JBU Teams to Face Azusa Pacific, Union in First Rounds

Siloam Springs, Ark. (March 9, 2006) — The NAIA released the brackets for the 2006 men’s and women’s Division I national basketball tournaments Wednesday. In the men’s tournament, the defending champion John Brown Golden Eagles will begin play next Wednesday at 8:45 P.M. against 6th-seeded Azusa Pacific, the same team the Golden Eagles defeated in last year’s national championship game. The John Brown women will face Union (Tenn.), the defending national champion, next Thursday at 8:00 P.M.

The men’s tournament, officially known as the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship, will take place at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. The women’s tournament will take place at Oman Arena in Jackson, Tenn., the hometown of Union University.

Both tournaments feature 32-team fields. The top 16 men’s teams are seeded 1 through 16, and the bottom 16 are unseeded. The women’s tournament is divided into four brackets whose teams are seeded 1 through 8. John Brown is a #7 seed in the women’s tournament; Union is a #2 seed. The John Brown men are unseeded. The John Brown men are making their fourth-consecutive tournament appearance. The Golden Eagles have never been seeded but have also never lost a first-round game. Their all-time tournament record is 7-2. They advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2003 and 2004 before winning the tournament in 2005. In addition to last year’s 65-55 championship- game victory over Azusa Pacific, the Golden Eagles defeated the Cougars 70-67 in the first round of the 2003 tournament. This year’s meeting will be the first time since 1950 that the two teams that met for the previous season’s championship game have met in the first round. That game was played between Hamline (Minn.) and Regis (Colo.). The John Brown women have only made one previous NAIA tournament appearance. In 2004, the Golden Eagles lost to Georgetown (Ky.) in the first round.