NAIA announces changes to Basketball National Championships

January 15, 2021 4:40pm

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) made acritical announcements on Friday after both its National Administrative Council (NAC) full body and Council of Presidents (COP) made decisions related to the men's and women's basketball national championships.

The NAC voted to reduce the field size of both the men’s and women’s basketball championships from 64 to 48 teams in response to factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move will directly affect NAIA National Championship Opening Rounds, which will change from 16, four-team tournaments per gender to eight, six-team tournaments per gender. The four sites that have already been announced in Wichita, Kan. (2), Omaha, Neb., and Alexandria, La., will continue as hosts.

Each opening round site will feature two, three-team “pod” tournaments (per gender) in which the No. 1 seed will receive a bye. The Nos. 2 & 3 teams will play each other on day one, and will face the No. 1 seed in that pod for the championship. The winner of that final game will go to the NAIA National Championship Final Site in either Sioux City, Iowa (women) or Kansas City, Mo. (men).