WATERTOWN, Wis. -- The Sabercats Women's Basketball Team is seeded #2 as they begin the hunt for their 10th regional title in the last 11 years. The hunt begins Friday at the NCCAA North Region Tournament, which will be held at Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa.
As the #2 seed, the Sabercats have a bye into the semifinal, where they will play the winner of Thursday's game between #3 Trinity Bible College and #6 Calvary University. The team that wins the 2 p.m. semifinal Friday will advance to the championship game at 2 p.m. Saturday.
On the other side of the bracket are the #1-seeded Emmaus Bible College Eagles, whom the Sabercats split the regular-season series with. Emmaus comes into the tournament with the most NCCAA DII wins (9) of anyone in the tournament. Another item to note is that the Eagles are the only team in the tournament to have ever beaten Maranatha (all records vs Maranatha are listed below).
Seedings for the tournament are based on the most recent NCCAA Power Rating, which assigns teams points based primarily on their win/loss record, then on strength of schedule. A complete breakdown of the competing teams is listed below:
|Team||Location||Record||NCCAA||Last year's finish||vs MBU (all-time)|
|#1 Emmaus||Dubuque, Iowa||14-13||9-3||DNP||9-17|
|#2 Maranatha||Watertown, Wis.||9-13||6-1||1st||-|
|#3 Trinity Bible||Ellendale, N.D.||12-10||3-2||2nd||0-1|
|#4 Providence||Manitoba, Canada||7-10||2-1||DNP||0-1|
|#5 Faith||Ankeny, Iowa||10-12||7-11||Semifinal||0-8|
|#6 Calvary||Kansas City, Mo.||9-10||7-7||DNP||0-1|
DNP - did not participate
Maranatha's regional dominance in recent years has been undisputed - they have won the title in every season except for 3 since the year 2000. In the last 10 years, the Sabercats have won 9 titles, with their only loss coming to Grace Bible College in 2016.
Before that loss to Grace Bible, the Sabercats had won 9 consecutive regional titles, which is the longest regional winning streak in MBU history (all programs).
With the recent restructuring of the NCCAA DII regions, the Sabercats no longer have to face Grace Bible in regional competition. The Lady Tigers had given the Sabercats the most trouble in recent seasons, and with the teams competing in this year's tournament, Emmaus Bible is the only school to have beaten the Sabercats since 2000 - the Eagles have won just twice in that timeframe.
Last year, the Sabercats completed a memorable tournament run on their home floor - the run culminated with a 58-53 win over the #1-seeded Trinity Bible College Lions. The Sabercats would go on to finish in 5th place at the 2017 NCCAA DII National Tournament.
It all begins Friday for Coach Mo and the Sabercats, who will look to add to their regional dominance with yet another title.
Catch all the details of the tournament including driving directions, live coverage, and more at mbusabercats.com/composite.