North Coast Athletic Conference regular season and tournament champion DePauw (26-2) earned its 14th-straight bid to the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament.
DePauw captured its fifth NCAC Tournament title in the last six years after knocking off sixth-seeded Denison (14-14) by a 56-50 margin on Saturday afternoon at DePauw University’s Neal Fieldhouse. As tournament champions, the Tigers have earned the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament, which will open with first and second round games next weekend on campus sites.
DePauw junior Emily Budde (Cincinnati, OH/Mother of Mercy) earned the 2017 Nan Nichols Award as the tournament MVP after she matched her season-high with 18 points in the championship game to go along with two steals and one rebound. Budde, who set her season-high against Oberlin in the semifinals, finished the three-game tournament with 40 points (13.3 ppg) to lead all participants, 14 rebounds (4.7 rpg) and two assists. She also shot 41.7 percent (15-of-36) from the field, 28.6 percent (2-of-7) from three-point range and 88.9 percent (7-of-8) from the free throw line.
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.
The winners of Saturday’s second-round games will advance to one of four sectional-round sites, March 10-11. Winners of the four sectional sites will advance to the national semifinals and final March 17-18. All games, except the semifinals/final, will be played on the campuses of competing institutions. The semifinals/final will be conducted at Van Noord Arena on the campus of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
More information on the NCAA Tournament can be found HERE.
Friday, March 3
|DePauw vs. Gustavus Adolphus, 4:30 PM (CST)|
|Calvin at Wisc.-Oshkosh, 7:00 PM (CST)|
|Saturday, March 4|
|DPU/GUS vs. CAL/UWO, 7:00 PM (CST)|