BILLINGS — The men's soccer team from Rocky Mountain College will be competing for an NAIA national championship.

The unbeaten Battlin' Bears (8-0) were one of 40 teams Monday that learned where, when and who they would be competing against in the opening-round event, which begins Thursday at 10 campus sites around the country.

Rocky will be going up against host MidAmerica Nazarene (10-6-2) on Thursday afternoon in Olathe, Kansas. Game time is 3 p.m. (Mountain).

The unranked Bears received an automatic bid to the national competition after finishing first in the East Division of the Cascade Collegiate Conference.

The Olathe bracket will also include McPherson (Kansas) and Bellevue (Nebraska). 

The Rocky-MidAmerica winner will play the McPherson-Bellevue winner on Saturday for a berth to the final championship site in Columbia County, Georgia. The competition will be held May 4-10 at the Blanchard Woods Park.

The opening-round field includes 27 automatic qualifiers and 13 at-large selections.

Central Methodist of Missouri is the overall No. 1 seed. The Eagles have won the past two national titles and are 10-0 in championship tournament play.

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