CHAMPAIGN, IL - The team seeds and brackets have been announced for the 2019 Toyota National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament hosted by the University of Illinois. The 2019 tournament will mark the 42nd year the NWBA Intercollegiate Division has hosted a national tournament. The games will be played at the State Farm Center on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign, Illinois. Competition starts on Thursday, March 14 and concludes with the national championship games on Saturday, March 16.
The University of Wisconsin—Whitewater Warhawk Men and University of Texas—Arlington Lady Movin’ Mavs will headline their divisions as the top seeds. Both the top seeds look to keep their seasons ‘rolling’ as they both have posted at least 17 regular season wins and only have tasted defeat one time this entire season.
The defending Intercollegiate Men’s National Champions, University of Alabama, enter this year’s tournament as the second seeded team led by Dequel Robinson and Michael Auprince. The 2017 champions, University of Texas—Arlington, are led by the likes of Fabian Romo and come in the tourney as the third seed with a 19-7 record.
The first game of the tournament will be played on Thursday, March 14 at 8:00 a.m. between #9 University of Nebraska – Omaha and #8 Auburn University in the men’s bracket. The winner of this play-in game will play the #1 University of Wisconsin—Whitewater Warhawk Men.
The participants in last year’s NWBA Intercollegiate Women’s National Championship game, the University of Texas—Arlington and University of Alabama, will begin on opposite sides of the women’s bracket. These two teams account for the last four national titles (UTA – 2016 & 2018; Alabama 2015 & 2017), so something’s got to give in what looks to be a rubber match in a ‘best of five series'.
The Movin’ Lady Mavs are headlined by U.S. gold medalist from the 2016 Rio Paralympics that includes Rose Hollermann of Elysian, MN, Abigail Dunkin of New Braunfels, TX, and Darlene Hunter of Commerce, MI. The Crimson Tide roster features international impact players in Arinn Young of Alberta, Canada, Rosalie Lalonde of Quebec, Canada, and Barbara Gross of Pohlheim, Germany.
Both University of Whitewater Warhawks Women and host – University of Illinois Women will look to play the ‘Cinderella story’ on the women’s bracket for some March Madness. The Warhawks will be led by junior Lindsey Zurbrugg of Portland, OR a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2017 and 2018. The Illini Women feature a young squad with no seniors on the roster, that is led by Alejandra “Ali” Ibañez of Murray, UT and Emily Oberst of Brookfield, WI.
1. University of Wisconsin – Whitewater (24-1 overall; 22-1 division)
2. University of Alabama – (24-5 overall; 13-3 division)
3. University of Texas-Arlington (19-7 overall; 9-5 division)
4. University of Missouri – (12-7 division)
5. Edinboro University – (16-14 overall; 6-11 division)
6. University of Illinois – (8-10 division)
7. Southwest Minnesota State University – (8-10 overall; 6-10 division)
8. Auburn University (9-17 overall; 2-13 division)
9. University of Nebraska – Omaha (4-19 overall; 2-19 division)
1. University of Texas – Arlington (17-1 overall; 9-0 division)
2. University of Alabama (21-3 overall; 8-2 division)
3. University of Illinois (4-18 overall; 3-11 division)
4. University of Wisconsin – Whitewater (2-15 overall; 2-11 division)
The address for the venue (State Farm Center) is 1800 S 1st St, Champaign, Illinois 61820. For more information and tournament updates visit the tournament webpage at http://www.niwbt.illinois.edu/, visit NWBA.org or follow the NWBA on social media.