VCSU Men Qualify for NAIA Tournament
After four days of anxious waiting and scoreboard watching, the Valley City State University men’s basketball team found out Wednesday it has earned a spot in the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship.
The Vikings, ranked No. 23 in the nation, were announced Wednesday night as an at-large selection for the 32-team national tournament, which takes place March 9-15 in Point Lookout, Mo.
VCSU (21-10) is a No. 6 seed and plays No. 3 seed Tennessee Wesleyan (28-3) – a member of the Appalachian Athletic Conference – on Thursday, March 10, at 8:30 a.m.
The Vikings lost in the semifinals of the North Star Athletic Association conference tournament on Saturday, and then were left to wonder if they did enough to earn an at-large big to the national tournament. Twenty-one wins and a strong non-conference schedule was validated Wednesday as enough to earn a spot in the national tournament field.
It will be VCSU’s second national tournament appearance in the last four seasons, both coming under head coach Jeff Kaminsky. VCSU went to the national tournament during the 2012-13 season and suffered a first-round loss to Indiana University Southeast, 75-72. Prior to that, VCSU’s last national tournament appearance came in 1987.
This will be the fifth national tournament appearance in program history. The Vikings have a 1-4 record in national tournament games.
Valley City State has posted a 21-10 overall record this season and earned a share of the North Star Athletic Association regular season championship. VCSU is one of three programs representing the NSAA at the national tournament. Dakota State (19-13) earned the conference’s automatic bid after winning the conference tournament. Bellevue University (20-11), ranked No. 25 in the nation, earned the final at-large bid into the national tournament.
Nationwide, twenty-three teams earned automatic bids to the tournament through regular season and conference tournament results, and College of the Ozarks qualified as the host school. Valley City State was one of eight at-large selections to fill out the 32-team bracket.
Courtesy VCSU Athletics