The NAIA announced changes to its men’s and women’s basketball championships on Friday.
It reduced the teams in the national tournament from 64 to 48 teams in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of 16, four-team tournaments per gender, there will now be eight, six-team (three-team pod) tournaments per gender. Wichita, Kansas, Omaha, Nebraska, and Alexandria, Louisiana will remain hosts.
The new format will still be designed to maintain conference at-large berths. Each opening round site will feature two, three-team pod tournaments in which the No. 1 seed will receive a bye. The No. 2 and 3 seeds will play each other on the first day, and then face the top seed for the championship.
The winner of the championship game advances to the NAIA national championship final site. Sioux City, Iowa, hosts the women’s national tournament, while the men’s final site is in Kansas City, Missouri.