Last Updated 6:56 PM, March 26, 2022

Northwest Missouri State wins third-straight national championship

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Northwest Missouri State wins DII National Championship
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9:03 pm, March 26, 2022

HISTORY: Northwest Missouri State wins third-straight title

NCAA Photos via Getty Images The Northwest Missouri State Bearcats are your 2022 DII men’s basketball national champions, defeating Augusta 67-58. Relive the entire tournament, round by round, here.

Despite all the madness, surprises and a five-loss season in Maryville, Missouri, the 2022 DII men’s basketball season ended how many felt it would back in November. The Northwest Missouri State Bearcats are your 2022 DII men’s basketball national champions, defeating Augusta 67-58.

It is the third championship in a row — a DII record — for the Bearcats and fourth in five tournaments. NABC player of the year Trevor Hudgins and his backcourt companion Diego Bernard have been there for every game. The duo are a combined 17-0 in NCAA DII tournament play — the DII record for most consecutive tournament wins, mind you — on arguably the single most dominant stretch in the history of DII men’s hoops.

Hudgins was pivotal in turning the game around. The Bearcats trailed early, by as much as seven, and it was in large part due to Tyshaun Crawford, Augusta’s 7-foot-1 big man. Whether he was scoring or drawing the double team for wide open 3-pointers, the Jaguars were controlling the game and led 17-10 halfway through the first half.

With both Bernard and Wes Dreamer on the bench in foul trouble, Hudgins took over, hitting consecutive 3s and finding a wide open Mitch Mascari for a third to take a 21-20 lead. Northwest Missouri State went on 18-4 run in the latter stages of the first half to open it up and would never trail again.

You can’t look back at the 2022 DII Men’s Elite Eight without discussing the dominance of Augusta’s big man. Crawford set a record by shooting 100% from the field in the semifinals and when you throw on top of it that he is left handed, he is a handful for any team. The 7-footer was a menace against a Bearcats whose tallest players were 6-foot-7, and even without the ball he’s a matchup nightmare, requiring multiple players to keep him at bay and creating opportunities for others.

That was the case on a late 12-2 run that got the Jaguars back in the game. Ja’Queze Kirby (7 poiunts, 9 rebounds) was terrific off the boards and helped lead the Jaguars as they got as close as one with less than four minutes remaining. Augusta had a chance to pull closer, but struggled from the line. One of the best shooting teams in DII had the Bearcats in foul trouble all game, but went just 17-29 from the free-throw line.

Northwest Missouri State was able to hold one of the best shooting teams in DII to 36.7% shooting from the field and 26% from 3. The Jaguars were a team that shot over 40% from both throughout the season. The Bearcats also won the turnover battle and dominated in points-off-turnovers margin. 

The Bearcats have cemented their spot as the greatest dynasty in DII men's basketball history. Once again, they end the season as national champions, winners of the 2022 title. 

Leaders Northwest Missouri State Augusta
Points T. Hudgins - 31 T. Crawford - 15
Rebounds B. Alexander, D. Abreu - 5 T. Crawford - 11
Assists T. Hudgins - 5 T. Crawford - 4
Steals L. Waters - 3 T. Myers - 2
3-pointers T. Hudgins - 5 T. Cracknell, M. Arnold - 2
Click or tap here for an interactive bracket. 
8:52 pm, March 26, 2022

ONE-PONT BALL GAME!!! Augusta 3 cuts Bearcats lead, 57-56

The Jaguars are red-hot, erasing a 15-point Bearcat lead. A Miguel Arnold 3-pointer cuts the lead to one. Augusta will have to figure out a way to hit their free throws down the stretch to keep this one close.

8:39 pm, March 26, 2022

Jaguars cut into the Bearcats lead, trail 54-44

Fueled by a 10-0 run with star big man Tyshaun Crawford on the bench, Augusta has been able to keep the game in check heading into the final six minutes of play. It was a group effort with baskets by Darren Lucas-White, Ja'Queze Kirby and Tyree Martin leading the way. The Jaguars have been more aggressive, attacking the boards and have been getting to the free throw line, but need to convert more down the stretch, just 13-for-21 from the charity stripe.

The big difference has been that free throw shooting and Augusta turnovers. The Bearcats have 15 points off turnovers, and Augusta has just two. 

