(Bracket) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has officially released the bracket for the 2017 NAIA Men's Tennis National Championship, May 16 – 20 in Mobile, Ala. The 66th annual event is hosted at the Mobile Tennis Center.
The #16 Bulldogs are slated to face #17 Middle Georgia State on Tuesday at 8:30 am CDT.
The field consists of 14 automatic berths, including one host berth, and 10 at-large selections. Automatic qualification is given to conference and unaffiliated grouping tournament champions. For the first year, at-large teams were determined by the NAIA Tennis National Selection Committee (NSC). The NSC consists of one representative from each geographic area, a representative from the National Administrative Council (NAC) Rules and Ratings Committee, the president of the Tennis Coaches Association and two at-large members. The committee evaluated teams throughout the year on various criteria. Mobile (Ala.) received the host berth.
The single elimination, tournament commences with eight first-round matchups on May 16 starting at 8:30 a.m. CDT. The top-eight seeds received a first-round bye and begin action on May 17 at 1 9 a.m. The event concludes on May 20 with the championship match slated for a 9 a.m. start.
Defending national champion and No. 1 Georgia Gwinnett headlines the field after claiming an at-large bid into the event. The Grizzlies are making their fourth-straight and fourth overall appearance in the national championship, as they look to win their fourth-straight national championship in just their fourth year eligible for NAIA postseason competition. Georgia Gwinnett is the only men's team in the field with a red banner already to its name.
The top-seed Georgia Gwinnett receives a first-round bye and awaits the winner of No. 17 Middle Georgia State and No. 16 Tennessee Wesleyan, which meet in the first-round on Tuesday.
The Gold Rush of Xavier (La.) are once again at the heels of the Grizzlies as they earn the No. 2 seed in the bracket this season. Xavier fell to Georgia Gwinnett in the national championship match in 2016.
Receiving the No. 6 seed is Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), which is making a field-high 15th appearance to the national championship this season. The Blue Raiders will face the winner of No. 11 Mobile and No. 22 Marian (Ind.) in the second-round after earning a bye.
Keiser (Fla.) and the host Mobile are the only other programs in this year's field to have 10 appearances under their belt.
Four teams will be competing in their first-ever national championship – Arizona Christian, Lawrence Tech (Mich.), Middle Georgia State and William Woods (Mo.).
For more information on the 2017 NAIA Men's Tennis National Championship, click here.
2017 NAIA Men's Tennis National Championship Bracket - PDF