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Jackson Rotary Classic assembles six top teams, four in top-10

JACKSON, Tenn. - 11/16/2011 - The Jackson Rotary Club will host their 18th Annual Jackson Rotary Classic, and for the ninth straight season, Union University’s Fred DeLay Gymnasium will be the site. The Rotary Classic begins Thursday, Nov. 17 and goes through Saturday, Nov. 19.

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

Year after year, the Jackson Rotary Classic 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 will be playing for a national title in March.

In fact, each of the last eight NAIA women’s basketball national champions played in the Jackson Rotary Classic the same year they won the title (Southern Nazarene 2004, Union 2005, 2006, Lambuth 2007, Vanguard 2008, Union 2009, 2010, Azusa Pacific 2011).

In each season since the classic expanded to six teams in 2003, the entire field of six is ranked or receiving votes in the NAIA preseason rankings. This season, the classic boasts four teams in the top 10 of the preseason rankings. This year’s field includes No. 2 Union University, No. 6 Bethel University, No. 6 Freed-Hardeman University, No. 9 Westminster (Utah) College, No. 13 Saint Xavier (Ill.) University and The Master’s College, who is the first team listed in the receiving votes.

Five of the six teams in this year’s classic participated in the 2011 NAIA Women’s Basketball National Tournament in Jackson last March. Union was denied their third straight national title last season in a championship game loss to Azusa Pacific (Calif.). Freed-Hardeman advanced to the semifinals, Westminster advanced to the quarterfinals, Bethel advanced to the second round and Saint Xavier lost in the first round of last year’s national tournament. This year’s Rotary Classic will produce one re-match from last season’s national tournament quarterfinals between Union and Westminster.

This Rotary Classic field could be on display again in March of 2011 as these teams work to earn a spot in the 2012 national tournament in Frankfort, Ky.. This year’s Rotary Classic field has combined for 61 total national tournament appearances, posting a combined record of 102-56 (.654). The field has advanced to 16 semifinals appearances (Union 12, Freed-Hardeman 3, The Master’s 1). Included in the 16 trips to the semifinals, the field has also produced five national champions (Union 5) and three national runner-up finishes (Union 3).

Thursday, November 17
4:00 p.m. - #2 Union vs. #9 Westminster
6:00 p.m. - #6 Freed-Hardeman vs. #RV The Master’s
8:00 p.m. - #6 Bethel vs. #13 Saint Xavier

Friday, November 18
4:00 p.m. - #6 Bethel vs. #9 Westminster
6:00 p.m. - #2 Union vs. #RV The Master’s
8:00 p.m. - #6 Freed-Hardeman vs. #13 Saint Xavier

Saturday, November 19
4:00 p.m. - #6 Freed-Hardeman vs. #9 Westminster
6:00 p.m. - #6 Bethel vs. #RV The Master’s
8:00 p.m. - #2 Union vs. #13 Saint Xavier


Related Item(s):

2011 Jackson Rotary Classic

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

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