Morningside College will face Trinity International University in the first round of the 2018 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship at 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, March 8, at The Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Morningside, ranked fifth in the final regular season NAIA II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, will take a 26-6 record and a seven-game winning streak into the national tournament. The Mustangs won the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) regular season championship with a 14-4 league record and the GPAC Post-Season Tournament championship with an 80-76 victory against Northwestern College to win both titles in the same season for the first time in school history.
Morningside will make its 15th NAIA National Tournament appearance. The Mustangs’ last NAIA II National Tournament appearance came in 2015 when they defeated Tabor College 86-79 in the first round and lost 72-70 against the University of Saint Francis in the second round.
The Mustangs are in the NAIA II National Tournament for the sixth time during the Jim Sykes coaching era. Morningside has a 5-5 record in national tournament competition during the Sykes era and an all-time record of 10-14 in NAIA National Tournament competition.
Unranked Trinity International has a record of 21-10, including an 8-2 mark over its last 10 games. The Trojans finished third in the 14-team Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 14-6 league record.
Trinity International will make its fifth NAIA II National Tournament appearance and has an all-time record of 3-4 in NAIA II National Tournament play. The Trojans advanced to the quarterfinals of last year’s tournament before they bowed out with a 98-60 loss against eventual NAIA II National Champion Union College.
The first round matchup will be the first-ever men’s basketball meeting between Morningside and Trinity International. The winner will face the victor of a first round game between No. 12 Warner Pacific University and No. 21 Southeastern University in a second round game at 5:45 p.m. on Friday, March 9.
Morningside College will face the University of Rio Grande in the first round of the 2018 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 8, at Sioux City’s Tyson Events Center/Gateway Arena.
Morningside, ranked 13th in the final regular season NAIA II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, has a 21-11 record. The Mustangs finished fifth in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) standings with a 13-7 league mark.
Morningside will make its 16th consecutive appearance in the NAIA II National Tournament and its 17th NAIA National Tournament appearance overall. The Mustangs reached the second round of last year’s national tourney, where they suffered an 80-72 loss against College of the Ozarks.
Morningside won NAIA Division II National Championships under head coach Jamie Sale in 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2015. Morningside has an all-time record of 38-12 in NAIA National Tournament competition, including a 38-11 record under Sale.
No. 20 Rio Grande has a 30-3 record and a four-game winning streak. The RedStorm won the East Division championship of the River States Conference with a 15-2 league record and defeated West Division champion Alice Lloyd College 90-85 in the River State Conference Tournament Championship Game.
Rio Grande will make its third appearance in the NAIA II Women’s Basketball National Championship and its first since 2015. The RedStorm has an all-time record of 0-2 in NAIA II Women’s Basketball National Championship competition.
The first round matchup will be the first-ever women’s basketball meeting between Morningside and Rio Grande. The winner will face the victor of a first round game between No. 4 Saint Xavier University and unranked Tabor College in a second round game at 8:45 p.m. on Friday, March 9.