By Hannah Lutz
The TranSouth Women’s and Men’s Basketball Conference was held at Union University last week with the women’s team winning the TranSouth Conference Tournament and the men losing in the semifinals. Both teams went to the NAIA national tournament where the men’s team lost in the opening round, but the Lady Bulldogs will play in the title game March 22.
The Lady Bulldogs played Bethel University for the title game of the TranSouth Conference on March 7. This was the first appearance in a championship title game for Bethel.
The contest marked the first championship game played by a team other than Union University, Freed-Hardeman University or Trevecca Nazarene University since 1999.
Union won the title game with a final score of 73–49. Other universities in the tournament included Freed-Hardeman University, Trevecca Nazarene University, Lyon College, Cumberland University, Martin Methodist, Blue Mountain (Miss.) College and Mid-Continent (Ken.) University.
The Lady Bulldogs received their No.1 seed to the 2011 NAIA Division I Basketball National Championship at Oman Arena in Jackson, Tenn. The women are ranked No. 1 in the NAIA Championship, which sets the NAIA record 48th consecutive poll. The women’s team has been in the No. 1 ranking for four straight years. The 48th top-ranking streak started in the 2007 preseason poll.
The women’s team was 31–1 as it entered the NAIA National Tournament, which started Match 16. The Lady Bulldogs have won five titles overall, including four in the last six years.
The men’s team lost in the TranSouth Conference during the semifinals. The men’s basketball team was ranked No. 12 in the 2011 NAIA Division I men’s tournament. The men won the previous two conference tournament titles.
The Bulldogs made their 14th national tournament appearance.