Four Colorado schools represented at NCAA Division II men’s, women’s basketball tournaments – The Denver Post

While the rest of the country is waiting to see how Selection Sunday plays out this weekend, four Colorado schools already know their matchups and hope to make respective runs in the NCAA Division II men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

In the men’s tournament, two schools from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, headquartered in Colorado Springs, will be represented.

Only one of those teams though is from the Centennial State: Colorado Mesa, which earned the No. 4 seed in the South Central bracket. Mesa (24-9) will square off against Lone Star Conference foe Texas A&M-Kingsville (18-10), the No. 5 seed, which reached its third NCAA Tournament in the last six seasons, at 6:30 p.m. MST Saturday at the Rip Griffin Center in Lubbock, Texas.

Improbably, the Javelinas played their way into the field after reaching the LSC championship game as the tournament’s 12 seed, where they lost but still earned an at-large bid.

It is Mesa’s third consecutive NCAA Tournament berth. The Mavericks reached the regional semifinals (round of 32) last year, and the 2020 tournament was canceled with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The other RMAC representative is Black Hills State, based in Spearfish, South Dakota. The Yellow Jackets (22-7) will be dancing for the first time in program history, as they earned an automatic berth last weekend with their first conference title in school history. The result led to them being ranked for the first time as well, checking in at No. 22 in the NABC National Coaches Poll.

The Yellow Jackets are the No. 3 seed and face No. 6 seed Dallas Baptist (17-11) at 11 a.m. Saturday in Lubbock.

NCAA D2 Women’s Tournament

Colorado is well-represented in the NCAA Division II Women’s tournament with four schools getting bids: Mesa, Metro State, Colorado School of Mines and CSU-Pueblo.

The Roadrunners (22-8) earned an automatic bid by winning the RMAC Tournament as a six seed and will appear in the program’s first NCAA Tournament since 2018. The Roadrunners secured the No. 5 seed in the South Central Region, and will face No. 4 seed Texas Woman’s University (19-8, 12-8 LSC) at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Canyon, Texas, at the First United Bank Center. The teams played once this season, an 86-84 TWU win in triple overtime.

Colorado Mesa (23-6) earned the No. 8 seed as the last team into the South Central Region and will face top-seeded West Texas A&M (23-10, 13-3 LSC), No. 23 in the latest WBCA Top-25 Coaches Poll, at 4 p.m. Friday. Mesa beat the Lady Buffs 46-43 in November.

Colorado School of Mines (25-5, 19-3 RMAC) set a program record for wins on its way to a second straight tournament berth and fourth in school history. The Orediggers reached the round of 32 last year before bowing out. This year, the No. 7 seed will face No. 2 Texas A&M Commerce (26-4), No. 13 in the latest WBCA poll. Tip-off is 2:30 p.m. Friday.

Lastly, CSU-Pueblo had one of the biggest one-year turnarounds across Colorado’s college hoops scene, as the ThunderWolves improved by 20 wins from the end of the 2020-21 season. CSU-Pueblo (23-8) finished runner-up in the RMAC Tournament and is headed to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2018.

The ThunderWolves earned the No. 6 seed and will face No. 3 Lubbock Christian (26-6). They also played once before as the ThunderWolves won an early-season matchup when the Chaps were the No. 1 team in the country, but LCU has since fallen to No. 19 in the latest WBCA poll. Tip-off is set for 11 a.m. Friday.

All games can be streamed on the regional site host website.

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