BENNINGTON, Vt. – The New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) announced Saturday evening its seeding and brackets for the 2016 men’s and women’s basketball postseason tournaments with the Southern Vermont College men’s and women’s teams both claiming a spot in their respective fields for the second straight year.
The SVC men’s squad took home the regular season championship and No. 1 seed once again, going a spotless 16-0 in league action and 22-3 overall; Southern Vermont earned a first-round bye and will play at home on Friday in a 6 p.m. semifinal as the College is set to host the semifinal and championship rounds.
The Mountaineers’ women’s side grabbed the No. 5 spot in the Conference playoffs after going 8-10 in league play and 11-14 on the year; the team will head to Elms College Tuesday night for a 7 p.m. first rounder.
2016 NECC MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
The Southern Vermont men’s side is headed to the NECC postseason for the third straight year. The team will welcome Elms College (12-4 NECC, 14-11 overall), the No. 2 team in the men’s bracket, along with the winners of Tuesday’s two first-round games to the Mountaineer Athletic Center on Friday for the semifinals.
SVC will play at 6 p.m. Friday evening in the first matchup of the weekend, taking on the winner of Tuesday night’s first-round contest that sees No. 5 Regis College (8-8 NECC, 11-14 overall) visit fourth-seeded Daniel Webster College (8-8 NECC, 11-14 overall). The home-court advantage looks to bode well for the Mountaineers as Southern Vermont went a perfect 9-0 at the MAC this year.
“We are excited to enter the third part of our season,” commented third year SVC head coach Dan Engelstad. “We know that, at this point, everyone in the Conference is playing at a high level. We’re excited to host the semifinals and championship and look forward to a fun weekend in Bennington.”
Elms will then line up at 8 p.m. on Friday against the winner of Tuesday’s other first-round game that pits sixth-seeded Mitchell College (7-9 NECC, 9-14 overall) against No. 3 Becker College (12-4 NECC, 15-10 overall). Friday’s two winners are set to then compete for the league title and right to advance to the NCAA Regional Tournament on Saturday at 5 p.m. at the MAC.
“I’m really proud of our seniors and the rest of the team for what they have achieved these past couple seasons,” continued Engelstad. “Going 16-0 two years in a row is pretty remarkable, and our coaching staff is thankful for their efforts.”
First Round – Tuesday, February 23
Game 1: #5 Regis College @ #4 Daniel Webster College - 7:00 p.m.
Game 2: #6 Mitchell College @ #3 Becker College - 7:00 p.m.
Semifinals – Friday, February 26 - Hosted by Southern Vermont College
Game 3: Game 1 winner @ #1 Southern Vermont College- 6:00 p.m.
Game 4: Game 2 winner vs. #2 Elms College - 8:00 p.m.
Championship – Saturday, February 27 - Hosted by Southern Vermont College
Game 5: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner - 5:00 p.m.
2016 NECC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
2016 will mark the second straight postseason appearance for the Southern Vermont women’s team and the program’s second-ever visit to the playoffs. The Mountaineers are set to head to fourth-seeded Elms College (13-5 NECC, 14-11 overall) on Tuesday night for a 7 p.m. first-round showdown. SVC and EC split the regular season series, Southern Vermont winning the first meeting 58-47 on January 20 before the Blazers took the second matchup this past Tuesday by a 90-76 margin.
“We’re thrilled to make the Conference tournament for two years in-a-row and just the second time in program history,” commented seventh-year SVC head coach Mike Quinn. “We’ll be giving it our best shot to get back to the championship game.”
Southern Vermont’s win against Elms played a huge part in the Mountaineers taking the fifth seed as it gave SVC the tie-breaking edge over Daniel Webster College, a team that also finished the season at 8-10 in NECC play (10-15 overall). Sixth-seeded DWC will visit No. 3 Mitchell College (14-4 NECC, 15-9 overall) on Tuesday at 6 p.m. while No. 2 Wheelock College (14-4 NECC, 18-6 overall) hosts seventh-seeded Newbury College (7-11 NECC, 8-17 overall) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday evening.
The winner of SVC at Elms will take on top-seeded Regis College at 6 p.m. Friday evening, a team that went 18-0 in NECC play (22-3 overall) for the fifth straight year to once again grab a first-round bye and host the championship weekend. The two teams to advance from both of the other Tuesday night matchups will then play at 8 p.m. on Friday at Regis. The women’s championship game will also be played at 2 p.m. on Saturday, that title bout to be hosted by RC.
“Our seniors are looking forward to having a good run in the tournament,” Quinn added.
First Round – Tuesday, February 23
Game 1: #5 Southern Vermont College @ #4 Elms College - 7:00 p.m.
Game 2: #6 Daniel Webster College @ #3 Mitchell College - 6:00 p.m.
Game 3: #7 Newbury College @ #2 Wheelock College - 7:30 p.m.
Semifinals – Friday, February 26 - Hosted by Regis College
Game 4: Game 1 winner @ #1 Regis College - 6:00 p.m.
Game 5: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner - 8:00 p.m.
Championship – Saturday, February 27 - Hosted by Regis College
Game 6: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner - 2:00 p.m.