This will be the 2nd to last posting of our Bracketology Report. As in years past, we have partnered with Red Banner Roundball (@RedBannerRB) to bring you the BEST NAIA Tournament coverage around! This is a FUN report that should help give insights to the automatic qualifiers, the teams we see as at-large bids at the moment, plus much, much more! Red Banner Roundball serves as our “Joey Brackets” type figure and in the final Bracketology Report last season, he went 48 of 48 on teams making the National Tournament. While this is the 1st Bracketology Report of the season, we do expect plenty of teams to play themselves both in and out of the tournament picture! With this just being the 2nd year of having 1 division in the NAIA and the 1st year with the full 64 team field, there are plenty of interesting perspectives on how it pans out. While we won’t always have all of the answers, hopefully you can use this as your guide as we finish the last two months of the season!
For the actual NAIA Selection Committee Policy you can read more here:
Tournament Pods Breakdown
Committee Appointment Process Area Ranking Committees (ARC) – Area Ranking Committees will consist of a representative from each conference in that local area as well as an at-large representative from the National Selection Committee. ARC’s will meet, via conference call, every other week beginning Monday, January 17. The out-of-area, at-large representative being involved in this part of the process allows for a better understanding of another area that isn’t their own and also adds more transparency.
River States Conference
Southern States Athletic Conference
The Sun Conference
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
Red River Athletic Conference
Sooner Athletic Confer
California Pacific ConferenceGreat Plains Athletic Conference
North Star Athletic ConferenceChicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference
North Star Athletic Conference
There are still some things to be played out, but this is kind of what we have settled in on. We feel that 13 of the 25 at-large slots are locks. It now comes down to who those final 12 teams are!?
Locks: William Jessup, Montana Tech, Faulkner, Hope International, Southeastern (FL), Saint Francis, Tennessee Southern, Grace/Marian (Whoever doesn’t win CL Title), Stillman, Southwestern (KS), Huntington, Cumberland, Jamestown.
Should Be In: Lewis-Clark State, Oregon Tech, Northwestern (IA), Kansas Wesleyan, Oklahoma City
Questionable: MACU, Lourdes, Dordt, Cumberlands, Cornerstone, Vanguard, Warner, Doane, Ottawa, Shawnee State, Benedictine, Freed-Hardeman, Mount Vernon Nazarene, Ave Maria, John Brown
Likely Not: Alice Lloyd, The Master’s, Texas Wesleyan, Corban, MSU Northern, Montana Western, Rochester Tougaloo