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Valorie Coleman
Public Relations Director
College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, MO 65726
Office: (417) 690-2212
Cell: (417) 365-2727
Email: vcoleman@cofo.edu

February 28, 2017

College of the Ozarks to host 26th annual NAIA Division II Tournament, March 8-14

NAIA DII Mens Basketball National Tournament2017 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Tournament will be held March 8-14, at the Howell W. Keeter Athletic Complex at College of the Ozarks. Photo credits: CIP photo.

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — On March 8-14, 2017, College of the Ozarks will host the annual National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division II Men’s Basketball Championship at the Howell W. Keeter Athletic Complex. The 26th annual tournament will consist of 32 teams, including the local College of the Ozarks Bobcats. The Division II championship is a 32-team, single-elimination tournament featuring the champions of the Division II conferences, regional tournaments, and at-large berths.

The opening round of play begins on Wednesday, March 8, at 8:30 a.m., with day and evening games throughout the week. All teams invited to the tournament will gather for the “Parade of Champions” ceremony at 7:30 p.m. on opening night. The tournament concludes with the championship game scheduled for Tuesday, March 14, at 6 p.m.

Each year, the NAIA Championship brings thousands of fans to the Ozarks to cheer on teams that represent schools from across the country. Last year’s champions, Indiana Wesleyan University, traveled eight hours from Marion, Indiana, to Point Lookout, Missouri. Approximately 20,000 fans will visit for NAIA, and more than 650 volunteers, including faculty, staff, students, and community members, will help College of the Ozarks host this tournament.

“Another year of NAIA DII Men’s Basketball National Championship action is right around the corner, and we are eager to welcome teams and fans to College of the Ozarks for a week of exciting college basketball,” said Dori Rapinchuk, co-director of the tournament. “Hosting the national championship provides us with an excellent opportunity to meet new folks, visit returning fans, and showcase our unique College and all that the Branson/Tri-Lakes area has to offer.”

“C of O is pleased to host this event,” said Chris Larsen, co-director of the tournament and dean of sports, recreation, and events. “This is a great event for our institution, and fans come from all over the country. They are exposed to great Ozarks hospitality and exceptional basketball.”

For tickets, game schedules, and more information, call (417) 335- 6242 or visit www.cofo.edu/naia.

About College of the Ozarks

College of the Ozarks is a Christian, liberal arts college located on a 1,000-acre campus in Point Lookout, Missouri. Christian values, hard work, and financial responsibility comprise the fundamental building blocks of the “Hard Work U.” experience. The college earns numerous accolades yearly, including being named the #1 Best Value College in the Midwest for 2015 by “U.S. News & World Report.”

The Keeter Center — the College’s upscale lodge, restaurant, and conference facility — was ranked the No. 1 Top Small Hotel in the U.S. by TripAdvisor for 2016. It features fine dining, historic lodging, and meeting rooms. With more than 350 student workers, it is the largest work station on the College of the Ozarks campus.

To achieve its vision, College of the Ozarks pursues academic, vocational, Christian, patriotic and cultural goals. These goals are mirrored in School of the Ozarks, begun in fall 2012 for high school students, and the S. Truett Cathy Lower School, opened in fall 2014 to K-sixth grade students. Seventh and eighth grades were added in fall 2015, completing the K-college model. For information, call the public relations office at (417) 690-2212 or visit www.cofo.edu. Follow College of the Ozarks at www.facebook.com/collegeoftheozarks or on Twitter @CofOHardWorkU.

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02.28.17 – Kendra Fleury

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