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Thomas More to Host Opening Rounds of NAIA Men's, Women's Basketball Tournaments

Thomas More University will host the opening rounds of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) men's and women's basketball tournaments' opening rounds.

The top-ranked Thomas More women’s basketball team has earned an automatic bid in the Women’s National Championship by winning the Mid-South Conference regular season. The men’s basketball team can earn an automatic bid to the Men’s National Championship if it wins the Mid-South Tournament or will have to receive an at-large bid that will be announced on March 4.

In January, the National Administrative Council (NAC) approved a basketball measure that reduced the overall field size.

The basketball move will directly affect NAIA National Championship Opening Rounds, which will change from 16, four-team tournaments per gender to eight, six-team (three-team pod) tournaments per gender.

Each opening round site will feature two, three-team “pod” tournaments (per gender) in which the top seed will receive a bye. The second and third-seeded teams will play each other on day one and will face the top seed in that pod for the championship. The winner of that final game will go to the NAIA National Championship final site in either Sioux City, Iowa (women) or Kansas City, Missouri (men).

Preference was given to hosts who could accommodate both genders due to the complexity of logistics of pre-championship COVID-19 testing, which will be a part of all 2021 NAIA championships. 

In 2022 the men’s and women’s championship will return to 64 team format with (16) regional opening round sites.

Thomas More will host games at the Connor Convocation Center in Crestview Hills.

-Staff report

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