Lady Hornets selected to play Minnesota-Duluth in NCAA Tourney
EMPORIA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Lady Hornets have earned their 22nd trip to the NCAA Tournament and will be the #6 seed in the NCAA Division II Central Regional Tournament and will play third seeded Minnesota-Duluth in the first round at the UCM Multipurpose Building in Warrensburg, Mo. at 8:45 p.m. on Friday. It is the 22nd time in the last 25 years that Emporia State has qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
Emporia State is 18-6 on the year and went 17-5 to finish fourth in the MIAA this season. The Lady Hornets are 40-19 in NCAA Tournament play and are ranked fourth all-time among active Division II schools in total tournament wins. Emporia State has been to the Regional Championship 14 times, have made six trips to the Elite Eight, four to the Final Four, two national title game appearances and won the 2010 NCAA Division II National Championship.
This will be the first meeting between the Lady Hornets and the Bulldogs. They went 13-1 on the season, 9-1 in conference play while winning the NSIC regular season and tournament championships. They are 7-11 in NCAA Tournament play and counting last year’s tournament are making their 13th trip to the NCAA Tournament.
The Lady Hornets are one of four MIAA teams to make the regional field. In addition to Emporia State and host Central Missouri, Fort Hays State and Neb.-Kearney will be in action in Warrensburg this weekend.
For the 2021 Division II Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships, the traditional regional alignments have been adjusted to a blended regional alignment to provide a more equitable opportunity for teams to advance to their respective championship while trying to maintain geographic proximity for the schools in the regional. Prior to the approval, three regionals consisted of 15 or fewer active teams and three others comprised 36 or more active teams.
This year the NCAA Division II Central Region will be made up of the MIAA and NSIC for a total of 30 teams. It is the second largest region this year.
The NCAA has reduced field sizes at all Division II Championship events for the 2020-21 season, with basketball moving from 64 to 48 teams. As a result, just six teams will compete in the Central Regional.Tickets for the tournament will go on sale starting Monday, March 8 and can be found at the UCM ticketing website. Due to COVID-19, a limited number of tickets will be sold. Fans also must wear a mask and remain socially distant when sitting in the stands.
NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Central Regional
Hosted by the University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, Mo.First Round - Friday, March 12
6:00 p.m. St. Cloud State vs. Central Missouri
8:45 p.m. Emporia State vs. Minnesota-Duluth
Semifinals - Saturday, March 13
5:00 p.m. SCSU/UCM winner vs Fort Hays State
7:45 p.m. ESU/UMD winner vs. Neb.-Kearney
Championship - Monday, March 15
6:00 p.m. Championship Game
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