Jeffs Earn First-Round Bye in NCAA Championship
Contact: Matthew Hart
AMHERST, Mass. – The NESCAC champion Amherst College men’s basketball team earned a first-round bye in the upcoming NCAA Division III Championship as the official tournament bracket was released Monday afternoon.
Carrying a 19-game win streak and a 25-2 overall record, the Lord Jeffs will host a second-round matchup on Saturday, March 9, facing the winner of SUNY Plattsburgh and Husson University (Maine), who meet in first-round action this Saturday, March 2, at Plattsburgh.
Plattsburgh (19-8) enters the tournament via an at-large bid after falling to No. 25 SUNY Cortland in the SUNYAC Championship Game, 75-61, on Saturday. The Cardinals suffered an 80-73 loss to Middlebury on Nov. 25 in their only contest against a NESCAC opponent this season.
Husson, meanwhile, carries a 20-8 mark into the tournament after earning an automatic bid when it beat Castleton State College (VT), 74-68, in the North Atlantic Conference Championship on Saturday. Making their ninth trip to the NCAA tournament in the last 19 years, the Eagles played two NESCAC teams this season, beating Colby, 63-52, on Jan. 24 but falling at Bates, 81-52, on Jan. 29.
Ranked second nationally, Amherst will take next weekend off after winning its second consecutive NESCAC title on Sunday, beating archrival Williams, 74-73, in a thrilling title game at LeFrak Gymnasium. The Jeffs will be making their third consecutive and 15th all-time tournament appearance with a 28-15 overall record in national championship play. Amherst also earned a first-round bye in last year’s tourney before falling in the sectional semifinals at Franklin & Marshall.
The 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship will follow a non-traditional schedule, allowing the Division III title game to be played at the Division I Final Four in Atlanta on April 7 in honor of the D-I Tournament’s 75th anniversary. The first three rounds will be spaced out over the next three weekends before the Elite Eight and national semifinal games are played in Salem, Va. March 22-23.
Check back next week for a full NCAA Second Round preview...