The state of Kentucky is sending five teams to the 81st annual NAIA Division I men’s basketball national tournament next week in Kansas City, Mo.
The group is led by Mid-South Conference Tournament champion Lindsey Wilson (23-8), which received the league’s automatic bid into the NAIA field. The four other schools, also from the Mid-South Conference, claimed at-large bids: Georgetown (25-6), Cumberlands (21-9), Pikeville (28-4) and Campbellsville (23-9).
The 32-team NAIA field is divided into four brackets — the Naismith, Cramer, Duer and Liston brackets. Each bracket contains eight teams seeded one through eight.
Pikeville is the No. 1 seed in the Duer Bracket, which also includes No. 7 seed Campbellsville and defending national champion and No. 4 seed Texas Wesleyan (22-10).
Georgetown is the No. 3 seed in the Naismith Bracket, which is topped by The Master’s (Calif.) (29-2), the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed.
Cumberlands is seeded No. 5 and Lindsey Wilson No. 7 in the Cramer Bracket.
The field includes seven teams that have previously won national championships: Georgetown, Pikeville, Oklahoma City, Life (Ga.), Texas Wesleyan, Science and Arts (Okla.) and Dalton State (Ga.).
Georgetown is making its record 37th all-time trip to the NAIA national tournament. The Tigers have reached the NAIA Final Four 13 times and won national championships in 1998 and 2013.
Georgetown opens play Wednesday at 2:15 p.m. EDT against Central Baptist College of Conway, Ark. (21-8), which is the No. 6 seed in the Naismith Bracket.
Cumberlands, Lindsey Wilson, Pikeville and Campbellsville all play their tournament openers Thursday.
Cumberlands faces Dalton State College of Dalton, Ga. (24-8), at 10 a.m. EDT. Lindsey Wilson takes on Carroll of Helena, Mont. (27-5), at 1:30. Pikeville plays Langston University of Langston, Okla. (20-11), at 3:15. Campbellsville goes against Columbia College of Columbia (Mo.), at 5.
The tournament continues with second-round play March 16, quarterfinals March 17, semifinals March 19 and the championship game March 20. All games will be played at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City.
Two Kentucky teams make women’s field
Campbellsville and Lindsey Wilson will represent Kentucky in the 38th annual NAIA Division I women’s basketball national tournament next week in Billings, Mont.
Both schools, from the Mid-South Conference, received at-large bids into the 32-team field.
Campbellsville is making its 27th consecutive national tournament appearance, currently the nation’s longest streak.
Campbellsville (28-5) is the No. 1 seed in the Duer Bracket. Lindsey Wilson (25-7) is the No. 3 seed in the Liston Bracket.
Campbellsville opens play Wednesday at 2 p.m. EDT against Faulkner University of Montgomery, Ala. (25-6). Lindsey Wilson’s first game is Wednesday at 11:45 p.m. EDT against Martin Methodist College of Pulaski, Tenn. (26-7).
The women’s tournament continues through March 20 at Rimrock Auto Arena at Metrapark in Billings.