SSU women earn No. 1 seed in NAIA tournament
PORTSMOUTH — Shawnee State women’s basketball were picked as the number one overall seed for the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Tournament, and will play eight seed Grand View (Iowa) in the first round in Billings, Montana.
SSU was voted number one in the final NAIA Coaches’ Poll, ensuring their selection as the number one overall seed.
The Bears have been number one for three polls in a row, and earn their first number one overall seed since joining NAIA Division I in 2010-11, and their second number one overall. The Bears were also the number one seed at the 2000-01 NAIA Division II National Tournament.
Shawnee State will play Grand View on Thursday, March 15 at 6:15pm. The Bears and Vikings have played once before, also in the NAIA National Tournament. Shawnee State defeated Grand View 75-55 on Saturday, March 13, 2010 in the NAIA Division II Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa.
Shawnee State are the one seed in the Naismith Bracket. If the Bears win, they will take on the winner of the four-five game between Wayland Baptist (Texas) and Lyon (Ark.). SSU has played one team in the Naismith Bracket this season, as seven seed Bethel (Tenn.) plays two seed Vanguard (Calif.).
Elsewhere around the Mid-South Conference, Campbellsville also earned a number one seed in the Liston Bracket, and will take on Faulkner (Ala.) in the first round. Lindsey Wilson are the three seed in the Liston Bracket and take on Martin Methodist (Tenn.). Cumberland (Tenn.) are the eight seed in the Cramer Bracket and take on Westmont (Calif.).
The top seven teams from in this week’s final poll remained the same. Freed-Hardeman remained ranked second, followed by Campbellsville, Westmont, Oklahoma City, Columbia (Mo.) and Vanguard. Central Methodist (Mo.) moved up to number eight, Carroll (Mont.) moved to ninth and LSU Shreveport are now 10th overall.
Only one team dropped from this week’s poll, as Benedictine fell from 20th to receiving votes. William Penn, fellow member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference, replaced them in the top 25, moving to 24th after reaching the Heart Championship Game. Loyola (La.) were the week’s biggest risers, moving from 25th to 20th.
The Heart of America Athletic Conference and Golden State Athletic Conference each put five teams in the tournament, tying for the most in the tournament. The Mid-South Conference put four teams in, tying the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC), the Frontier Conference, and the American Midwest Conference.
Buffalo Wild Wings is the proud postseason sponsor of Shawnee State women’s basketball. Shawnee State fans can join the SSU women’s basketball team at the Portsmouth store on Saturday, March 10 for a send-off party. The party is scheduled from 12:00pm-1:00pm.