Last Updated 7:14 PM, March 25, 2023

Nova Southeastern wins the 2023 DII men’s basketball national championship

Nova Southeastern beats West Liberty in 2023 DII men's basketball final
9:32 pm, March 25, 2023

Nova Southeastern wins title in record-setting fashion

Nova Southeastern Athletics Nova Southeastern wins the 2023 DII men's basketball championship.

Finally. After years of coming close, coach Jim Crutchfield is a DII men’s basketball national champion as the Sharks are champions for the first time in program history. Nova Southeastern defeated West Liberty, 111-101, in the highest scoring championship game in history and one of the more memorable title games in the history of the division.

Nova Southeastern becomes the sixth undefeated champion in DII men’s basketball history. The Sharks also became just the second team to score 100 points in the championship game, joining Virginia Union’s 1992 championship team. The 111 points are not only the new DII championship game record, but the most points scored in any college basketball championship game, men's or women's.

The storylines heading into this game were bountiful. Nova Southeastern head coach Jim Crutchfield became just the third DII men’s basketball coach to take two different programs to the championship game. The other team? The squad staring him down on the other side of the court. He led West Liberty to a national runners-up finish in 2014 when current head coach Ben Howlett was his assistant.

This was the first time the two top scoring teams faced each other in the DII men’ s basketball championship game. And the two teams certainly filled the bill. The first half went to Nova Southeastern, which came out of the high-scoring half with a 55-48 lead, the most combined points in the first half of a DII men’s basketball championship game. Bevo Francis finalist RJ Sunahara came out on fire, scoring nine of the first 15 points of the game and finishing the half with 20 as the Sharks set the DII championship game record for most first half points.

West Liberty was a bit apprehensive at first and it took about 10 minutes to get comfortable and knock the jitters out. Bryce Butler, another Bevo Francis finalist, was held to just one shot in the first 10 minutes of the game, and the Hilltoppers need him going to get that high-octane motor rolling.

Dallas Graziani provided a spark for the Sharks when West Liberty pulled it close, hitting a pair of big 3s and getting fouled on a third attempt. A pretty lob that Sunahara finished off with a dunk certainly helped keep the momentum going. But the half ended in a scoring flurry from the suddenly hot Hilltoppers and Sharks. Step back 3s that hit nothing but net from Zach Rasile and Will Yoakum — who had a monster first half himself — were exchanged like blows in a heavyweight match to close the half in one of the most exciting minutes of play all season. The two teams combined to go 13 for 26 from behind the arc in the first half.

And that was just the first half. Act II was equally intense.

The second half was much more physical, with a pair of flagrant fouls from West Liberty in about four minutes to start the half. Every point was earned, as bodies hit the floor on every drive, with neither team wanting to relent and more than 50 combined fouls between the two teams.

But even that couldn’t stop these high-flying offenses.

Butler was sensational in the loss and played hard to the final whistle, almost single handedly keeping the Hilltoppers in the game. He sparked a late 11-2 run that brought the Hilltoppers in striking distance. He finished with 32 points on 11-for-19 shooting and nine rebounds. Chris Montague had a big day from 3, going 5 for 7 from behind the arc and finishing with 19.

Inevitably, there was too much foul trouble for West Liberty to overcome. Yoakum, who found himself in foul trouble early in the second half, was used as a free throw specialist, and finished with 31 points, capping a brilliant postseason with his third 30-point game in his final four tries. Sunahara fouled out, but still finished with 28 points and nine rebounds. Graziani’s engine never stopped, finishing with 24 points and nine assists.

It was a thrilling game from start to finish, one that there were no ties or lead changes. The top two offenses in the land delivered one of the most memorable performances in DII Men's Elite Eight history, and the Sharks walk away the winners of the 2023 national championship.

4:27 pm, March 10, 2023

Bracket, scores and live streams for the championship

DII men's basketball Elite Eight

The 2023 DII men's basketball tournament is headed to its national championship game in Evansville, Indiana, on March 25. It'll be Nova Southeastern against West Liberty for the title. Wayne Cavadi previews and predicts the title game here.

Northwest Missouri State won the 2022 national championship by beating Augusta 67-58 in the title game.

4:39 am, March 6, 2023

Selections announced

The NCAA Division II Men’s Committee announced today the field of 64 teams that will compete in the 2023 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship.

