The NCAA D2 Tournament fields have been announced for both men and women and HBCUs are facing an uphill climb once again.
SIAC and CIAA champions on both men’s and women’s sides were joined by at-large bids for a total of seven HBCUs in the field combined.
On the women’s side, CIAA champion Elizabeth City State earned the eighth seed, which means it will face the top seed in the Atlantic Region. That would be Glenville State, the defending NCAA Division II champion. ECSU comes into the tournament 20-10 after winning the CIAA as the fifth overall seed.
Joining ECSU in the Atlantic region is West Virginia State out of the Mountain East Conference. WV State picked up the no five seed in the region with its 22-6 record. It will take on Shippensburg of the PSAC, which was granted a no. 4 seed with a 24-6 record.
SIAC champion Tuskegee, like their CIAA counterpart, earned the no. 8 seed in its respective region. Tuskegee will be an eighth seed despite a gaudy 26-3 record, which included a perfect 22-0 record against SIAC opponents.
NCAA D2 HBCU men get two at-large bids
The NCAA D2 Tournament will feature four HBCUs on the men’s side — two from both the SIAC and two from the CIAA.
CIAA Champion Winston-Salem State (21-8) was awarded an eighth seed. It will face no. 1 seed Indiana University of Pennsylvania, which enters the tournament with a 30-1 record. One of those wins came early in the season against WSSU as it came away with a 67-50 win after WSSU cut an early deficit to single digits.
Virginia Union received an at-large bid to the NCAA D2 Tournament, picking up a no. 4 seed despite falling in the semifinals of the CIAA Tournament to WSSU. VUU (23-7) will take on no. 5 Fairmont State of the MEC.
SIAC Champion Miles College picked up a — you guessed it — no. 8 seed in the South Region. Miles (23-6) will get to take on top seed Nova Southeastern which comes in with a 30-0 record.
Like Virginia Union, Tuskegee managed to pick up an at-large bid. ‘Skegee picked up a no. 7 seed in the South Region and will take on no. 2 seed West Alabama in the first round.