MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The No. 15-ranked Wesleyan University men's basketball team has earned its second consecutive at-large bid into the NCAA Division III Championship and will host first and second round games this Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3, in Silloway Gymnasium fo the first time in program history.
- Friday night's first matchup at 5:30 p.m. will feature No. 14 Swarthmore (22-5), the Centennial Conference runner-ups, against New England College (21-6), which won the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) crown. In the nightcap, the Cardinals (21-6) will host the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) champions, Southern Vermont (22-5), at 7:30 p.m. The winners will advance to play in the second round on Saturday at 7 p.m. The last team standing after the four-team pod will qualify for the third round on Friday, March 9, at a host school to be determined.
- Silloway Gym is located in the Freeman Athletic Center at 161 Cross Street in Middletown, Conn. For directions and parking instructions, click HERE.
- $10 Adults
- $5 Students and Senior Citizens (65 and up)
- Children 2 & under are free
- Tickets can be purchased in advance from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday in the Freeman Athletic Center administrative offices, and after 4 p.m. in the Daniels Lobby.
- All three games this weekend will feature live stats and live video broadcasted by the Northeast Sports Network (NSN).
- Third NCAA Tournament appearance, all within the past four seasons. The Cardinals are still looking for their first postseason win.
- