By Mitch Vingle
WVU Tech will boast a No. 2 seed in both the men's and women's brackets as it hosts the Association of Independent Institutions basketball tournament this weekend at the Neal D. Baisi Center in Montgomery.
The champions of the six-team event will advance to the NAIA national tournament in Kansas City, Mo., March 13-19.
"It's an independent tournament," said WVU Tech men's coach Bob Williams. "If you secure six teams to play, you get an automatic berth to Kansas City."
On the men's side, the top seed belongs to California State San Marcos, which is 23-5 and is the nation's No. 6 NAIA team.
"They have eight Division I transfers," Williams said. "They're built to win a national title."
Three of the participating schools - Voorhees College, Morris College and Allen University - are from South Carolina. Robert Morris College is in Chicago.
Tech's men are unranked but received votes in the latest NAIA poll with a 19-11 record. The Golden Bears have six players in double figures, led by David Rawlinson (20.8 points per game) and Terrale Clark (15.0).
The tournament begins Friday, but the top two seeded teams in each division have byes until Saturday's games. WVU Tech's men will face the winner of the Robert Morris-Allen game at 8 p.m. Saturday.
After Cal State San Marcos and Tech, those seeded from No. 3 to 6 are Robert Morris, Voorhees, Morris and Allen, respectively.
Tech's women are 15-13 and will play at 6 p.m. Saturday against the winner of the Voorhees-Allen game. Robert Morris is the No. 1 seed in that bracket, followed by Tech, Voorhees, Cal State San Marcos, Morris and Allen.
The women's title game will be at noon on Sunday, followed by the men's final at 3 p.m.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.
AII tournament schedule
Association of Independent Institutions
At Neal D. Baisi Center, Montgomery