Havre Daily News sports editor
On Monday, the Montana State University-Northern Skylights found out that they had indeed received an at-large berth into the 2006 NAIA National Women's basketball tournament.
On Wednesday night, the Skylights found out just who their first-round opponent in Jackson, Tenn., will be.
MSU-N is a No. 6 seed in its quarter of the 32-team bracket, and the Skylights will face third-seeded Oklahoma Christian University (23-8). The Eagles hail from Oklahoma City, Okla., and they finished second at last weekend's Sooner Athletic Conference tournament. The Eagles lost to Oklahoma City University in the SAC championship game. Oklahoma City (30-2) is a No.1 seed in next week's tournament.
“They are a tough team and they have some very good players,” MSU-N head coach Chris Mouat said. “They will be a very tough opponent for us.”
The game between the Skylights (19-9) and Eagles will tip off at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Oman Arena.
MSU-N is in the bottom quarter of the bracket and in that section is top-seeded Freed-Hardeman University. Freed-Hardeman (30-2)) is widely considered one of the favorites to capture the NAIA national championship this season.
The highest-seeded Frontier Conference team is conference champion UM-Western. The Bulldogs (28-5) are the No. 2 seed in the very top quarter of the draw and they will face William Carey College of Mississippi in the opening round Wednesday.
Carroll College (27-6), which finished second to Western in last weekend's Frontier tourney, is seeded third in its quarter of the draw. The Saints will square off against Saint Xavier University of Illinois at 7:45 p.m. next Thursday.
Lewis-Clark State (25-6) is the No. 4 seed in its quarter. The Warriors will battle with fifth-seeded Brewton-Parker College of Georgia at 10:30 a.m. next Thursday.
The 2006 NAIA National Tournament will begin Wednesday and run through the following Tuesday in Jackson, Tenn.
2006 NAIA Women's National Tournament
Quarter 1 - Wednesday, March 15
#1 Vanguard University (Calif.) (28-1) vs. #8 Texas College (13-16), 1:45 p.m.
#5 University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) (20-8) vs. #4 Cumberland University (Tenn.) (23-8), 8:30 a.m.
#3 Lee University (Tenn.) (26-6) vs. #6 Oklahoma Baptist University (23-9), 10:15 a.m.
#7 William Carey College (Miss.) (14-9) vs. #2 University of Montana-Western (28-5), noon
Quarter 2 - Thursday, March 16
#2 Houston Baptist University (Texas) (27-3) vs. #7 Lindsey Wilson College (Ky.) (19-11), 9 a.m.
#6 Lubbock Christian University (Texas) (19-11) vs. #3 Point Loma Nazarene University (Calif.) (22-9), 10:45 a.m.
#4 Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho) (25-6) vs. #5 Brewton-Parker College (Ga.) (25-8), 12:30 p.m.
#8 Park University (Mo.) (19-11) vs. #1 Trevecca Nazarene University (Tenn.) (29-4), 2:15 p.m.
Quarter 3 - Thursday, March 16
#1 Oklahoma City University (30-2) vs. #8 Missouri Baptist University (25-7), 6:15 p.m.
#5 Berry College (Ga.) (24-8) vs. #4 Azusa Pacific University (Calif.) (23-9), 4:30 p.m.
#3 Carroll College (Mont.) (27-6) vs. #6 Saint Xavier University (Ill.) (23-8), 9:45 p.m.
#7 John Brown University (Ark.) (20-11) vs. #2 Union University (Tenn.) (26-6), 8 p.m.
Quarter 4 - Wednesday, March 15
#2 The Master's College (Calif.) (25-7) vs. #7 Auburn University Montgomery (Ala.) (18-11) 9:45 p.m.
#6 Montana State University-Northern (19-9) vs. #3 Oklahoma Christian University (23-8), 4 p.m.
#4 Georgetown College (Ky.) (24-8) vs. #5 University of Mobile (Ala.) (22-5), 5:45 p.m.
#8 McKendree College (Ill.) (20-13) vs. #1 Freed-Hardeman University (Tenn.) (30-2), 8 p.m.