Monday, March 3, 2014

NCAA Division III Basketball: Wooster Men to Host First Round Play This Weekend

Four Men's Teams, Four Women's Qualify for Tourney

Wooster's men's basketball team, regular season and tournament champion of the North Coast Athletic Conference, will host a first-round doubleheader Friday night as the NCAA Division III basketball tournaments begin this weekend.

Wooster will play St. Vincent (Pa.), tournament champion of the Presidents Athletic Conference. On Saturday, the winner of this game will face the winner of the SUNY-Geneseo vs. Dickinson (Pa.) game that opens Friday's doubleheader.

Other AICUO teams in men's first round action Friday night are:

The winner of this year's travel award is the men's team at Wilmington, tournament champion of the Ohio Athletic Conference, which travels 400 miles to St. Louis to face Washington (Mo.) on its home court, preceded there by another game featuring AICUO member Wittenberg, a Pool C at-large selection from the North Coast conference, which will play Calvin (Mich.). Winners of these two games continue to a second-round matchup Saturday night.

At Bloomington, Ill., Ohio Wesleyan, another Pool C at-large pick from the North Coast conference, plays St. Norbert (Wis.), Midwest Conference regular season and tournament champion, on Friday night. A second-round matchup awaits against the winner of the Illinois Wesleyan-Webster (Mo.) game.

In women's play, all qualifying AICUO members are from the Ohio Athletic Conference. Tournament champion Capital plays Friday night 348 miles from home, against Ferrum (Va.) on its home court; the winner gets a second-rounder against one of two other Virginia teams, Christopher Newport or Eastern Mennonite. Ohio Northern, a Pool C at-large selection, doesn't travel quite as far, playing Transylvania (Ky.) on Friday night at Greencastle, Ind. In the second round, the winner will face either the host college, DePauw, or the total long-distance travel champ, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.).

Unlike the other two OAC qualifiers, regular season co-champions Baldwin Wallace and John Carroll don't travel across more than one state line. Baldwin Wallace's first-round game in York, Pa., is against Lebanon Valley (Pa.); the winner could face York (Pa.) on its home court, or LaRoche (Pa.). As for John Carroll, their road trip is to the Cincinnati suburb of Crestview Hills, Ky., to face another long-distance traveler, Texas Lutheran; the winner gets either the host team, Thomas More (Ky.) or Salem (N.C.).

National championships will be decided in both tournaments the weekend of March 21 and 22: the men's at Salem, Va., and the women's at Stevens Point, Wis.