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GCU officially earns Division I status, becoming NCAA championship ready

Today's announcement makes the Lopes eligible for March Madness.
GCU Lopes basketball. (Photo: GCU Athletics)

PHOENIX - Grand Canyon University announced its official transition to a Division I athletics program Wednesday.

The school has been working on becoming a D-I school for a few years now.

Former Phoenix Sun's legend Dan Majerle is the current head coach of the Antelopes men's basketball team. The team played a D-I schedule in the Western Athletic Conference last season, but were not eligible for the NCAA tournament.

Wednesday's announcement makes the Lopes eligible for March Madness.

The nearly 20,000-student private Christian university located in Phoenix has a notable student section. Several sports blogs have called the Havocs-- the school's nickname for the student section-- the best student section in country.

According to GCU's website, GCU will compete in 21 D-I men's and women's sports, including tennis, golf, track and field, volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball, swimming and diving, cross country and soccer.

The school was on a four-year probationary transition to a D-I from a Division II athletics program.