NAIA Tournament

NAIA reaches agreement to keep men’s basketball tournament in Kansas City 4 more years

Georgetown juniors Eljay Cowherd (4) and Jacob Conway (11) celebrate Conway’s three-point shot, one of three he made in close succession in the second half. Georgetown College (Ky.) defeated Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 77-57 in the 2019 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament at Municipal Auditorium Wednesday, Mar. 20.
Georgetown juniors Eljay Cowherd (4) and Jacob Conway (11) celebrate Conway’s three-point shot, one of three he made in close succession in the second half. Georgetown College (Ky.) defeated Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 77-57 in the 2019 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament at Municipal Auditorium Wednesday, Mar. 20. jtoyoshiba@kcstar.com

The NAIA and Heart of America Athletic Conference have reached a four-year agreement to keep the NAIA men’s basketball tournament in Kansas City through 2024.

As previously reported, the extension will encompass the NAIA merging its 94 Division I members and 138 Division II members into a single classification and creating a 64-team national tournament in 2021. The 64-team men’s tournament will commence with 16 four-team regionals and conclude with the 16 winners advancing to Municipal Auditorium, replacing the traditional 32-team Division I tournament.

Instead of eight games a day in the first and second rounds, there will be four games per day for three days, leading to the final two days for the semifinals and finals.

This year’s NAIA Tournament was the 82nd annual. The current 32-team format will remain in 2020 before the tournament changes.

“We are thrilled that the NAIA men’s basketball championship will continue to call Kansas City home for the foreseeable future,” NAIA president and CEO Jim Carr said in a release. “Kansas City is integral to the history of this tournament. The NAIA coaches, players, and fans have all witnessed amazing basketball moments at Municipal Auditorium and there are many more to come.”

Friday’s second-round games

No. 4 Pikeville (Ky.) 83, Benedictine (Kan.) 79, double OT: Bendectine rallied late in the second half to get it to OT but could not hold off Pikeville in the overtimes.

No. 1 LSU Alexandria (La.) 78, No. 5 Bethel (Tenn.) 73: JaMichael Brown’s two free throws with 1:28 left put Alexandria up for good. William Claiborne put up his eighth double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds.

No. 1 Georgetown (Ky.) 82, No. 5 LSU-Shreveport (La.) 79: Brodricks Jones scored 16 points, including the go-ahead basket for Georgetown with 2:06 left. Eljay Cowherd recorded a double-double with 15 points and 13 assists, the first point-assist double-double of the tournament.

No. 2 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 88, No. 6 William Penn (Iowa) 86: Dana Abe scored a game-high 26 points as Lewis-Clark advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time.

No. 3 Carroll (Mont.) 80, No. 7 Oklahoma City 69: Carroll’s Match Burnham equaled his season-high with 34 points, including 20 in the first half.

No. 7 Arizona Christian 83, No. 6 Loyola (La.) 77: Arizona Christian is headed to the quarterfinals for the first time after hitting a tournament-record 19 three-pointers. Emilio Acedo made six, Terence Shelby and Shane Carney each made five.

No. 4 William Carey (Miss.) 62, No. 8 Mid-America Christian (Okla.) 60: Adrian Williams’ 14 points paced William Carey in the hard-fought game. Charles Beauregard had 16 points for Mid-America Christian. Beauregard missed a last-second shot that would have sent the game to overtime.

2019 NAIA Division I men’s basketball tournament

At Municipal Auditorium

Tickets: $20 single-day adult pass (ages 13 and up), $6 students (5-12), 4 and under free.

Wednesday, March 20 first-round games

Naismith Bracket

No. 1 Georgetown (Ky.) 77, No. 8 Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 57

No. 5 LSU Shreveport 83, No. 4 William Jessup (Calif.) 65

No. 6 Loyola (La.) 68, No. 3 Missouri Baptist 67

No. 7 Arizona Christian 81, No. 2 Wayland Baptist (Texas) 73

Liston Bracket

No. 1 LSU Alexandria 81, No. 8 Central Baptist (Ark.) 74

No. 5 Bethel (Tenn.) 77, No. 4 John Brown (Ark.) 57

No. 6 William Penn (Iowa) 69, No. 3 Vanguard (Calif.) 53

No. 2 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 71, No. 7 Campbellsville (Ky.) 70

Thursday, March 21 first-round games

Cramer Bracket

No. 8 Mid-America Christian (Okla.) 73, No. 1 Tougaloo (Miss.) 64

No. 4 William Carey (Miss.) 95, No. 5 Peru State (Neb.) 89

No. 3 Wiley (Texas) 68, No. 6 Cumberlands (Ky.) 56

No. 7 Science & Arts (Okla.) 78, No. 2 The Master’s (Calif.) 75

Duer Bracket

No. 1 Benedictine (Kan.) 90, No. 8 Westmont (Calif.) 85

No. 4 Pikeville (Ky.) 69, No. 5 Talladega (Ala.) 65

No. 3 Carroll (Mont.) 71, No. 6 St. Thomas (Texas) 65

No. 7 Oklahoma City 101, No. 2 Stillman (Ala.) 84

Friday, March 22 second-round games

Naismith Bracket

No. 1 Georgetown (Ky.) 82, No. 5 LSU Shreveport 79

No. 7 Arizona Christian 83, No. 6 Loyola (La.) 77

Liston Bracket

No. 1 LSU Alexandria 78, No. 5 Bethel (Tenn.) 73

No. 2 Lewis-Clark State 88, No. 6 William Penn (Iowa) 86

Cramer Bracket

No. 4 William Carey 62, No. 8 Mid-America Christian (Okla.) 60

No. 7 Science & Arts 76, No. 3 Wiley (Texas) 63

Duer Bracket

No. 4 Pikeville (Ky.) 83, No. 1 Benedictine (Kan.) 79, 2 OTs

No. 3 Carroll (Mont.) 80, No. 7 Oklahoma City 69

Saturday, March 23 quarterfinals

Cramer Bracket: No. 4 William Carey vs. No. 7 Science & Arts (Okla.), noon

Liston Bracket: No. 1 LSU Alexandria vs. No. 2 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), 2 p.m.

Naismith Bracket: No. 1 Georgetown (Ky.) vs. No. 7 Arizona Christian, 5:30 p.m.

Duer Bracket: No. 3 Carroll (Mont.) vs. No. 4 Pikeville (Ky.), 7:30 p.m.

Monday, March 25 semifinals

Naismith vs. Cramer champion, 6 p.m.

Duer vs. Liston champion, 8 p.m.

Tuesday, March 26 championship

Semifinal winners, 8 p.m. (ESPN3)

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