Saturday, March 9, 2013

NSIC Gets 7 NCAA D2 Tournament Slots; In Action Next Weekend March 15-19

The Northern Sun got 7 slots in the upcoming NCAA D2 tournament--4 for the men, and 3 for the women.

The Women

The women will play in the Central Region at Washburn, KA, beginning Friday March 15 and continuing on Saturday and Monday.

Concordia St. Paul (23-6, #1S during the regular season and a conference playoff semi-finalist) will play Augustana (24-6, #3S and conference playoff champion) in one 1st round game.

Minnesota State Mankato (25-5) will play Arkansas Tech. The winners advance to the 2nd round on Saturday night. The host, Washburn, is 23-5, suggesting that this could be a wide open region. 1 team will emerge from the 8 team region after 3 rounds of play, and will advance to the Elite 8.

The Men

4 men's teams will play, as in the Central Region, but this tournament is at Mankato, beginning on Saturday March 16 and continuing on Sunday and Tuesday March 17 and 19. 1 team will emerge from the 8 team region after 3 rounds of play and advance to the Elite 8.

The Minnesota State Mankato men (26-4) will also open play against Arkansas Tech. NSIC foes Augustana (21-8) and Upper Iowa (20-11) will play one another in the 1st round, and Winona State (24-7) will play Northeastern (MO) State. The 4 NSIC teams are seeded #1 (Mankato), #2, #3 and #6 in the region.

Personally, I think St. Cloud State or Bemidji State deserved to be in the tournament ahead of Upper Iowa. St. Cloud won the North Division but lost to Upper Iowa in the 1st round of the playoffs to finish at 20-8. Bemidji upset Winona and Upper Iowa to get to the NSIC playoff final before losing to Mankato to finish 18-12. Upper Iowa finished #4 in the South Division.

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