KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has officially announced the 32 qualifiers for the 29th annual NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship, presented by Athletic Care. The event takes place at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D., March 11-17.
This year’s field consists of 24 automatic berths, seven at-large spots and one host berth. Automatic qualification is given to conference regular-season champions, regular-season runners-up, tournament champions or tournament runners-up depending on the league. At-large teams were determined using the final regular-season Coaches’ Top 25 Poll released today.
The NAIA Network, the association’s official video streaming home, will broadcast the first 30 games leading up to the championship final on ESPN3. The video platform, powered by Stretch Internet, allows users to access video, statistics, and social interaction on a number of devices, including mobile. Single-day passes can be purchased for $9.95, while an all-tournament package is available at $34.95.
College of Idaho heads to the Sioux Falls as the No. 1 seed with a record of 30-3. The Yotes extended their school-record win streak to 24 games. College of Idaho won the Cascade Collegiate Conference Tournament clinching their third-straight 30-win season.
Defending national champion Spring Arbor (Mich.) enters the tournament as a No. 19 overall seed earning an at-large bid.
Twenty one of the qualifying teams return to the Sioux Falls for a second year in a row qualifying for the 2019 National Championship last year.
Nine teams have made at least 10 appearances at the national championship. College of the Ozarks (Mo.) leads the group with 23rd appearances their first trip being in 1995.
Crossroads League is home to five national qualifying teams this year including: Grace (Ind.), Indiana Wesleyan, Marian (Ind.), Saint Francis (Ind.) and Spring Arbor (Mich.).
Ten qualifying institutions have won an NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball national championship. Three programs have won multiple titles Indiana Wesleyan and Oregon Tech leading that list each with three apiece.
The cornerstone of the Sanford Sports Complex in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is the Sanford Pentagon, a 160,000-square-foot, five-sided facility featuring nine basketball courts, including the 1950s/1960s-inspired Heritage Court. The venue combines state-of-the-art amenities—including high-definition video boards and executive suites—with period-specific finishes that are a nod to the nostalgic days of basketball. The 3,200-seat Pentagon is home to Sanford POWER Basketball Academy, Sanford POWER Volleyball Academy, the NBA G League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Women’s and Men’s Basketball Tournament and the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame.
Parking and accommodations
Parking at the Sanford Pentagon is available on the east, west and north side of the facility. Need to eat? Blue Rock Bar and Grill is now open with a new space and new menu. The Pentagon includes full-service concession stands. Want to stay close to the arena? The Fairfield Inn & Suites is also across the street. The venue also has an official team store and several ATM stations.
The South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame calls the Sanford Pentagon home. Visitors can enjoy the free exhibit that includes historical photos, records and memorabilia. In fact, the entire facility is trek to a different era. The Pentagon took great care to include old photos, jerseys and mementos throughout the venue. One of this year’s new elements highlights former high school championship teams. That’s available for viewing on the second level.