SAGU Lions: "Going to Kansas City"
Team, fans bound for City of Fountains
NAIA hoops tournament set for March 13-19
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Located in the heartlands of America lies Kansas City, Missouri. Known for its jazz and blues music, barbecue and for having more fountains than any city in the world besides Rome, KC is also the home of the NAIA's basketball tournament.
Plans are being made now for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national championship tourney in Kansas City.
Southwestern Assemblies of God University, winners of their first-ever Red River Athletic Conference championship, have automatically qualified for the 32-team field. It will be their second trip to event.
In 2006, thanks to advancing to the RRAC tournament finals, the Jerry Boone-coached Lions earned a berth in the tourney.
The current Lions, who moved up to no. 6 in this week’s Top 25 Coaches Poll, also picked up a forfeit victory to lift SAGU to 27-3 entering the RRAC tournament this weekend.
A year ago the NAIA selected three teams from the Red River for the national tournament, including the regular season champion, Our Lady of the Lake University (27-8), LSU-Shreveport (27-8) - the tournament champ, and Texas Wesleyan University (25-8) received an at-large bid. SAGU (27-11) finished fourth.
LSUS, who has won six consecutive conference tourney titles, went 2-1 at Kansas City, while OLLU was 1-1. TWU lost their first round game.
Fans, including alumni, should begin making reservations as soon as possible. The Big 12 tournament will be taking place in Kansas City at the same time, so housing may be a challenge.
Teams are staying at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Downtown KC due to its proximity to the Municipal Arena. Rooms for fans are currently unavailable at the host hotel, but fans are invited to check back with the hotel for possible changes.
There may be some additional rooms that become available on March 8 provided any teams do not use all of their twelve allotted rooms.
Fans can visit www.visitkc.com to find other hotel options in the area, as it may be worth driving 30 minutes to finder more cost effective rates.
In regards to tickets, fans may purchase them at www.naiahoops.com. General admission seats are located at the ends of the gymnasium and are still considered quality views.
There are no discount or complimentary fan tickets available. Only those with an NAIA membership ID card will have access to games without a purchased ticket.
The entire tournament will be available via Video Livestream. For information and cost, visit www.watchnaia.com.
All games can be accessed via Live Stats webcast, a free digital play-by-play account of the games. Details will be posted on the SAGU Athletics website.
The entire men’s tournament schedule, including seedings and brackets, will be available live, on-line, on Wednesday, March 6, at 7:15pm. Visit www.naia.org.
More information will be posted on the SAGU website at www.sagu.edu/athletics.
The Lions team bus will depart on Monday, March 11, at 8:15am. Fans are welcome to meet in the Sheaffer Full Life Center to send them off to nationals with encouragement and prayer at 7:30am.
Those planning on travelling to KC should expect a 585 mile trek from Waxahachie, and a drive time of 8.5 hours.
All games will be played in Municipal Auditorium, the former home of the Kansas City (now Sacramento Kings) Kings. Current seating for 7,300 is available.
The arena has hosted more NCAA tournament games (83), regional finals (13) and Final Fours (9), including the first four than any other facility.
Billed as the toughest basketball tournament anywhere, each of the 32 teams will play their opener on either March 13 or 14. Then all winners will play each day, starting on Friday, March 15 through the finals on Tuesday, March 19.
or at 469-658-2847.