A pair of road wins last week helped the Fort Hays State women's basketball team climb two spots to sixth in the latest release of the NCAA Division II Central Region rankings, announced Wednesday.


One of the primary data points the regional ranking committee uses is Performance Indicator, a system that assigns numerical values to game results depending on the site and quality of the opponent. FHSU's road wins last week helped the Tigers increase their performance indicator to 14.880, the fifth-highest in the region.


The Tigers have wins against three of the top eight regional teams on its resume this year, including victories against No. 2 Minnesota Duluth, No. 4 Emporia State and No. 8 Harding.


Since the regional ranking committee last met to discuss this week's rankings early in the week, 10th-ranked St. Cloud State defeated No. 3 Sioux Falls and No. 2 Minnesota Duluth to secure the NSIC's automatic bid.


Harding and Nebraska-Kearney both took losses in the final week of the regular season, with the Lopers dropping each of their last two contests to tumble from fifth to ninth.


The final regional ranking announcement will come on Selection Sunday, when the NCAA announces the 64-team field for the 2020 NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Championship at 9 p.m. on Sunday, March 8. The MIAA and GAC conference tournament champions will join St. Cloud State in the automatic bid category, with the top five remaining teams earning an at-large bid into the eight-team regional tournament beginning Friday, March 13.


Fort Hays State will open postseason play Friday (March 6) when the Tigers take on Pittsburg State in the MIAA Quarterfinals. First tip is slated for noon inside historic Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo.