The NAIA will bring its Division I women’s basketball tournament to the Independence Events Center in 2015 and 2016, giving the Kansas City area both major NAIA basketball tournaments.
The women’s tournament will run concurrently with the Division I men’s tournament, which will continue to be played at Municipal Auditorium. The next two men’s and women’s tourneys will be held March 18-24, 2015, and March 16-22, 2016.
“The storied NAIA men’s basketball tournament has been a tradition in the Kansas City area for more than 75 years,” said Cori Day, director of Independence tourism, in a statement. “We are happy to welcome the NAIA women’s basketball championship home for 2015 and 2016.”
The William Woods women’s team will receive the automatic “host berth” in the field of 32 for 2015 and 2016. The 2014 women’s tournament was played in Frankfort, Ky., and previous tournaments also were held in Jackson, Tenn.
The Big 12 men’s basketball tournament at the Sprint Center will be held the week before both NAIA events in 2015 and 2016. The Big 12 tourney dates are March 11-14, 2015, and March 9-12, 2016.