We are now entering mid-April and that can only mean one thing: NAIA conference tournament time!
NAIA Conference Tournaments TAKE SHAPE
The AAC is the most straightforward at this time because it is 100% wrapped up. Seeding for the conference tournament is as follows:
4. St. Andrews
Reinhardt and Cumberlands will both receive byes as the top two seeds heading into the NAIA postseason. Tennessee Wesleyan will play Webber International in Game 1, and St. Andrews will host SCAD in Game 2. Reinhardt will then play the winner of Game 2, while Cumberlands will face the survivor of Game 1.
Reinhardt is a clear favorite to win the AAC crown, but Cumberlands has started to build momentum at just the right time. The semifinal and final games of the conference tournament will be played at Reinhardt in Waleska, Georgia.
The polar opposite of the AAC is the WHAC. To be blunt, we have no idea what will happen with this one. Indiana Tech is the clear favorite to win the WHAC at 7-0, but the problem is that half of the WHAC is on a COVID-19 pause and hasn’t scheduled make up games at this point. Sitting just over a week away from the conference tournament, this is not ideal, to say the least. The most likely scenario seems to be a mini tournament between the teams that choose to resume play. The interesting question will be how many WHAC teams will make the NAIA Tournament? In the past, the league has had two or three teams each year.
The KCAC regular season wraps up this week. We have a few games that could effect this seeding slightly, but as of today the conference tournament seeding would be:
1. Columbia College
2. Saint Ambrose
4. Missouri Baptist
5. William Penn
7. Missouri Valley
8. Saint Mary
This conference tournament seems to be the one that could get the most interesting based on these matchups. No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 have all played each other to finishes within a four-goal margin.
To add even further intrigue, William Penn is currently riding a five-game win streak, and Missouri Baptist University has won five out of its last six heading into the tournament.
Stay tuned to the weekly NAIA podcast to see how this week’s games affected the KCAC standings and playoffs.