INDIANAPOLIS – The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team jumped two spots to No. 4 in the third edition of the NCAA Division II Central Region Rankings, announced Wednesday by the NCAA selection committee. With a 20-7 Division II record, the Beavers (21-7, 16-6 NSIC) find themselves in the top four regionally for the first time in program history.
The central region is made up of teams from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC). The top eight teams from the region will play in the NCAA Central Region Tournament March 10-13, hosted by the top seed. Winners of the NSIC and RMAC postseason tournaments receive automatic bids, with the remaining six spots filled by teams that earn at-large bids.
The NSIC is represented by six teams in the top ten, guided by Winona State University at No. 2 and followed by BSU, Southwest Minnesota State University at No. 5, St. Cloud State University at No. 6, Minnesota State University Moorhead at No. 8 and Augustana College at No. 9. RMAC’s Colorado School of Mines is the list’s No. 1 team, Metropolitan State University is No. 3, Adams State College is No. 7 and University of Nebraska-Kearney ranks No. 10.
The Beavers finished 16-6 in NSIC play to earn a NSIC Regular Season championship and the No. 1 seed in the NSIC/Sanford Health Men’s Basketball Tournament. BSU has already set a program record for wins in a season with 21.
BSU has been ranked in all three regional rankings this season. The 2003-04 Bemidji State team was NSIC regular season champions and were in the regional rankings four consecutive weeks before earning an NCAA at-large bid at No. 7. The team had a regional mark as high as No. 7. The 1993-94 squad was the only other team at BSU to appear in the regional rankings, earning its highest ranking at No. 8.
BSU hosts the eight-seeded Wayne State College (Neb.) Feb. 29 at 7 p.m. at BSU Gymnasium for the first round of the conference tournament. The winner moves on to the semifinals March 3 at 2:30 p.m. in Rochester, Minn.
|NCAA Central Region Rankings #3 (Feb. 29, 2012)|
|Rk||Team (Conference)||DII Record||Last Week|
|1||Colorado Mines (RMAC)||23-2||1|
|2||Winona State (NSIC)||21-4||2|
|3||Metro State (RMAC)||21-5||3|
|4||Bemidji State (NSIC)||20-7||6|
|5||Southwest Minnesota State (NSIC)||16-8||7|
|6||St. Cloud State (NSIC)||16-7||4|
|7||Adams State (RMAC)||15-7||8|
|8||MSU Moorhead (NSIC)||15-8||5|
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).