AZUSA, Calif.-- The road to a repeat became more clear today as the NAIA released the bracket for the 2012 championship tournament. The 9th ranked Cougars, who received a 3-seed, open against 6th seeded MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) in the first round on Wednesday at 12 p.m. (EST) in Frankfort, Ky.
Complete Bracket Click Here (PDF)
How Azusa Pacific Got Here:
The Cougars (24-7, 15-3) received one of the Golden State Athletic Conference’s two automatic bids after reaching the conference title game. Azusa Pacific lost to Westmont, but had been the GSAC’s hottest team; winning eight straight, including wins over the Warriors and fellow qualifier Vanguard, which finished in a tie for 2nd in the regular season standings. Azusa Pacific posted five wins over top-25 teams this year and registered victories against two teams (Westmont, Lubbock Christian) that are currently ranked in the top-5. The Cougars went 6-6 against this year's tournament field.
What Azusa Pacific Did In Last Year’s Tournament:
The Cougars navigated their way to the program’s second straight title game and defeated the three-time reigning champions, Union (Tenn.) for the school’s first national championship in women’s basketball. Azusa Pacific is 15-13 in the NAIA tournament and is making its 14th appearance.
How MidAmerica Nazarene Got Here:
The Pioneers earned the Heart of America Athletic Conference’s automatic bid after defeating Graceland (Iowa) 79-70 in the HAAC’s tournament championship. MidAmerica Nazarene (25-8, 15-3) beat Missouri Valley College in the opening round 63-42, and recorded a 68-51 win over Benedictine (Kan.) in the semifinals. The Pioneers enter the tournament with a seven game winning streak. MNU went 3-2 against teams in this year's tournament.
What MidAmerica Nazarene Did In Last Year’s Tournament:
MidAmerica Nazarene is making its first appearance in the championship tournament.
For more information on the NAIA Championship Tournament Click Here