The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Women's Basketball team dropped a heartbreaker in the opening round of the Mid-South Conference (MSC) Basketball Championship Tournament to the University of Pikeville on Friday 87-77. Although the loss moved the Patriot ladies to 19-10 overall, UC made a minimal move in the final NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll.
UC dropped down one spot from #22 to #23 in the final edition of the Top 25 poll. The Patriots received 78 total voting points. Vanguard (Calif.) came away with the final #1 ranking of the 2013-14 season as the postseason starts. Vanguard received 9 of the 10 first place votes and 250 total voting points. Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) received the final first place vote and sits at #2 with 242 total voting points.
Other notable teams in the NAIA Top 25 include Campbellsville University (#4), Oklahoma Baptist (#6), Georgetown College (#8), Columbia College (#10), and Shawnee State University (#25). Others that received votes include Bethel University and Martin Methodist.
With the #23 ranking and a solid effort in the postseason, the Patriots secured an at-large bid into the 34th Annual NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship Tournament in Frankfort, KY. They earned a #6 seed in the tournament as they will take on #3 seed and NAIA #12 ranked Baker University Wildcats. Baker, the regular season champions of the Heart of American Athletic Conference, went 26-6 overall this season and 17-1 in conference play. They strung together a 17 game winning streak at the end of their season before losing the HAAC Tournament Championship against MidAmerica Nazarene University.
The game between UC and Baker will be the opening game of the NAIA National Championship Tournament in Frankfort, KY on Wednesday March 19th. Tipoff is set for 8:30 am eastern time. The winner of that contest will take on the winner of the game between Bethel University and The Master's College on Friday March 21st at 9:00 am eastern time.
For more information on the Patriot Women's Basketball program along with other Patriot athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.