8:19 pm, March 26, 2022

Bearcats up 15 at first timeout of second half

 Just about a quarter of the way through the second half and the Bearcats have extended their lead to 15. This has been the trend of the tournament — Northwest has defeated every opponent so far by at least 13 points. 

The Bearcats are pouring on the 3s, now 8-for-18 from behind the arc. The Jaguars have attempted just six 3s and the 3-ball is one of their biggest weapons. The Bearcats are not letting Crawford get comfortable and will need others like Tyree Myers and Ja"Queze Kirby to get hot, which both are more than capable of doing. 

Coming out of a timeout, Northwest leads 46-31.

7:51 pm, March 26, 2022

Two-time defending champs up big at the half

Northwest Missouri State 39, Augusta 28 - Half

It was the tale of two different mini-halves. Augusta won the first 10 minutes, leading 17-10 at one point. Tyshaun Crawford was having his way, scoring nine points, dominating the offensive glass, and dishing out a team-high two assists. But the Bearcats, as they do, flipped the script. They got aggressive on Crawford in a very physical game. The DII player of the year (Trevor Hudgins) took over and found his comfort zone behind the arch. Hudgins dropped 22 in the first half and fueled a 18-4 run that has the Bearcats out to a 39-28 lead at the half.

There is 20 minutes left and Augusta has the pieces to get back in this. The second half is moments away. 

Leaders Northwest Missouri State Augusta
Points T. Hudgins - 22 T. Cracknell - 10
Rebounds B. Alexander, D. Abreu - 3 T. Crawford - 5
Assists Hudgins, Alexander - 2 T. Crawford - 2
Steals Luke Waters - 2 Cracknell - 1 (the team's only steal)
3-pointers Hudgins - 4 Cracknell - 2
7:35 pm, March 26, 2022

Trevor Hudgins settles in, Bearcats now lead 28-24

Here come the Bearcats and of course, it was back-to-back NABC player of the year Trevor Hudgins leading the way. A pair of 3s by Hudgins — the MIAA's all-time leader in 3-pointers — got the Bearcats within two, and it was a Hudgins pass to Mitch Mascari for an open 3 that gave Northwest Missouri its first lead of the game. Mascari has since picked up his third foul and the Bearcats are in quite a bit of foul trouble. 

That doesn't bode well for Northwest in the long run. The Bearcats have clamped down on Crawford down low, even forcing an offensive foul, but it's becoming a physical game. The Northwest defense will still have its hands full as there are shooters aplenty for Augusta.

Hudgins hits another 3 and three-quarters of the way through the first half, Northwest leads by four. 

7:25 pm, March 26, 2022

Augusta leads 17-10 at the second timeout

We are at the second timeout in Evansville, and with just over 11 minutes remaining, Augusta leads by seven. Tyshaun Crawford is such a huge advantage, even when he isn't scoring down low, he forces double teams. That leaves someone open outside, and thus far it has been Troy Cracknell (pictured) open. Cracknell has hit on two relatively open shots, both perfectly swishing through the net.

Bearcats are shooting 50% from the field, but the absence of Bernard and Dreamer is a lot to overcome. Both are still on the bench in foul trouble. 

7:16 pm, March 26, 2022

Augusta leads after first five minutes, 11-5

We're at the first timeout and Augusta is up by six. Diego Bernard picked up two fouls in a matter of seconds, putting the Bearcats' top defender on the bench early. Wes Dreamer, a double-double machine in the tournament, also picked up two early fouls. 

For Augusta, Tyshaun Crawford already has six points and four rebounds. Troy Cracknell hit a big 3 going into the timeout — it was the Jaguars first 3-point attempt of the day. Augusta is one of the best 3-point shooting teams in DII, so it will be a big factor today.

7:09 pm, March 26, 2022

Starting lineups announced, tipoff moments away

We are moments from tipoff. Both starting lineups have been announced.

Northwest Missouri State starting five

  • Trevor Hudgins
  • Diego Bernard
  • Luke Waters
  • Wes Dreamer
  • Isaiah Jackson

Augusta starting five

  • Tyshaun Crawford
  • Tyree Myers
  • Miguel Arnold
  • Troy Cracknell
  • Ja'Queze Kirby
12:41 pm, March 26, 2022

National championship game is today: What's at stake

A champion will be crowned Saturday inside the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana. The past two weeks have answered many questions, so only one remains: Will Northwest Missouri State or Augusta make history on Saturday?

