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.



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


Find details on following the games live

A Forward Look
June 24, 2020 A Forward Look
Hosting Hopes
June 19, 2020 Hosting Hopes
Back to Business
June 17, 2020 Back to Business
Remembering History
May 21, 2020 Remembering History
June Camps Cancelled
April 22, 2020 June Camps Cancelled
High Notes
April 4, 2020 High Notes
Unfinished Business
March 28, 2020 Unfinished Business
Close Calls
March 23, 2020 Close Calls
Opening Day Letters
March 20, 2020 Opening Day Letters
Coronavirus Cancellations
March 16, 2020 Coronavirus Cancellations
Depue Makes it Two
March 16, 2020 Depue Makes it Two
Nationals Cancelled
March 12, 2020 Nationals Cancelled
Callie Highlights Honors
March 11, 2020 Callie Highlights Honors
Johnson Honored Again
March 10, 2020 Johnson Honored Again
Wilkerson Awarded
March 6, 2020 Wilkerson Awarded
Nationals Insider
March 4, 2020 Nationals Insider
First Hurdle
February 27, 2020 First Hurdle
For Three
February 26, 2020 For Three
Sizing Up the Seedings
February 19, 2020 Sizing Up the Seedings
Callie Collects
February 14, 2020 Callie Collects
Classroom Competence
February 13, 2020 Classroom Competence
Running Da Show
February 3, 2020 Running Da Show
Inside the Field
January 23, 2020 Inside the Field
Year Three
January 16, 2020 Year Three
DeLozier Steps In
January 3, 2020 DeLozier Steps In
Twice Honored
December 13, 2019 Twice Honored
Steps Forward
December 13, 2019 Steps Forward
Lofty Standards
December 13, 2019 Lofty Standards
Looking Back, Looking Ahead
December 10, 2019 Looking Back, Looking Ahead
Home Stretch
December 10, 2019 Home Stretch
Unfinished Business
December 9, 2019 Unfinished Business
Twice Around for Johnson
December 1, 2019 Twice Around for Johnson
Best of the Best
November 27, 2019 Best of the Best
Nationals Scouting Report
November 19, 2019 Nationals Scouting Report
St. Lawrence Honored
November 18, 2019 St. Lawrence Honored
Revenge Ready
November 16, 2019 Revenge Ready
The Kick
November 15, 2019 The Kick
Looking Ahead
November 11, 2019 Looking Ahead
The Best in the North
November 9, 2019 The Best in the North
Living to Fight
November 9, 2019 Living to Fight
Two of the Best
November 9, 2019 Two of the Best
Sizing up the Semis
November 7, 2019 Sizing up the Semis
Flying Fopma in Focus
November 1, 2019 Flying Fopma in Focus
Wide Open
October 29, 2019 Wide Open
Work to Do
October 29, 2019 Work to Do
Nelson Gets the Nod
October 28, 2019 Nelson Gets the Nod
In Memory of Terry Price
October 25, 2019 In Memory of Terry Price
Four For Fopma
October 21, 2019 Four For Fopma
Fopma Goes Farther
October 14, 2019 Fopma Goes Farther
Triple Trouble
October 8, 2019 Triple Trouble
Johnson at the Top
October 1, 2019 Johnson at the Top
Hansel Honored
September 30, 2019 Hansel Honored
Kinzler Collects
September 30, 2019 Kinzler Collects
Shepard Snags Award
September 23, 2019 Shepard Snags Award
NCCAA Top 10 - September 17
September 18, 2019 NCCAA Top 10 - September 17
A Nod for Johnson
September 16, 2019 A Nod for Johnson
Fopma in the Spotlight
September 10, 2019 Fopma in the Spotlight
Fresh Start
September 10, 2019 Fresh Start
Off and Running
September 5, 2019 Off and Running
Maranatha Memories
August 31, 2019 Maranatha Memories
Reynolds Rewarded
August 30, 2019 Reynolds Rewarded
Eyes on the Prize
August 28, 2019 Eyes on the Prize
Just the Facts
August 23, 2019 Just the Facts
Dual Purpose
August 6, 2019 Dual Purpose
Borchardt Takes Over
August 1, 2019 Borchardt Takes Over