Olathe, Kan. - Head coach Bob Hallberg and the No. 3 ranked Saint Xavier University women's basketball team have received one of four coveted No. 1 seeds in next week's 2007 NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championships in Jackson, Tenn., when the seedings and pairings for the event were released by the national office Wednesday afternoon. The 32-team, single-elimination tournament is divided into four, eight-team brackets with teams seeded one through eight based off the final NAIA ratings poll. The Cougars will face No. 8 seed West Virginia Tech in first round action on Thursday, March 15, at 4:30 p.m. central time at Oman Arena in Jackson.
"We weren't really concerned with which team we play once we get down there, because we are just excited about the opportunity to return to Jackson and compete for a national championship," said Hallberg. "Once you get to the national tournament, every team is good otherwise they wouldn't be there. You have to make sure your team is well-prepared and give your best effort in every game, because one bad game can send you home."
West Virginia Tech comes into the national tournament with a 24-8 overall record. The Golden Bears received an automatic bid for this year's NAIA National Championships by winning the Mid-South Conference Tournament last Sunday despite holding the No. 3 seed. WVT defeated No. 1 seed Lindsey Wilson College (Ky.) in the Mid-South Tournament finale, 79-76, to earn its national berth.
Saint Xavier has had an impressive season thus far posting a 28-2 overall record and winning a share of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) regular season title with a record of 11-1. In addition, the Cougars claimed the 2007 CCAC Tournament crown last week with a 94-88 victory over No. 2 seed Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.). This marks the fifth straight season that SXU has advanced to the NAIA National Championships, which begins on March 14, and the fifth national appearance for the program since it began under Hallberg in 2000.Click here to see the 2007 NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championships Bracket