The NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament is set to tip-off this weekend with the opening round set to tip-off Friday.
For the first time since the 2009-10 season, the NCAC will be sending just one team to the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament as the Fighting Scots earned the league’s automatic berth by winning the conference tournament. This year also marks the first time since the 1992-93 season that the NCAC regular season champion was left out of the national tournament.
The Scots, who are making their 15th-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and the 26th overall, will travel to Hanover College in Indiana for its first- and second-round pod. Wooster will meet North Central (IL) (17-10), the automatic qualifier out of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin, in the opening round on Friday night. The other first-round game will feature Hanover (23-2), the automatic qualifier out of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, and Westminster (MO) (19-8), the automatic qualifier out of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The first-round winners will meet in the second round on Saturday (3/4) with a berth into the sectional round on the line.
On the women's side, DePauw (26-2) earned its 14th-straight bid to the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament. DePauw will travel to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for its NCAA opening-round contest against Gustavus Adolphus (25-2), which received one of the 20 at-large bids after falling to St. Thomas in the MIAC Championship game on Sunday afternoon. The winner of the DePauw/Gust. Adolphus contest will take on the winner of the Wis.-Oshkosh (24-2)/Calvin (22-5) match on Saturday.
DePauw is making its 18th NCAA Division III appearance with an all-time record of 31-15, including national titles in 2007 and 2013 and a third-place finish in 2002. The 31 wins is tied for seventh among current Division III members.
In preparation for this weekend's action, Russell Kramer, NCAC Assistant Executive Director, caught up with both Steve Moore of Wooster and Kris Huffman of DePauw to dive into the team's mindset heading into the 2017 championships.
To listen to Wooster head coach Steve Moore, click HERE.
To listen to DePauw head coach Kris Huffman, click HERE.