Friday, March 4, 2011

NCAA Division III Basketball: Ohio Women Road Warriors, Again, While Men Stay Home

The Denison women’s basketball team, undefeated champion of the North Coast Athletic Conference, still has to travel six hours for its first NCAA tournament game tonight at twice-beaten Hope College in Holland, Mich. Hope, which has hosted the finals of this tournament in the recent past, received favorable treatment from the committee, as did tournament perennial Washington (Mo.), which picked up one of the few at-large bids to play Denison in tonight’s first-round doubleheader. DePauw (Ind.) faces Hope in the second game.

Also in the women’s tournament, Mount Union, which dominated the Ohio Athletic Conference, has a road trip just 90 minutes shorter than Denison’s, to the Cincinnati suburb of Crestview Hills, Ky., where Thomas More hosts another first- and second-round weekend. In a rematch of colleges that have played for the last six Division III football titles, Mount Union faces Wisconsin-Whitewater Friday night. The travel award goes to Piedmont (Ga.), which plays Thomas More in the nightcap.

In men’s play, in contrast to the women, the two AICUO members who are conference champions get to stay home, and the third member participating does not have to leave the state. At Ohio Athletic Conference champion Marietta, Wittenberg faces LaRoche (Pa.) Friday night, after which Marietta plays Centre (Ky.). Wooster, North Coast Athletic Conference champion, faces Benedictine (Ill.) at home Friday night, after a game featuring Manchester (Ind.) and Bethany (W. Va.).

Winners in all Friday action continue to second-round play Saturday at the host sites.

Schedule

NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship

March 4

First Round

At Marietta, Ohio

Marietta vs. Centre (Ky.)

Wittenberg vs. La Roche (Pa.)

At Wooster, Ohio

Wooster vs. Benedictine (Ill.)

Second Round

March 5

At Marietta, Ohio

Centre-Marietta winner vs. Wittenberg-La Roche winner

At Wooster, Ohio

Benedictine-Wooster winner vs. Manchester (Ind.)-Bethany (W. Va.) winner

NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship

First Round

March 4

At Holland, Mich.

Denison vs. Washington (Mo.)

At Crestview Hills, Ky.

Mount Union vs. Wisconsin-Whitewater

Second Round

March 5

At Holland, Mich.

Denison-Washington winner vs. Hope (Mich)-DePauw (Ind.) winner

At Crestview Hills, Ky.

Mount Union-Wisconsin-Whitewater winner vs. Thomas More (Ky.)-Piedmont (Ga.) winner