Purdue Calumet Earns At-Large Berth to NAIA Division II National Championships

Purdue-Calumet-Earns-At-Large-Berth-to-NAIA-Division-II-National-ChampionshipsFor the third time in four seasons, Purdue University Calumet is headed to the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship.

The Peregrines (22-8) earned a No. 6 seed in the 2016 tournament and will face No. 3 seed Mount Marty (S.D.) (22-10) on Thursday, March 10, at 7 p.m. C.T. In Sioux City, Iowa’s Tyson Events Center.

Purdue Calumet, the No. 21 team in Wednesday’s Final NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, earned the eighth at-large spot (out of 10) in the tournament, with First Round play set to begin March 9. The Peregrines stand in the Cramer Bracket, with No. 1 seed Olivet Nazarene.

Six teams in all from the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference earned national bids, including No. 1 seeds St. Xavier (29-3), and Olivet Nazarene (27-5); No. 2 seed St. Francis (Ill.) (28-4), and No. 5 seed St. Ambrose (22-9).

Morningside (Iowa) (31-2) and Southern Oregon (29-1) earned the other two No. 1 seeds.

Should Purdue Calumet advance, the Peregrines will face the winner of 2-seed College of Ozarks (Mo.) and 7-seed Friends on Friday, March 11, at 8:45 p.m. The National Championship is set for Tuesday, March 15, at 7:04 p.m. and will be streamed live on ESPN3.

All 31 games of the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship will be streamed on the NAIANetwork.com, presented by Stretch Internet.

The Peregrines’ berth marks the third national berth for the women’s team in the last four seasons and the first trip to Sioux City (Iowa) since the Peregrines earned an automatic bid in 2013-14, after capturing both the CCAC regular-season and tournament titles. That season, Purdue Calumet won its first-ever tournament game en route to a spot in the Sweet Sixteen. The Peregrines defeated Oregon Tech, 83-75, before losing to national runner-up Davenport (34-2).

Purdue Calumet made its first NAIA nationals appearance under ninth-year Head Coach Tom Megyesi in 2012-13, when the Peregrines earned an at-large bid after finishing the regular season 21-9. Purdue Calumet lost in the first round, falling to N. 19 Grand View (Iowa), 58-44.

The only other national tournament berths in program history came during the 1995-96 season, when Purdue Calumet finished 27-5 under head coach Gary Hayes, and 1982-83 season, under Head Coach Bill Platt.