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Jackson Rotary Classic to Feature Six Ranked Teams, Including NAIA's Top Three

JACKSON, Tenn. - 11/14/2007 - The Jackson Rotary Club will host their 14th Annual Jackson Rotary Basketball Classic and for the fifth straight season, Union University’s Fred DeLay Gymnasium will be the site. The begins on Thursday, November 15 and goes through Saturday, November 17.

The Jackson Rotary Classic will benefit the Madison Haywood Developmental Services, Youth Town, and also will fund scholarships for students from all eight high schools in Madison County.

For the second time since the Jackson Rotary Classic expanded to six teams in 2003, the entire field is ranked in the NAIA Preseason Top 25. This season, the classic also boasts the top three teams in the preseason rankings. Included in this year’s field is No. 1 Union University (Tenn.), No. 2 Vanguard University (Calif.), No. 3 Lee University (Tenn.), No. 8 Freed-Hardeman University (Tenn.), No. 11 Lambuth University (Tenn.), and No. 19 The Master’s College (Calif.).

The Jackson Rotary Classic year after year has featured some of the NAIA’s best talent in women’s basketball. The fans of West Tennessee and many from across the nation often get a preview of the same teams that make their way back to Jackson in March for the NAIA Women’s Basketball National Tournament at Oman Arena.

This classic includes three teams (Union, Vanguard, and Lambuth) that were in the final four of last season’s national tournament. In addition, over the past four seasons, the NAIA National Champion has played in the Jackson Rotary Classic during the same year (Southern Nazarene 2004; Union 2005, 2006; Lambuth 2007).

The same could easily happen again in March of 2008 as this field has no strangers to the national tournament. The six teams in this year’s Rotary Classic have 53 combined national tournament appearances (Union-18, Freed-Hardeman-11, Vanguard-9, The Master’s-8, Lambuth-5, and Lee-4). Only one other team in NAIA history has more NAIA National Tournament appearances than Union (Wayland Baptist 19). The six teams in this year’s classic are a combined 86-49 (.637) all-time in national tournament games. Union leads the field with a 0.754 (46-15) national tournament winning percentage, including a 13-1 record in the last three national tournaments. Only two other current NAIA teams (Southern Nazarene-7 and Oklahoma City-4) have won more NAIA Women’s Basketball National Titles that Union’s three championships. Southwestern Oklahoma, a current NCAA DII school, won five titles during the time in the NAIA.

To learn more about the Jackson Rotary Classic, visit the website linked above for schedules, results, live media, links to the participating schools websites, and much more.

#UNION#


Steven Aldridge
Phone: (731) 661-5027
Sports Information
Fax: (731) 661-5182

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