KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After suffering a heartbreaking defeat in the Association of Independent Institutions Championship on Saturday, the 2013-14 season was in jeopardy for the Ashford University men’s basketball team.
Wednesday afternoon, the Saints learned that they will have the chance to step on the floor for at least one more game.
The Saints received the ninth at-large bid to the 32-team 2014 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship after the NAIA’s final Division II Top-25 Coaches’ Poll had the Saints (23-9) as the 24th-best team in the country. It marks the third time in program history that the Saints will compete in the national tournament, which gets under way next Wednesday in Point Lookout, Mo.
Coach Oliver Drake and the Saints will tip off the tournament at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday against the No. 9 team in the country, Davenport University (Mich.) The Panthers finished the regular season with a 27-6 record and earned an at-large bid after winning the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.
On the women’s side, AU secured its first ever berth in the Division II Women’s Basketball National Tournament by defeating Indiana University Northwest in the A.I.I. Tournament Championship held in Clinton this past Saturday.
Awaiting Head Coach Kelly Kruger and the Saints (12-20) in the first round will be the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed, St. Francis (Ind.). St. Francis earned an automatic bid to the tournament by winning the Crossroads League, finishing with a perfect 33-0 record. Tipoff is set for noon Wednesday at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City.