Twenty-three conferences have been awarded automatic qualification. The remaining 41 teams were selected at large by the committee.

Seven of the eight regional tournaments, consisting of eight teams each, will be conducted March 11, 12 and 14 while one regional tournament also consisting of eight teams will be conducted March 10, 11 and 13. The eight regional champions will advance to the quarterfinals in conjunction with the 2023 NCAA Division II Men’s Elite Eight. The quarterfinal, semifinal and championship games will be conducted at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana, March 21, 23 and 25.

See the full list of selections by clicking here.

9:46 pm, March 3, 2023

How to watch the 2023 DII men's basketball selection show

NCAA Photos DII men's basketball championship

The 2023 DII men's basketball selection show is Sunday, March 5 at 11 p.m. ET on The bracket will be revealed here following the conclusion of the selection show.

Stayed tuned to this page for the latest 2023 DII men's basketball tournament updates.

When: 11 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 5

Where: Live here on 

9:42 pm, March 3, 2023

DII men's basketball championship history

NCAA Photos Northwest Missouri State wins the 2022 DII men's basketball national championship

Northwest Missouri State won the 2022 DII men's basketball championship over Augusta last season. That gave the Bearcats their fourth title in the last five seasons. 

Wheaton (Ill.) won the first DII men's basketball championship in 1957.

