Nationals Insider

Nationals Insider

JOPLIN, Mo. -- One week from today, the Sabercats will compete for their fourth NCCAA national title in program history and a reversal of last year's disappointing third-place finish at the national stage.

#2 Maranatha will play #7 Champion Christian next Wednesday, with the winner advancing to the NCCAAA National Semifinal to face the winner of #3 Grace Christian/#6 Bob Jones.

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FIELD

The National Christian College Athletic Association announced the field for the 2020 NCCAA DII Women's Basketball National Championship, as the tournament returns from a six-team structure to an eight-team structure. Here is a closer look at the eight teams that will vie for the national title a week from today. Only two programs in the field have captured the banner before:

#1 Arlington Baptist University Patriots (20-5 Overall, 15-0 NCCAA)

  • Region: Southwest
  • Qualifying Method: Region Champion
  • 2019 Nationals Finish: Champions
  • National Titles: 5
  • Notable: Arlington is the team to beat. They will be chasing NCCAA history by competing for their sixth consecutive national title - a feat achieved just once in NCCAA DII history. The Patriots have averaged a hefty 93.4 point per game, which is by far the best mark in the NCCAA DII this year.
  • First Year in NCCAA: 1977'
  • Nationals Opener: The Patriots will face the #8-seeded Campbellsville-Harrodsburg Pioneers in the first round.

#2 Maranatha Baptist University Sabercats (19-3 Overall, 5-0 NCCAA)

  • Region: North
  • Qualifying Method: Region Champion
  • 2019 Nationals Finish: 3rd Place
  • National Titles: 3
  • Notable: The Sabercats are fresh off of their second consecutive regional title and a five-game winning streak, and they will be looking to knock the Patriots off the podium and reclaim the national title. The Patriots handed the Sabercats a 12-point loss in a gritty semifinal in 2019, so the Sabercats will be out for revenge. The Sabercats have the best defense in the NCCAA, allowing an average of 52 points per game.
  • First Year in NCCAA: 1975
  • Nationals Opener: The Sabercats will face the #7-seeded Champion Christian Tigers in the first round.

#3 Grace Christian University Tigers (17-14 Overall, 9-0 NCCAA)

  • Region: Mideast
  • Qualifying Method: Region Champion
  • 2019 Nationals Finish: DNP
  • National Titles: 0
  • Notable: Grace returns to the tournament for the first time since 2016 when they beat Maranatha to earn the trip to Joplin. This year, the Tigers are a perfect 9-0 in NCCAA play, and they will be looking to capitalize on their NCCAA momentum.
  • First Year in NCCAA: 1979
  • Nationals Opener: The Tigers will face the #6-seeded Bob Jones Bruins in the first round.

#4 Pensacola Christian College Eagles (21-10 Overall, 12-1 NCCAA)

  • Region: South
  • Qualifying Method: Region Champion
  • 2019 Nationals Finish: Runners-Up
  • National Titles: 0
  • Notable: The Eagles are seeded above the BJU Bruins despite falling to BJU in the South Region Championship last weekend. Pensacola boasts the third-best defense in the NCCAA, and after falling in the national championship game last year, they will have their sights fixed on the banner.
  • First Year in NCCAA: 1982
  • Nationals Opener: The Eagles will face the #5-seeded Emmaus Bible Eagles in the first round.

#5 Emmaus Bible College Eagles (17-8 Overall, 11-3 NCCAA)

  • Region: North
  • Qualifying Method: At-Large Selection
  • 2019 Nationals Finish: DNP
  • National Titles: 0
  • Notable: The Eagles return to the national stage two years after their first NCCAA North Region title. After taking a 20-point loss to MBU in the North Region Semifinal last weekend, the Eagles will look to make the most of their new life in the NCCAA postseason. The Eagles' 77 points per game is the third-best offensive mark this season, and their defense is the 5th-best in the NCCAA DII, allowing just over 60 points per game.
  • First Year in NCCAA: 1977

#6 Bob Jones University Bruins (14-12 Overall, 9-4 NCCAA)

  • Region: South
  • Qualifying Method: Region Champion
  • 2019 Nationals Finish: 5th Place
  • National Titles: 0
  • Notable: The Bruins have been slated as the #6 seed despite being one of four regional champions in the field. That title for BJU was their second regional banner in the last four seasons, and this will be their fourth straight appearance at the national championship. The Bruins' schedule has been balanced to say the least, as their scoring margin entering the tournament stands at -0.1.  
  • First Year in NCCAA: 2012

#7 Champion Christian College Tigers (18-8 Overall, 11-3 NCCAA)

  • Region: Southwest
  • Qualifying Method: At-Large Selection
  • 2019 Nationals Finish: DNP
  • National Titles: 0
  • Notable: Champion Christian achieved the unlikely feats of both a winning record and a trip to NCCAA Nationals in their first year as an intercollegiate program. Their second-best defense in the NCCAA will be pitted against the Sabercats' #1-ranked defense, so their opening game of the tournament will be an uphill climb.
  • First Year in NCCAA: 2019

#8 Campbellsville University-Harrodsburg Pioneers (14-10 Overall, 4-1 NCCAA)

  • Region: Mideast
  • Qualifying Method: At-Large Selection
  • 2019 Nationals Finish: DNP
  • National Titles: 0
  • Notable: Like Champion, Campbellsville-Harrodsburg is playing their first year in the NCCAA, and they have a trip to Nationals for their efforts. The Tigers started the year with a four-game winning streak and would win nine of their first 11 contests. The Pioneers' 78 points per game is also the second-best mark in the NCCAA to date. As the underdogs, they will have nothing to lose. But as the #8 seed, they will face Arlington in the first round - quite the mountain to climb.
  • First Year in NCCAA: 2019

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Back to Business
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Remembering History
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June Camps Cancelled
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High Notes
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Unfinished Business
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Close Calls
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Opening Day Letters
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Depue Makes it Two
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Johnson Honored Again
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Wilkerson Awarded
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Nationals Insider
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First Hurdle
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For Three
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Sizing Up the Seedings
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Callie Collects
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Classroom Competence
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Running Da Show
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Inside the Field
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Year Three
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DeLozier Steps In
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Twice Honored
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Steps Forward
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Lofty Standards
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Looking Back, Looking Ahead
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Unfinished Business
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Twice Around for Johnson
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Best of the Best
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Reclaim the Fame
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Looking Ahead
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Living to Fight
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Wide Open
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Work to Do
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Triple Trouble
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Johnson at the Top
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Fresh Start
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Off and Running
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Reynolds Rewarded
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Eyes on the Prize
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Just the Facts
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Dual Purpose
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