Georgetown (Ky.) College has made more appearances and won more national tournament games than any other school in NAIA history.
And next week, the Tigers will be the No. 1 overall seed in the 79th NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship at Municipal Auditorium.
Georgetown, 28-3, will be making its 35th NAIA Tournament appearance — and extending its record to 25 straight trips — when it faces Wayland Baptist (Texas), 21-11, at 5:15 p.m. March 16.
Take a look at the complete men’s bracket here. The bracket for the NAIA Division I women’s tournament, to be played at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence simultaneously with the men’s, can be found here.
The Tigers, who have won 61 tournament games, will be looking for their third national title. Georgetown last won the tournament in 2013 and still has two key players, forward Deondre McWhorter and guard Noah Cottrill, who were freshmen on that team. Georgetown was upset in the first round of last year’s tournament.
The No. 1 seed has not won an NAIA Division I men’s tournament since Mountain State (W.Va.) in 2004.
The 32-team, six-day men’s tournament will tip off at 9 a.m. March 16, when Langston (Okla.) University, 25-8, meets University of the Cumberlands (Ky.), 22-11. The tournament will conclude with the championship game at 7 p.m. March 22 at Municipal.
For the eighth straight year, a new champion is assured because Dalton State (Ga.), last year’s winner, did not qualify.
Three area teams qualified for the tournament: MidAmerica Nazarene University of Olathe; Park University of Parkville; and Columbia College.
MidAmerica, 25-8, an at-large team from the Heart of America Athletic Conference, is returning to the tournament after a one-year absence. The Pioneers will open at 6:15 p.m. March 17 against Oklahoma City, 15-10, the last team to win back-to-back national championship in 2007-2008.
Park, 20-9, an at-large team from the American Midwest Conference, will face Mid-America (Okla.) Christian, 23-9, at 3 p.m. March 16 in the Pirates’ first appearance in the tournament since 2011.
Columbia, 25-7, champion of the American Midwest Conference, will be making its sixth straight tournament appearance when the Cougars meet LSU Shreveport, 18-13, at 8:45 p.m. March 16.
Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) will be the top-seeded team in the women’s tournament. The Saints, 29-2, have won an NAIA-best 29 straight after losing their first two games of the season. The program’s last loss was an 87-85 decision on Nov. 15 to defending national champion Oklahoma City.
Our Lady of the Lake will face host school William Woods University of Fulton, Mo., 21-10, at 1:45 p.m. March 16.
Fifteen programs will have teams in both the men’s and women’s tournaments, including MidAmerica Nazarene and Columbia College. Three other area schools will be represented in the women’s tournament — Central Methodist (Mo.) University, Benedictine (Kan.) College and Baker University.