Men’s Basketball Draws Wesleyan in First Round of NCAA DIII Tournament

men's basketball watches the selection show for their bracket

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) revealed the bracket for its 2018 Division III men’s basketball national championship tournament on Monday with Southern Vermont College being paired against Wesleyan University in the opening round.

The Mountaineers will head to Middletown, Connecticut for a Friday matchup with the hosting Cardinals. Tip-off at Silloway Gymnasium has been slated for 7:30 p.m.

“We are looking forward to the challenge of facing one of the best teams in the country,” said SVC fifth-year head coach Dan Engelstad. “This opportunity is one that we have worked very hard to get. But we are not just satisfied with getting to the tournament; we want to make a run.”

With a Friday victory, Southern Vermont will then take on the winner of Friday’s earlier game at WU which sees New England College line up with Swarthmore College. That second-round tilt will begin at 7 p.m.

The Mountaineers made it into the tournament for the third time in team history by winning the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship to claim the league’s automatic qualifier; SVC enters the NCAA’s with a record of 22-5.

Wesleyan lost 69-58 to eighth-ranked Williams College in the title game of the New England Small College Athletic Conference, but the Cardinals received one of the 21 at-large bids into the tournament for the second-straight year. WU, which is sitting at 21-6 on the season, was ranked 15th in D3hoops.com’s Top 25 poll this week.

Friday’s contest will be the first-ever meeting between Southern Vermont and the Cardinals.

“This team is resilient, and I’m looking forward to seeing the guys compete for a full 40 minutes against the best,” Engelstad added. “I hope some of the SVC faithful can make the trip. It will be great to have their support.”

The Mountaineers’ previous showings in the national tournament came in 2016 and 2003 when they won the NECC and Great Northeast Athletic Conference championships, respectively.

To see Monday’s Selection Show, view the complete bracket, and read more on the tournament, visit https://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball-men/article/2018-02-26/ncaa-reveals-diii-mens-basketball-tournament-field-bracket.

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