Augusta reached the championship game in 2008 and hasn't been back since. The Jaguars are looking for the first national championship in its program's history and if there was ever a team to do it, this is it. On the other side is Northwest Missouri State, a team that last went to the national championship game... well, last year. And the tournament before that as well. Let's put a little perspective on this Bearcats' run.

No DII men's basketball program has ever won three titles in a row. In fact, before the Bearcats, the last team to go back-to-back was Cal State Bakersfield way back in 1993-94. Now, don't forget, Northwest also won the title in 2017, so has won three of the last four. Kentucky Wesleyan, owners of the most national championships in DII men's basketball history, had a similar run, winning a title in 1966 and then missing out in 1967 before winning in both 1968 and '69.

Here's the difference: Northwest Missouri State was 31-1 in 2020 when the tournament was canceled due to COVID. You can very well make the argument that the Bearcats should already be the first three-time champions in the sport.

Players to watch: There are a few of them. Both Trevor Hudgins (Northwest Missouri State) and Tyshaun Crawford (Augusta) still remain on the Bevo Francis watchlist. Hudgins just won the NABC DII player of the year (again!) and had the best season of his career (how?). Crawford is coming off a record-setting performance, going 12-for-12 — the first time any player shot 100% in DII Men's Elite Eight history — to reach the championship game. Of course, the Bearcats' Diego Bernard has been with Hudgins for the entire run since both were freshman in 2019. As Chris Cottrell, host of the Small College Basketball podcast and former DII coach for many years, said, Bernard is the best on-ball defender he has ever seen play. Ever.

Augusta defeated Indiana (PA) in the semifinals while Northwest Missouri State took down Black Hills State. Stay right here for live updates throughout the championship game but you can follow the stats/scoreboard here: (3) Augusta vs. (5) Northwest Missouri State.

Click or tap here for an interactive bracket. 

12:47 am, March 25, 2022

National championship is set

Northwest Missouri State Athletics Northwest Missouri State men's basketball

Augusta will take on Northwest Missouri State in the 2022 DII men's basketball championship on Saturday, March 26. In the semifinals, Augusta defeated Indiana (PA) and Northwest Missouri State took down Black Hills State

The title game will take place Saturday, March 26 at 3 p.m. ET at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana.

Click or tap here for an interactive bracket. 

11:53 am, March 24, 2022

Semifinals results

Augusta Athletics Augusta men's basketball

The semifinals for the 2022 DII men's basketball championship are now complete.

All games were played at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana. See the semifinal results below. 

Thursday March 24

See the quarterfinal results below:

Click or tap here for an interactive bracket

11:09 pm, March 22, 2022

Bearcats historic run continues; will face BHSU in semifinals

Black Hills State made some history today, and now the Yellow Jackets will face Northwest Missouri State in Thursday's semifinals. The Bearcats, of course, are no strangers to making history themselves. Take a look at some of the impressive numbers after Northwest Missouri State's 61-43 victory over Bentley in the quarterfinals.

  • The win by Northwest was its 15th straight NCAA Division II Tournament win and 22nd in its last 23 tournament games. Diego Bernard and Trevor Hudgins have been part of the entire run and are 15-0 in their tournament career.
  • The quarterfinals win was its 70th in succession in a game it led at halftime.
  • Northwest Missouri State is in the national semifinals for the fourth time in the last five tournaments.
  • The 43 points allowed by the Bearcats was the fewest in an Elite Eight game since the shot clock was implemented in 1985-86; it was the fewest in any Elite Eight game since 1983.
  • The Bearcats have won all four of their 2022 DII men's basketball tournament games by at least 14 points. 
9:33 pm, March 22, 2022

No. 8 Black Hills State upsets No. 1 Nova Southeastern

No. 8 Black Hills State upset No. 1 Nova Southeastern on Tuesday afternoon. 

Black Hills State advances to the Final Four where they will take on No. 5 Northwest Missouri State on Thursday, March 24. 

To view the full bracket, click here

2:28 pm, March 22, 2022

Quarterfinals results: DII men's basketball

The 2022 NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Tournament resumes Tuesday with the quarterfinals.

Eight teams will square off in four games this afternoon, fighting for the right to advance to Thursday's semifinals. All of Tuesday's games will stream live on NCAA.com. Click or tap on a game below to watch.

Click or tap here for an interactive bracket