Men’s Basketball: North Central opens postseason at home
FROM STAFF REPORTS February 25, 2013 5:44PM
Updated: February 25, 2013 8:10PM
North Central will host Centre College in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship on Saturday. The Division III Men’s Basketball Committee unveiled the 62-team tournament field on Monday.
The Cardinals (24-3) will play at home in NCAA Tournament competition for the first time since 1990, when they lost a 71-63 first-round contest to Illinois Wesleyan.
North Central earned an automatic bid to this year’s championship by winning its second straight CCIW Tournament last weekend at Illinois Wesleyan. The Cardinals defeated Wheaton College, 59-50, in the semifinals before beating Augustana College, 70-63, in the final. North Central has established a new school record for single-season victories and enters the national tournament on an eight-game winning streak.
North Central enters the postseason ranked No. 3 in this week’s Top 25 Poll released by D3hoops.com.
Centre (21-5) received an automatic bid to the championship as well, having won the inaugural Southern Athletic Association (SAA) title with a 46-44 victory over Birmingham-Southern College on Sunday. The winner of Saturday’s game will advance to a matchup against the winner of the first-round game between the defending national champion, Wisconsin-Whitewater (23-4), and the University of Dubuque (22-6). North Central and Centre have never played each other in men’s basketball.
The other side of North Central’s section of the bracket features first-round games between Washington University in St. Louis (20-5) and Spalding University (20-7), and Illinois Wesleyan (21-5) against Transylvania University (20-7).
The first three rounds of the tournament will be hosted on campus sites March 2, 9 and 16. The quarterfinals and semifinals will take place March 22-23 at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Va., with the championship game to be played April 7 in Atlanta, Ga., at Philips Arena as part of the NCAA’s 75th anniversary celebration of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.
Saturday’s game at Gregory Arena will tip off at 7 p.m. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for senior citizens, students and children, with children under two years of age admitted free. More information about the tournament can be found at www.ncaa.com/sports/basketball-men/d3 .