The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) officially announced the 32 qualifiers and bracket for the 80th annual Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship. No. 10 Texas Wesleyan will take on No. 22 University of the Cumberlands (KY) at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 16.
In its 80th rendition, College Basketball's Toughest Tournament is the longest continuous running college national championship (longer than either the NCAA Tournament or the NIT). The event will be held in Kansas City, MO, at historic Municipal Auditorium for the 53rd overall time and 16th straight year. Kansas City is hosting the event for the 72nd time.
Tickets can be purchased here. The first 30 games of the tournament will be streamed live on NAIANetwork.com and the Championship Game will be live on ESPN3. Live audio of all games will also be available for free on My Town Media.
The field is comprised of 14 automatic berths, 17 at-large berths, and a championship host berth (Mount Mercy (IA). At large, teams were determined using the final regular-season NAIA Coaches' Top-25 poll which was also released on Wednesday. In that rating, the Rams fell one place to 10th, while Cumberlands dropped one spot to No. 22.
The 32 teams are divided into four brackets. Texas Wesleyan is 3rd seed in the Liston Bracket while Cumberlands is a 6-seed. No. 3 Dalton State (GA) is the top-seed in the Liston Bracket which also features a familiar name in 5th seeded LSU-Shreveport.
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