BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team debuted at No. 8 in the first NCAA Division II Central Region Rankings, announced Wednesday by the NCAA selection committee. The ranking marks the fourth team in program history to earn a spot in the regional poll.
The central region is made up of teams from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC), Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) and the Great American Conference (GAC). The top eight teams from the region will advance to the NCAA Central Region Tournament March 15-16, 18, hosted by the top seed. Winners of the NSIC, MIAA and GAC postseason tournaments receive automatic bids, with the remaining five spots are filled by teams that earn at-large bids. The NCAA Men's Basketball Selection Show is set for 9:30 p.m. March 9. The NCAA Elite 8 will take place March 26-27, 29 at Ford Center in Evansville, Ind.
The NSIC is represented by five teams in the top 10, with Winona State University and Minnesota State University, Mankato at No. 1 and No. 2, respectfully. BSU is eighth, followed by Southwest Minnesota State University at No. 9 and St. Cloud State University at No. 10. The MIAA holds down spots three-six with Missouri Southern State University, Northwest Missouri State University, University of Central Missouri and Fort Hays State University. The lone GAC team is Arkansas Tech at No. 7.
The Beavers were ranked in all three regional polls in 2011-12 and all four weekly rankings in 2003-04, en route to earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, the only two NCAA appearances in program history. The 2011-12 team appeared as high as No. 4 before earning the No. 3 seed in the national tournament, while the 2003-04 squad earned a spot at No. 7. The 1993-94 team was the only other squad at BSU to appear in the regional rankings, earning its highest ranking at No. 8.
With a two-game lead in the NSIC North over Minnesota State University Moorhead and St. Cloud State University, the Beavers (18-6, 15-5 NSIC) are in control of their own destiny to earn the outright NSIC North Title and the No. 1 seed in the North for the NSIC/Sanford Health Men’s Basketball Tournament, heading into the final weekend of regular season play.
The Beavers head to the road to end the regular season, Feb. 21-22 at University of Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State, but will return home for the first round of the tournament, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m.
|CENTRAL REGION RANKINGS #1|
|1||Winona State (NSIC)||18-4||18-4|
|2||Minnesota State-Mankato (NSIC)||19-4||18-3|
|3||Missouri Southern State (MIAA)||14-5||12-5|
|4||Northwest Missouri State (MIAA)||15-6||15-5|
|5||Central Missouri (MIAA)||17-4||17-3|
|6||Fort Hays State (MIAA)||18-4||18-4|
|7||Arkansas Tech (GAC)||15-6||15-6|
|8||Bemidji State (NSIC)||15-6||15-6|
|9||Southwest Minnesota State (NSIC)||15-9||15-9|
|10||St. Cloud State (NSIC)||14-7||14-7|
For more information on the Bemidji State men’s basketball program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUHoops or @BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/Bemidji-State-Basketball or facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Mulitmedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).