2023 NAIA Bracketology Report
Our NAIA Hoops Bracketology Report is simply for fun and does not mean we are 100% correct. Even if, in our final Bracketology Reports, we have missed just three teams in the past two seasons! As you will see by the information below, there is a lot of time and research spent on coming up with the 64 teams that make up our bracket. Things will change between now and the end of Conference Tournaments, but hopefully this is a fun guide for everyone to follow along with as we come down the home stretch. Most leagues are entering their final ten games of the season. Which means that games mean more as teams battle for titles, seeds and at-large spots. Resumes matter, wins matter and if bubble teams are hoping to be on the “IN” side of the bubble, losses matter too. Bad losses, or multiple losses, between now and the official bracket reveal can burst a team’s bubble. We will also see some “bid stealers” win their league tournament, get the auto-bid, and thus, knock a few bubble teams out of the NAIA National Championships!
On The Bubble
Last Four In
Wayland Baptist (Tex.) 11-6| RPI 94 | SOS 162 | ARC: 10th in the Southwest
At some point, you have to go from just being talented, to winning games. Wayland has really good talent, they just haven’t been able to win the big games. They have a couple of bad losses mixed in on their resume as well, but we have them on the “IN” line because of their six losses, the only one that was by double-figures was a 12-pt loss to No. 3 Langston. They are coming off a huge road win against RV USAO though, and now have seven home games to end the season on. This is a team that should surge a bit as we move into the latter parts of the season.
Concordia (Neb.) 11-7 | RPI 51 | SOS 41 | ARC: 9th in the North-Central
The Bulldogs started off the season playing some great basketball. Unfortunately, they have slipped up a bit losing 6 of their past 11 games. For now, they get the nod, but CUNE needs to add to their resume and it could start this weekend with a big win against Morningside. CUNE also only has one game, in February, against the top part of the GPAC Standings. They have a real opportunity to gain some momentum headed into the GPAC Tourney.
St. Thomas (Fl.) 16-4 | RPI 68 | SOS 195 | ARC: 7th in the Southeast
This is a talented Bobcat squad that has just four losses. They have a tough stretch of games coming up with a cross town rivalry game against Florida Memorial before heading on the road to Warner and Keiser and then finishing up that stretch with a home game against a Thomas (Ga.) team that current sits in 1st place in the league. If the Bobcats can sweep these next four games they may find themselves in 1st place in the Sun Conference. However, a couple of losses could put them in a tough spot to make the Sun Conference Tournament!
Dillard (La.) 10-2 | RPI 46 | SOS 178 | ARC: 8th in the Southeast
It will be interesting to see what the committee decides to do with Dillard. For us, they are in, but the home loss to Wiley last week wasn’t ideal. They have opportunities for some big and much needed wins at XULA and then two games vs Tougaloo. The GCAC may only get one team in, so the margin for error is very, very slim for these teams!
First Four Out
William Jessup (Calif.) 10-9 | RPI 50 | SOS 11 | ARC: 12th in the West
We believe the six teams that make the GSAC Tournament will qualify for the National Championships. Jessup right now is on the outside looking in even in their own conference tournament. They have work to be done within their own league. They need some wins to help boost their win%. A team with lots of talent and if they can stay healthy, gets some wins down the home stretch, they are a team who could wind up as a 4-seed within a Pod and no 1-seed wants that!
Hastings (Neb.) 12-6 | RPI 44 | SOS 65 | ARC: 11th in the North-Central
Todd Raridon, in his first year at Hastings, has the Broncos playing some tough basketball. Unfortunately, this current three game losing streak hasn’t come at a great time of year. They get their next two games at home and will look to get some momentum headed into the final month of the season. They have some tough road games ahead and need some big wins to get themselves an at-large spot.
Stillman (Ala.) 12-6 | RPI 81 | SOS 56 | ARC: 11th in the Southeast
The SSAC, coming off of a season that had two teams playig for a National Title, is still a very tough league. Loyola and Faulkner are the real deal, but don’t discredit Stillman or Life. Currently, it looks like the SSAC is a 3-bid league, but Stillman can make it a fourth team with a good end to the regular season.
Point Park (Pa.) 16-4 | RPI 93 | SOS 220| ARC: Not listed in the Great Lakes ARC Ratings
Why is a team not listed in the ARC Ratings in our First Four Out?! Simple, the River States Conference is better than what they are being given credit for and Jo Valrie and Cyrie Coates are good enough to give most teams fits in the National Tournament. Their SOS is lacking, but there aren’t many NAIA Schools in the Northeast part of the United States and I can assure you that not many schools want to go to Pittsburgh to play Point Park this season. This is a team, very capable of winning the RSC Tourney and would be a tough out in the National Tournament. They don’t seem to be on anyone’s radar, and this is us saying maybe they should be?
Second Four Out
Oklahoma City 9-8| RPI 95 | SOS 69 | ARC: 11th in the Southwest
The Stars record isn’t great, which means they have work to be done, but they have won 6 of their last 8 games, including 3 straight. With 11 games remaining they have the opportunity to really improve their resume. Freshman, Avery Jackson, continues to have a BIG Freshman campaign. If the Stars can improve their win% they are a team who could surprise some teams as well! They have an uphill battle to get their though.
Webber International (Fl.) 12-6 | RPI |SOS | ARC: 9th in the Southeast
Currently in 2nd place in the Sun Conference Standings. WIU is coming off of a 27pt lost to St Thomas though, a win that could have them sitting pretty. They have some tough road games coming up including a non-conference matchup against a Top 25 Florida College team. The Sun Conference, most likely, is going to just get two teams in, so they are going to have to overtake St Thomas or Thomas U if they want a shot.
Warner Pacific (Ore.) 12-5| RPI 56 | SOS 128| ARC: Not listed in the West ARC Ratings
The ARC favors Southern Oregon, but truth is, both have some work to do to get in. We lean with Warner Pacific. They sit at 9-3 in the CCC Standings, which is good enough for 3rd place at the moment. They did lose at home to SOU, so if it comes down to it, they will need to return the favor at the end of January. The Cascade has great tradition but is most likely capped at three teams this season.
Cornerstone (Mich.) 13-7 | RPI 45 | SOS 81| ARC: 10th in Great Lakes
The ARC release helps them in their cause, as the Great Lakes should get closer to 12 teams in again this year, but a loss to Madonna this week pushed them to 6th place in the WHAC Standings. The WHAC has a case to get four teams in, so Cornerstone has some work to do yet. They have a BIG game on Saturday with Lourdes. If they can finish in 4th or 5th place in regular season and then can make another run in the WHAC Tournament, they will get in. For now though, we have them on the outside looking in.