Cougars Draw Montana State-Northern
COLUMBIA -- The Columbia Cougar basketball team will play Montana State-Northern in the first round of the NAIA Division I Men's National Basketball Tournament, according to the official bracket released Wednesday by the NAIA National Office. It is the first-ever meeting between the two squads.
The Cougars, who received an automatic bid into the tournament after winning the American Midwest Conference tournament title, will square off against The Lights from Montana State at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City at 8:45 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14.
The Cougars hold an overall record of 26-6. Montana State, which is 27-6 overall, enters the national tournament unseeded after earning an automatic bid for winning the Frontier Conference Championship.
The Lights are making their sixth appearance to the national playoff and return all players from last year's team that made the trip to Kansas City.
The tournament is a single-elimination format featuring 18 automatic qualifiers from 12 Division I affiliated conferences and independent institutions, one host berth and 13 at-large teams. The top 16 teams are seeded in descending order and paired against 16 unseeded squads in the opening round.
First round action in the NAIA National Tournament begins on Wednesday, March 14 and continues through Thursday, March 15.
Prior to the start of the tournament the Cougars and 31 other teams will attend the Tip-Off Banquet on Tuesday, March 13th at 6:30 p.m. in the Kansas City Convention Center Grand Ballroom. On Tuesday evening, the NAIA will formally induct Cougar head coach Bob Burchard and Mr. Clarence ‘Bevo' Francis of the University of Rio Grande into the NAIA Hall of Fame.