Cougars Make Final NAIA Championship Run
By Matt Berson
The Cal State San Marcos men's and women's basketball teams will make their final appearances in the NAIA Division I National Championships starting Wednesday, Mar. 18, 2015 in Missouri. CSUSM, which is currently in its final year of NAIA competition eligibility, will compete in NCAA Division II in 2015-16 and beyond.
The men’s tournament takes place at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo., from March 18-24. CSUSM received the No. 3 overall seed and will take on Philander Smith (Ark.) (20-9) in the first round on Wednesday at 11:15 a.m.
The Cougars, who hold a 28-3 overall record and a five-game win streak, qualified for their third straight national championship tournament after taking home their second consecutive Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Conference title last Saturday.
If the Cougars are victorious on Wednesday, they will advance to play the winner of No. 14-seed Georgetown (Ky.) (25-7) and Arizona Christian (24-8) on Friday, Mar. 20.
The Cougars advanced to the NAIA quarterfinals last season before being eliminated by eventual national runner-up Emmanuel (Ga.).
For a full release on the men’s national championship, click here.
The NAIA Division I Women’s National Championship takes place March 18-24 at the Independence Events Center in Independence, Mo. No. 8-seed CSUSM will play top-seed and No. 1-ranked Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) in the first round on March 18 at 6 p.m.
The Cougars (16-15), who are making their second straight trip to the “Big Dance, qualified by winning their second consecutive A.I.I. championship last Saturday in Montgomery, W. Va. They’re also riding a five game winning streak with three of the games decided by three points or less.
Freed-Hardeman carries a 32-1 record after winning the American Midwest Conference, and were the 2014 national runner-up. The winner of CSUSM-FHU will advance to play the victor of No. 5-seed Wiley (Texas) (22-4) and No. 4-seed Benedictine (Kan.) (25-8) on Friday, Mar. 20 at 10:30 a.m.
CSUSM fell to then-No. 1 seed Vanguard in the opening round of the 2014 national tournament.
For a full release on the women’s national championship, click here.
The first 30 games of the both NAIA national championships will be video-streamed live on NAIANetwork.com, the NAIA’s official video-streaming platform, powered by Stretch Internet.