Both UMD basketball teams find places in regional rankings

This week's second of three editions sees the UMD women in serious contention for the top seed while the UMD men have work to do to guarantee their place.

Minnesota Duluth's Madelyn Granica attempts a lay-up under the basket as Augustana's Jennifer Aadland defends during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 28 at Romano Gym.
Brandon Veale / Duluth News Tribune

Both Minnesota Duluth basketball teams were ranked in the most recent NCAA Division II regional rankings released on Wednesday, but as they go to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the last three rounds of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tournament, their assignments are quite different.

The UMD women are ranked No. 2 in the Central Region, though they have identical overall and in-region records, 24-3, as top-ranked Nebraska-Kearney. That means it could come down to which team goes farther in its conference tournament that gets the No. 1 seed and with it hosting duties for the eight-team Central Region tournament, which begins on March 10.

UMD, now ranked No. 9 in the national coaches' poll, meets Concordia-St. Paul in the NSIC tournament quarterfinals on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Sanford Pentagon. The semifinals are Monday afternoon in Sioux Falls and championship on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

The Lopers still have one regular-season game left before the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association tournament begins for them on Thursday, March 2 in Kansas City.

Central Missouri and Minnesota State Mankato are also three-loss teams that could have a lot to say about where the regional tournament takes place.


On the men's side, UMD is No. 7 in the region. Eight teams make it, but the Bulldogs' 20-8 record means a good week in Sioux Falls would be very helpful. No. 8 Fort Hays State also has eight losses, with Sioux Falls (17-10) and Southeastern Oklahoma (15-9) pursuing.

Also, because each conference in the region is guaranteed one bid to its tournament champion, UMD could be victimized by a "bid stealer," a team outside of the top eight winning the NSIC, MIAA or Great American Conference tournament and taking a bid away from a team higher than them in the rankings.

The fields for both tournaments will be announced on Sunday, March 5.

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