougars feature Warsaw native Paul Marandet, who was named First Team All-Crossroads League.

Indiana Tech (22-11) clinched its second straight NAIA National Championship bid after defeating No. 10-ranked Cornerstone 71-62 in the WHAC tournament championship Tuesday. This trip marks the ninth time the Warriors have advanced to NAIA postseason play.

The winner of this Liston bracket contest will play the winner of Jamestown-Southeastern (Fla.), who play at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday.