The Wayland Baptist Flying Queens will travel to Alexandria, La., for its first game in the NAIA Women’s Basketball National Championship.
The second-ranked Flying Queens (13-0) – seeded fourth overall in the 48-team field – are the top-seeded team in their three-team, opening round “pod,” thus earning a first-round bye on March 12. Wayland will face the winner between host school LSU-Shreveport and Mt. Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) on March 13 at a time to be determined.
The winner of the March 13 game will advance to the national tournament final site in Sioux City, Iowa, along with 15 other qualifiers from other opening-round sites across the country. Alexandria is hosting another three-team pod that features Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Lyon (Ark.), and Reinhardt (Ga.)
The final site event is scheduled for March 18-23 at Tyson Events Center in Sioux City.
The Flying Queens qualified for nationals for the eighth straight year under head coach Alesha Ellis, whose teams have never failed to make the tournament field. Wayland earned an automatic bid as the Sooner Athletic Conference regular-season co-champion and tournament champion. Also qualifying from the SAC are Langston, the SAC Tournament runner-up, and regular-season co-champion Mid-America Christian as an at-large qualifier. It’s MACU’s first time to qualify for nationals.
LSU-Shreveport (16-1) is the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament champion and seeded 31st overall. Mt. Vernon Nazarene (15-11) got into the field as an at-large qualifier and is seeded 35th overall.
Former Flying Queen player and graduate assistant coach Brianna Bogard is assistant coach at LSU-Shreveport.
Wayland is making its 28th appearance in the national tournament, the second-most of any team in this year’s field behind only Westmont, Calif., with 29. LSU-Shreveport has been to nationals nine previous times, most recently qualifying last year, while Mt. Vernon Nazarene made its only other appearance in 2011.
The Flying Queens have faced LSU-Shreveport three times, winning once. The teams last faced off in 2012 at an early-season tournament hosted by SAGU in Waxahachie with LSU-Shreveport winning, 54-50. The Flying Queens and Mt. Vernon Nazarene have never met.
2021 NAIA Women’s Basketball National Qualifiers
|1||Thomas More (Ky.)||Mid-South Regular-Season & Tournament Champion||2||2020||0|
|2||Westmont (Calif.)||Golden State Athletic Conference West Division Champion||16||2020||1|
|3||Campbellsville (Ky.)||Mid-South Conferene Tournament Runner-Up||29||2020||0|
|4||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||Sooner Athletic Conference Regular-Season & Tournament Champion||28||2020||0|
|5||Marian (Ind.)||Crossroads League Regular-Season Champion||8||2020||2|
|6||Carroll (Mont.)||Frontier Conference Tournament Champion||12||2020||0|
|7||Morningside (Iowa)||Great Plains Athletic Conference Regular-Season & Tournament Champion||20||2020||4|
|8||Southeastern (Fla.)||The Sun Regular-Season & Conference Tournament Champion||7||2020||0|
|9||Clarke (Iowa)||Heart of America Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||5||2020||0|
|10||Sterling (Kan.)||Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular-Season & Tournament Champion||19||2020||0|
|11||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||At-Large||16||2020||0|
|12||Dakota State (S.D.)||North Star Athletic Association Conference Tournament Champion||7||2012||0|
|13||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||Heart of America Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion||14||2020||1|
|14||Indiana Wesleyan||Crossroads LeagueTournament Champion||18||2020||2|
|15||St. Francis (Ill.)||Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular-Season Runner-Up||7||2020||0|
|16||Concordia (Neb.)||Great Plains Athletic Conference Tournament Runner-Up||20||2020||1|
|17||Indiana Tech||Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||10||2020||0|
|19||Loyola (La.)||Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||13||2020||0|
|20||Shawnee State (Ohio)||At-Large||26||2020||1|
|22||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||Cascade Collegiate Conference Tournament Champion||23||2020||0|
|23||Mid-America Christian (Okla.)||At-Large||1||0||0|
|24||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion||18||2020||0|
|25||College of the Ozarks (Mo.)||Association of Independent Institutions Tournament Champion||26||2020||0|
|26||Lyon (Ark.)||American Midwest Conference Regular-Season & Tournament Champion||10||2020||0|
|28||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||13||2020||0|
|29||Grand View (Iowa)||At-Large||8||2018||0|
|31||LSU Shreveport (La.)||Red River Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||10||2020||0|
|32||Columbia (Mo.)||American Midwest Conference Tournament Runner-Up||17||2020||0|
|35||Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio)||At-Large||2||2011||0|
|36||Bryan (Tenn.)||Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||10||2020||0|
|37||Rochester (Mich.)||Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion||1||0||0|
|38||Xavier (La.)||Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||21||2019||0|
|39||Langston (Okla.)||Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Runner-Up||14||2016||0|
|40||William Jessup (Calif.)||Golden State Athletic Conference East Division Champion||2||2019||0|
|41||Benedictine Mesa (Ariz.)||California Pacific Conference Tournament Champion||1||0||0|
|42||Bethel (Kan.)||Kansas Collegiate Athletic Confreence Tournament No. 2 Seed||1||0||0|
|43||WVU Tech (W.Va.)||River States Athletic Confernce Tournament Champion||4||2020||0|
|44||Reinhardt (Ga.)||Appalachian Athletic Conference Selection||5||2020||0|
|45||Rio Grande (Ohio)||River States Athletic Conference Tournament Runner-Up||9||2018||0|
|46||Union (Ky.)||Appalachian Athletic Conference Selection||7||2020||0|
|47||Webber International (Fla.)||The Sun Regular-Season Runner-Up||5||2013||0|
|48||Crowley’s Ridge (Ark.)||Association of Independent Institutions Tournament Runner-Up||1||0||0|