2022 Northwest Missouri State (34-5) Ben McCollum 67-58 Augusta  Evansville, Ind.
2021 Northwest Missouri State
Ben McCollum 80-54 West Texas A&M Evansville, Ind.
2020 Canceled due to Covid-19 -- -- -- --
2019 Northwest Missouri State
Ben McCollum 64-58 Point Loma Evansville, Ind. 
2018 Ferris State (38-1) Andy Bronkema 71-69 Northern State Sioux Falls, S.D. 
2017 Northwest Missouri St. (35-1) Ben McCollum 71-61 Fairmont State Sioux Falls, S.D.
2016 Augustana [S.D.] (34-2) Tom Billeter 90-81 Lincoln Memorial Frisco, Tex.
2015 Florida Southern (36-1) Linc Darner 77-62 Indiana (Pa.) Evansville, Ind.
2014 Central Missouri (30-5) Kim Anderson 84-77 West Liberty Evansville, Ind.
2013 Drury (31-4) Steve Hesser 74-73 Metro State Atlanta, Ga.
2012 Western Washington (31-5) Brad Jackson 72-65 Montevallo Highland Heights, Ky.
2011 Bellarmine (33-2) Scott Davenport 71-68 BYU-Hawaii Springfield, Mass.
2010 Cal Poly Pomona (28-6) Greg kamansky 65-53 Indiana (Pa.) Springfield, Mass.
2009 Findlay (36-0) Ron Niekamp 56-53 (ot) Cal Poly Pomona Springfield, Mass.
2008 Winona State (38-1) Mike Leaf 87-76 Augusta State Springfield, Mass.
2007 Barton (31-5) Ron Lievense 77-75 Winona State Springfield, Mass.
2006 Winona State (32-4) Mike Leaf 73-61 Virginia Union Springfield, Mass.
2005 Virginia Union (30-4) Dave Robbins 63-58 Bryant Grand Forks, N.D.
2004 Kennesaw State (35-4) Tony Ingle 84-59 Southern Indiana Bakersfield, Calif.
2003 Northeastern State (32-3) Larry Gipson 75-64 **Kentucky Wesleyan Lakeland, Fla.
2002 Metro State (29-6) Mike Dunlap 80-72 Kentucky Wesleyan Evansville, Ind.
2001 Kentucky Wesleyan (31-3) Ray Harper 72-63 Washburn Bakersfield, Calif.
2000 Metro State (33-4) Mike Dunlap 97-79 Kentucky Wesleyan Louisville, Ky.
1999 Kentucky Wesleyan (35-2) Ray Harper 75-60 Metro State Louisville, Ky.
1998 UC Davis (31-2) Bob Williams 83-77 Kentucky Wesleyan Louisville, Ky.
1997 Cal State Bakersfield (29-4) Pat Douglass 57-56 Northern Kentucky Louisville, Ky.
1996 Fort Hays State (34-0) Gary Garner 70-63 Northern Kentucky Louisville, Ky.
1995 Southern Indiana (29-4) Bruce Pearl 71-63 UC Riverside Louisville, Ky.
1994 Cal State Bakersfield (27-6) Pat Douglass 92-86 Southern Indiana Springfield, Mass.
1993 Cal State Bakersfield (33-0) Pat Douglass 85-72 Troy Springfield, Mass.
1992 Virginia Union (30-3) Dave Robbins 100-75 Bridgeport Springfield, Mass.
1991 North Alabama (29-4) Gary Elliot 79-72 Bridgeport Springfield, Mass.
1990 Kentucky Wesleyan (31-2) Wayne Chapman 93-79 Cal State Bakersfield Springfield, Mass.
1989 North Carolina Central (28-4) Michael Bernard 73-46 Southeast Missouri State Springfield, Mass.
1988 Massachusetts-Lowell (27-7) Don Doucette 75-72 Alaska Anchorage Springfield, Mass.
1987 Kentucky Wesleyan (28-5) Wayne Chapman 92-74 Gannon Springfield, Mass.
1986 Sacred Heart (30-4) Dave Bike 93-87 Southeast Missouri State Springfield, Mass.
1985 Jacksonville State (31-1) Bill Jones 74-73 South Dakota State Springfield, Mass.
1984 Central Missouri (29-3) Lynn Nance 81-77 Saint Augustine's Springfield, Mass.
1983 Wright State (18-4) Ralph Underhill 92-73 District of Columbia Springfield, Mass.
1982 District of Columbia (25-5) Wil Jones 73-63 Florida Southern Springfield, Mass.
1981 Florida Southern (24-8) Hal Wissel 73-68 Mount Saint Mary's Springfield, Mass.
1980 Virginia Union (26-4) Dave Robbins 80-74 SUNYIT Springfield, Mass.
1979 North Alabama (22-9) Bill Jones 64-50 Green Bay Springfield, Mo.
1978 Cheyney (26-2) John Chaney 47-40 Green Bay Springfield, Mo.
1977 Chattanooga (27-5) Ron shumate 71-62 Randolph-Macon Springfield, Mass.
1976 Puget Sound (27-7) Don Zech 83-74 Chattanooga Evansville, Ind.
1975 Old Dominion (25-6) Sonny Allen 76-74 New Orleans Evansville, Ind.
1974 Morgan State (28-5) Nathaniel Frazier 67-52 Missouri State Evansville, Ind.
1973 Kentucky Wesleyan (24-6) Bob Jones 78-76 (ot) Tennessee State Evansville, Ind.
1972 Roanoke (28-4) Charles Moir 84-72 Akron Evansville, Ind.
1971 Evansville (22-8) Arad McCutchan 97-82 Old Dominion Evansville, Ind.
1970 Philadelphia University (29-2) Herb Magee 76-65 Tennessee State Evansville, Ind.
1969 Kentucky Wesleyan (25-5) Bob Daniels 75-71 Missouri State Evansville, Ind.
1968 Kentucky Wesleyan (28-3) Bob Daniels 63-52 Indiana State Evansville, Ind.
1967 Winston-Salem (30-2) C.E. Gaines 77-74 Missouri State Evansville, Ind.
1966 Kentucky Wesleyan (24-6) Guy Strong 54-51 Southern Illinois Evansville, Ind.
1965 Evansville (29-0) Arad McCutchan 85-82 (ot) Southern Illinois Evansville, Ind.
1964 Evansville (26-3) Arad McCutchan 72-59 Akron Evansville, Ind.
1963 South Dakota State (22-5) Jim Iverson 44-42 Wittenberg Evansville, Ind.
1962 Mount Saint Mary's (24-6) James Phelan 58-57 (ot) Sacramento State Evansville, Ind.
1961 Wittenberg (25-4) Ray Mears 42-38 Southeast Missouri State Evansville, Ind.
1960 Evansville (25-4) Arad McCutchan 90-69 Chapman Evansville, Ind.
1959 Evansville (21-6) Arad McCutchan 83-67 Missouri State Evansville, Ind.
1958 South Dakota (22-5) Duane Clodfelter 75-53 Saint Michael's Evansville, Ind.
1957 Wheaton (Ill.) (28-1) Lee Pfund 89-65 Kentucky Wesleyan Evansville, Ind.

**Student-athletes declared ineligible