After winning both regular season and postseason MIAA championships, the third-ranked Fort Hays State women’s basketball team has been selected as the No. 1 seed in the Central Region of the 2019 NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championship. As a result, the Tigers will host the Central Region tournament for the second time. The tournament will be played inside Gross Memorial Coliseum March 15, 16 and 18.
The Tigers (30-1) will play No. 8 seed Pittsburg State in the regional quarterfinals on Friday, March 15. The Tigers and Gorillas are two of five MIAA programs to qualify for this year’s regional tournament, joined by Central Missouri, Emporia State and Lindenwood.
This is the Tigers’ fifth trip to the NCAA tournament and the fourth in the last five years. Fort Hays State is 3-4 all-time in the big dance.
After sitting in second in the final regional ranking, Fort Hays State’s MIAA tournament title was enough to convince the selection committee to bump the Tigers to the top spot. GAC champions Southwestern Oklahoma State, also 30-1, will enter the tournament as the No. 2 seed. Rounding out the tournament field are two schools from the NSIC – Minnesota Duluth and Minnesota State Moorhead.
The winner of the Central Region tournament will advance to Columbus, Ohio for the Elite Eight March 26, 27 and 29.
There are several players from around the area on the team, including Lanie Page from Wamego, Madison Mittie from Manhattan, Taylor Rolfs from Claflin, Cydney Bergmann from Concordia, Kyleigh Kasper from Russell, and Belle Barbieri from Abilene.
2019 NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championship Central Region Tournament Quarterfinal Matchups
No. 1 Fort Hays State (30-1) vs. No. 8 Pittsburg State (21-8)
No. 4 Minnesota Duluth (23-6) vs. No. 5 Minnesota State Moorhead (26-6)
No. 2 Southwestern Oklahoma State (30-1) vs. No. 7 Emporia State (22-8)
No. 3 Central Missouri (24-6) vs. No. 6 Lindenwood (21-7)
All games played inside Gross Memorial Coliseum on Friday, March 15. Game times TBA.
(Fort Hays State University Photo)