Previewing the NAIA Division II Tournaments

Taking a look at the NAIA Division II Tournaments this week at Point Lookout, Mo. (Men) and Sioux City, Iowa (Women). McPherson’s got a real shot at this thing, y’all. I’m covering the Region VI playoffs from Sunday through the finals on Tuesday (NCAA travel plans permitting), so stay tuned…

MEN
McPherson vs. Dakota State
When: 9:45 tonight
Where: Point Lookout, Mo.
What to watch: The Bulldogs are ranked No. 5 in the nation and swept the KCAC regular-season and tournament titles. McPherson made it to the Elite Eight of last year’s tournament. McPherson native and KCAC player of the year Aaron Frazier leads the Bulldogs in points (17.3 per game), steals (1.9) and blocks (1.1). Frazier’s backcourt mate, sophomore Samson Shivers, averages 16.2 points.

Saint Mary vs. Indiana-Southeast
When: 5:45 p.m. Thursday
What to watch: Saint Mary, the KCAC runner up in the regular-season and tournament, saw its 10-game winning streak end with a loss to McPherson in the league title game. Holcomb native Jordan Wilcox leads Saint Mary in scoring at 14.7 points, while KCAC All-Defensive pick Brandon Dougherty provides the Spires with 2.1 steals and 4.5 assists per game, both team highs.

WOMEN
Friends vs. College of Idaho
When: Noon, today
Where: Sioux City, Iowa
What to watch: Friends maded it to the tournament with an automatic bid after winning the KCAC regular-season title under second-year coach RaeAnne Boothe. Bishop Carroll product Abby Fawcett leads the Falcons with 17.7 points and 3 assists per game. Fawcett’s weakness this year has been beyond the three-point arc — she’s hit just 65 of 225 attempts (28.9 percent).

Southwestern vs. Mount Mercy
When: 9:15 tonight
What to watch: Southwestern, which received an at-large bid, tries to bounce back at the national tournament after a surprising loss to Sterling in the KCAC title game. Senior guard Brett Bates, the KCAC player of the year, leads the Moundbuilders in scoring at 17.6 points. Southwestern also has a trio of former Andover Central players in its lineup in Brittany Chamberlin, Kaitlynn Tennyson and Maddie Chapin

Sterling vs. Concordia
When: 3:30 p.m. Thursday
What to watch: Sterling’s run to the KCAC tournament title gave them one of the league’s two automatic bids — also the only way the Warriors would have made it to Sioux City with an 18-12 record. For their troubles, they’ll face No. 1 overall seed Concordia, the champion of the Great Plains Athletic Conference. It’s Sterling’s sixth straight trip to the national tournament.