On Wednesday, March 10, Azusa Pacific’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will learn their official tournament seeding with the release of the championship brackets. College Fanz Sports Network, the world's largest online college sports community launched by ESPN founder Bill Rasmussen, will offer live video streaming broadcasts of the tournament bracket starting Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Pacific time. This broadcast will be available, live, free and on-demand, at www.CollegeFanz.com.
Both the NAIA Division I men’s and women’s championships are 32-team single-elimination tournaments, held March 17-23. The 73rd Annual NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship will be held at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo., and the 30th Annual NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship takes place in Oman Arena in Jackson, Tenn.
Azusa Pacific is 1 of 16 schools that has placed both its men’s and women’s basketball teams in their respective tournaments in NAIA Division I, with both programs claiming one of the Golden State Athletic Conference’s automatic bids to the national tournament. The Azusa Pacific women claimed the program’s first GSAC regular-season title since 2002, sharing the crown with GSAC Tournament champion Vanguard, and the Cougar men defeated GSAC regular-season champion Concordia Tuesday night to claim the GSAC Tournament title for the second straight year.
Only 6 of the 16 schools whose men’s and women’s programs qualified for both the men’s and women’s tournaments did so without the benefit of a host or at-large berth, claiming automatic bids solely through their respective conference’s qualification format. In addition to Azusa Pacific, the others were LSU-Shreveport (Gulf Coast Athletic Conference), Oklahoma Baptist (Sooner Athletic Conference), Southern Polytechnic (Southern States Athletic Conference), Saint Xavier (Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference) and William Jewell (Heart of America Athletic Conference).
Both of the Cougar basketball squads extend national tournament appearance streaks with this year’s bids. For Azusa Pacific’s men, this year’s trip to Kansas City marks the program's 15th consecutive NAIA Tournament appearance. The Cougars have posted a 24-17 (.585) all-time tournament record in 17 total appearances, the fourth-highest all-time tournament win total in this year’s field.
The Cougar women are making their seventh straight NAIA Tournament trip, and in 11 prior appearances the Cougars have posted a 4-12 all-time tournament record.