“March Madness” basketball begins two weeks earlier for the NCAA’s nonscholarship Division III than it does for Division I, and AICUO is well represented in both the men’s and women’s playoff that begins this week, as well as in the NAIA Division II tournament that takes place next week. Follow the host schools’ highlighted links for information about tickets.
NCAA Division III
First round games will take place at two of our members. Baldwin-Wallace, winner of both the regular season and tournament women’s championships in the Ohio Athletic Conference, hosts a full weekend of first- and second-round games on its campus in Berea. On Friday, B-W plays against D’Youville (N.Y.); the next night, the victor will play the winner of Friday’s first game between Hope (Mich.) and Juanita (Pa.).
In the men’s tournament, Capital, regular season champion of the Ohio Athletic Conference, on Thursday won its first-round game 92-70 over Bethany (W. Va.); Capital will play Saturday at Hope, which received a first-round bye.
Two other AICUO members travel to Greencastle, Ind., for Friday first-round games in the women’s tournament. Denison, tournament champion of the North Coast Athletic Conference, will play the host school, DePauw, while Wilmington from the OAC faces Washington (Mo.); the winners will face each other on Saturday.
Three men’s teams must also travel for their first-round games. Heidelberg, tournament champ of the OAC, faces Ohio Wesleyan, tournament champ of the NCAC, on Friday night in a first-round doubleheader at Danville, Ky., where the host school, Centre, plays Franklin (Ind.) in the second game. On Saturday, the winners play in the second round. The longest trip award goes to Wooster, regular season champ of the NCAC, which plays Washington (Mo.) on Friday at Rock Island, Ill.; the victor faces the winner of the game between the host, Augustana, and Aurora (Ill.).
Finals in the women’s tournament are March 21-22 on the campus of Hope College in Holland, Mich., while finals for the men are March 21-22 at the Salem, Va., Civic Center.
Other divisions in the NCAA have not yet announced their basketball playoff fields.
NAIA Division II
The NAIA women’s Division II tournament will include two AICUO members – Ohio Dominican, champion of the America Mideast tournament, and at-large selection Rio Grande – along with Shawnee State University. All teams play at Sioux City, Iowa, from March 12 to 18.
The men’s NAIA Division II tournament also has three Ohio representatives, all from AICUO members: American Mideast conference champion Cedarville, along with regular season champion Walsh and at-large pick Mount Vernon Nazarene. This tourney takes place March 12 to 18 in Point Lookout, Mo.
NAIA has not yet announced the pairings.
-- Bob Burke
updated 7 March 2008 with Thursday's score