By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION
INDIANAPOLIS – The fifth-ranked Fort Hays State women’s basketball team has been selected as the top overall seed in the Central Region of the 2021 NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championship, announced on Selection Sunday (March 7) by the NCAA. It is the third time the Tigers have been the No. 1 seed in the region in the last seven years.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA made the decision to select predetermined sites that will host each of the eight regional tournaments. As a result, the top-seeded Tigers will head to Warrensburg, Mo. to compete for a regional title.
The NCAA has also 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.
Because of the reduced field size, the top two teams in each region will receive a bye into the regional semifinals. Fort Hays State will play the winner of fourth-seeded Central Missouri and fifth-seeded St. Cloud State on Saturday (March 13) at 5 p.m. with a trip to the regional championship game on the line.
The Tigers are one of four MIAA teams in the Central Region field this year, joined by No. 2 seed Nebraska-Kearney, No. 4 seed Central Missouri and No. 6 seed Emporia State. The Northern Sun is represented by two teams – No. 3 Minnesota Duluth and No. 5 St. Cloud State.
Tickets will be available for purchase beginning Monday morning via the following link. Fans are strongly encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance, but sales will be made at the gate. Free live video will also be available on The MIAA Network for those unable to make the trip to Warrensburg.
The winners of Saturday’s regional semifinals will play for the regional title next Monday (March 15) at 6 p.m. All eight regional champions will meet up in Columbus, Ohio for the Elite Eight. The national quarterfinals will be played on Tuesday, March 23 followed by the national semifinals on Wednesday, March 24. An NCAA Division II women’s basketball national champion will be decided on Friday, March 26.
2021 NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championships – Central Region Seeds
No. 1 – Fort Hays State (22-3) – At-Large, MIAA Regular Season Champions
No. 2 – Nebraska-Kearney (22-3) – Auto bid, MIAA Tournament Champions
No. 3 – Minnesota Duluth (13-1) – Auto bid, NSIC Regular Season and Tournament Champions
No. 4 – Central Missouri (19-4) – At-Large
No. 5 – St. Cloud State (12-5) – At-Large
No. 6 – Emporia State (18-6) – At-Large
Central Region Championships Schedule (Times TBD)
Friday, March 12 – Opening Round
No. 4 Central Missouri vs. No. 5 St. Cloud State – 6 p.m.
No. 3 Minnesota Duluth vs. No. 6 Emporia State – 8:45 p.m.
Saturday, March 13 – Regional Semifinals
No. 1 Fort Hays State vs. UCM/SCSU – 5 p.m.
No. 2 Nebraska-Kearney vs. UMD/ESU – 7:45 p.m.
Monday, March 15
Regional Championship Game – 6 p.m.