File photo courtesy of Drury Lady Panthers via Twitter

The Drury Lady Panthers will start their bid for a national championship right here in Springfield when they host the NCAA II Midwest Regional at O’Reilly Family Event center starting Friday.

Here’s the press release from Drury University Athletics with details on the tournament:

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— The Drury Lady Panthers will host the NCAA-II Midwest Regional March 13-16 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center after being named the top seed in the eight-team tournament. Drury is 32-0 and won the Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament for the fourth straight year on Sunday with a 77-55 win over Lewis.

The Lady Panthers will play eighth-seeded Lindenwood at 6 pm on Friday. The Lions are 19-9 and lost to Drury 89-67 on Saturday in the semifinals of the GLVC tournament.

The winner of the Drury-Lindenwood game will advance to the regional semifinals on Saturday at 7:30 pm and play the winner of fourth-seeded Grand Valley State (28-3) vs. number five seed Ferris State (21-8).

The other regional quarterfinal match-ups include second-seeded Ashland (31-0) vs. seventh-seeded Southern Indiana (18-9) on Friday at 2:30 pm, and the number three seed Walsh (28-2) will take on the sixth seed, Lewis (19-12), at noon on Friday.

The semifinals will be played on Saturday, March 14, at 5 pm and 7:30 pm. The championship is scheduled for Monday at 7 pm. The winner of the regional advances to the NCAA-II Elite Eight March 24-27 in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Midwest Regional field will feature four teams ranked in the top 10 nationally in the latest NCAA-II coaches’ poll as well as the only two undefeated teams in the country. Drury was ranked number one in the nation last week, while Ashland is ranked second, Grand Valley State, the fourth seed in the regional, is ranked fourth nationally, and Walsh is ranked ninth in the national poll. The top four seeds are a combined 120-5, with three of those losses coming from Grand Valley State against Ashland.

The Midwest Regional is one of eight regional tournaments across the country in NCAA-II. The full, 64-team national tournament bracket can be seen on the NCAA website.

The Lady Panthers will be making their 17th national tournament appearance in program history. Last year, Drury advanced to the national semifinals.

NCAA-II Midwest Regional Schedule

Friday, March 13

Noon: No. 3 Walsh vs. No. 6 Lewis

2:30 pm: No. 2 Ashland vs. No. 7 Southern Indiana

6 pm: No. 1 LADY PANTHERS vs. No. 8 Lindenwood

8:30 pm: No. 4 Grand Valley State vs. No. 5 Ferris State

Saturday, March 14

5 pm: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2

7:30 pm: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

Monday, March 16

7 pm: Championship Game

All games at the O’Reilly Family Event Center

All times are Central time

#MoreThanChampions

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