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DWU women land top-seed in four-team pod, will play NAIA opening round in Omaha

Tigers to meet with Saint Francis (Ind.) in the first game on March 11

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(Republic file photo)

MITCHELL -- The Dakota Wesleyan University women’s basketball team found out it won’t have far to travel to play in the NAIA women’s basketball national tournament.

The Tigers, who qualified via winning the Great Plains Athletic Conference tournament title on March 1, was the top-seed in its four-team pod and will be playing in Omaha, Nebraska on March 11 and 12.

DWU, seeded fourth in the Naismith quadrant of the bracket, will take on No. 13 Saint Francis, of Indiana, in the first game on March 11, with a game time of 11 a.m. The games will be played on the campus of Creighton University at the Bluejays’ Sokol Arena.

The winner will play No. 5 St. Xavier (Ill.) or No. 12 Bethel (Tenn.) in the second round at 1:45 p.m. The second-round game will be played at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 12 involving the winners from March 11.

The teams are part of the larger 16-team bracket, with the four remaining teams after the first weekend advancing to Sioux City, Iowa to play out the final four rounds down from 16 to the national championship.

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Saint Francis (Ind.) was 17-9 overall and 11-6 in the Crossroads League and was knocked out in the first round of its conference tournament. The Cougars won six games in a row to end the regular season.

DWU (26-7) has won four games in a row, including its first conference tournament title, and was one of six GPAC teams to make the field of 64 when it was announced Thursday night. Also in the field from the conference is Morningside (27-5), Dordt (24-8), Northwestern (24-8) and Briar Cliff (17-13).

The Tigers have already played five games in the state of Nebraska this season, building a 3-2 record in those contests.

Four NAIA men's tournament teams are also sharing the site with the DWU women, which inludes Marian (Ind.), Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), Concordia (Neb.) and Indiana Northwest.

NAIA women's basketball tournament opening-round matchups 

March 11, 2022

Naismith Quadrant

First round — Lakeland, Fla.

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No. 1 Southeastern (Fla.) (29-1) vs. No. 16 Xavier (La.) (21-6), 2 p.m.

No. 8 Cumberlands (Ky.) (20-12) vs. No. 9 Rust (Miss.) (25-3), noon

First round — Omaha, Neb.

No. 4 Dakota Wesleyan (26-7) vs. No. 13 Saint Francis (Ind.) (17-9), 11 a.m.

No. 5 Saint Xavier (Ill.) (25-6) vs. No. 12 Bethel (Tenn.) (19-13), 1:30 p.m.

First round — New Orleans, La.

No. 3 Carroll (Mont.) (25-7) vs. No. 14 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), (16-15), time TBD.

No. 6 Loyola (La.) (22-5) vs. No. 11 Menlo (Calif.) (16-12), time TBD.

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First round — Sioux City, Iowa

No. 2 Morningside (Iowa) (27-5) vs. No. 15 Iowa Wesleyan (19-5), time TBD.

No. 7 Texas Wesleyan (25-6) vs. No. 10 St. Francis (Ill.) (26-6), time TBD.

Cramer Quadrant

First round — Bowling Green, Ky.

No. 1 Campbellsville (Ky.) (29-4) vs. No. 16 Rochester (Mich.) (23-9), time TBD.

No. 8 Benedictine (Kan.) (21-10) vs. No. 9 Concordia (Neb.) (16-13), time TBD.

First round — Park City, Kan.

No. 5 Dordt (Iowa) (24-8) vs. No. 12 IU East (Ind.) (25-7), noon

No. 4 Sterling (Kan.) (31-2) vs. No. 13 Eastern Oregon (22-10), 2 p.m.

First round — Marion, Ind.

No. 6 Northwestern (Iowa) (24-8) vs. No. 11 Midway (Ky.) (25-7), noon

No. 3 Indiana Wesleyan (28-4) vs. No. 14 IU South Bend (Ind.) (25-7), 5 p.m.

First round — Newhall, Calif.

No. 2 The Master’s (Calif.) (29-3) vs. No. 15 UC Merced (18-7), time TBD.

No. 7 Georgetown (Ky.) (22-11) vs. No. 10 Southern Oregon (28-5), time TBD.

Duer Quadrant

First round — Crestview Hills, Ky.

No. 1 Thomas More (Ky.) (26-4) vs. No. 16 Haskell (Kan.) (14-13), time TBD.

No. 8 Lyon (Ark.) (27-5) vs. No. 9 Grand View (Iowa) (24-7), time TBD.

First round — Dayton, Tenn.

No. 5 Indiana Tech (30-2) vs. No. 12 Pikeville (Ky.) (18-13), 5 p.m.

No. 4 Bryan (Tenn.) (30-1) vs. No. 13 Webber International (Fla.) (21-7), 7 p.m.

First round — Plainview, Texas

No. 6 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) (27-4) vs. No. 11 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (18-11), time TBD.

No. 3 Wayland Baptist (Texas) (31-3) vs. No. 14 Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) (20-10), time TBD.

First round — Billings, Mont.

No. 2 Rocky Mountain (Mont.) (26-4) vs. No. 15 Reinhardt (Ga.) (25-8), time TBD.

No. 7 Hope International (Calif.) (26-5) vs. No. 10 Dakota State (26-7), time TBD.

Liston Quadrant

First round — Santa Barbara, Calif.

No. 1 Westmont (Calif.) (25-4) vs. No. 16 Westcliff (14-10), 6 p.m.

No. 8 Science and Arts (Okla.) (22-9) vs. No. 9 Montana Western (15-13), 4 p.m.

First round — Alexandria, La.

No. 4 Central Methodist (Mo.) (27-5) vs. No. 13 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) (20-12), 1 p.m.

No. 5 Providence (Mont.) (25-6) vs. No. 12 Talladega (Ala.) (19-11), 3 p.m.

First round — Wichita, Kan.

No. 6 Mid-America Christian (Okla.) (27-4) vs. No. 11 Briar Cliff (Iowa) (17-13), time TBD.

No. 3 Clarke (Iowa) (29-4) vs. No. 14 Tabor (Kan.) (22-8), time TBD.

First round — Indianapolis, Ind.

No. 2 Marian (Ind.) (27-4) vs. No. 15 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (20-11), 4 p.m.

No. 7 Rio Grande (Ohio) (31-2) vs. No. 10 Columbia (Mo.) (26-6), 6 p.m.

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