On March 10, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced that NSU would host the South Region of the 2013 NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championship tournament, March 15 to 18. Eight teams played in seven games at the Arena at the Don Taft University Center.
This was the first time that NSU was able to host a postseason national tournament as the top seed in any sport.
The Sharks placed a bid to host the tournament just before the deadline on March 1 and were given the nod to host after they were ranked number one in the South Region.
LeAnn Freeland, head coach of the NSU women’s basketball team said, “”The most exciting parts about hosting the NCAA South Region Tournament are having the support from the NSU students, faculty and staff and playing on our home court. Being the host site is a great opportunity to showcase our beautiful campus and outstanding arena.”
The selection process begins when each interested school places a bid. After each school places a bid, it has to wait until the regular season and conference tournaments are over. Once all games have been played, an NCAA committee ranks each team in the eight respective regions. The highest seed in each region that placed a bid is awarded both the excitement and challenges of hosting the NCAA regional tournament.
NSU Athletic Director Mike Mominey said, “I wouldn’t say there are particular difficulties in hosting an NCAA tournament, but rather there are challenges and opportunities. The timing isn’t particularly ideal in terms of planning, but it is much easier when the campus community is in full support of the event. That’s exactly the case with NSU, starting with President Hanbury, the executive administration, faculty, staff and students.”
Joining NSU in the South Region tournament are Clark Atlanta University, Rollins College, Lynn University, Delta State University, University of North Alabama, University of Alabama-Huntsville and Tuskegee University.
The winner of the tournament will play the winner of the West Regional in the quarterfinals of the NCAA National Championship tournament in San Antonio, Texas.
“We will absolutely bid on another NCAA tournament in the future,” Mominey said. “This is a great opportunity, not only for the athletic department, but for the university. Anytime we can showcase the university nationally, we definitely want to take advantage of the opportunity.”
As of March 17, NSU beat Clark Atlanta, 87-60 and Rollins, 73-57 to advance to the South Region Championship game against Delta State. The championship game was played March 18. However, this issue of “The Current” was sent to print on March 17. Look for coverage on the championship game in next week’s issue.