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Wayne Cavadi | NCAA.com | March 31, 2019

DII men's basketball undefeated tracker: Northwest Missouri State becomes the fifth undefeated national champion

Northwest Missouri State stays undefeated with semifinal win

The Northwest Missouri State Bearcats did what only four other programs have done before them. The Bearcats ran the table, going a perfect 38-0 in capturing the 2019 DII men's basketball championship. The Bearcats swept through the regular season with a perfect 29-0 record and are now the first undefeated team in 10 years since Findlay ran the table, going 36-0 on the way to the 2009 national championship. 

PREVIEW: Can Northwest Missouri State run the table?

Let's take a quick look at how Northwest Missouri State got here.

BRACKET: Print yours | Interactive bracket

No. 1 Northwest Missouri State (38-0)

The Bearcats built an impressive resume right out of the gates, beating the defending runner-up and defending champ on consecutive nights to open the season

Northwest Missouri State handled a very good Washburn in the regular season finale, 72-49. It kept that momentum rolling, sweeping through the MIAA tournament. The Bearcats entered the season with just two returning starters and ended the regular season with four DII basketball stars in Joey Witthus, Trevor Hudgins, Ryan Hawkins, and Diego Bernard. They then chased Findlay's historic 2009 season to become the fifth DII basketball team in history to run a perfect schedule.

THE MIAA TOURNAMENT:

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME RECAP: Stats, highlights and analysis 

  • Thursday, Mar. 7: Northwest Missouri State 82, Emporia State 79
  • Saturday, Mar. 9: Northwest Missouri State 86, Lincoln (Mo) 69
  • Sunday, Mar. 10: MIAA Championship: Northwest Missouri State 82, Washburn 53

NCAA DII TOURNAMENT WATCH: Standout freshmen | Stat leaders 

The DII men's basketball championship:

The Bearcats entered the NCAA DII tournament as the top seed in the Central Region. They avenged their loss to the same No. 8-seeded Minnesota State team that upset them last year. A close quarterfinals game tested the Bearcats, but they responded in a big way in the semifinals, using a 45-24 second half to post a 23-point victory. A big win in the finals elevated Northwest Missouri State to a perfect season.

TOURNEY PREP: Let's take a region-by-region look at teams to watch

Round Date Opponent
1 Mar. 16 NWMSU 91, Minnesota State 62
2 Mar. 17 NWMSU 70, Southern Nazarene 59
Regional Championship Mar. 19 NWMSU 82, Mo. Southern St. 70
Elite Eight Mar. 27 NWMSU 55, Mercyhurst 51
Semifinals Mar 28 NWMSU 76, Saint Anselm 53
Championship Mar. 30 NWMSU 64, Point Loma 58
  HISTORY: These programs have the most DII hoops titles | The best single-season scoring marks in DII 

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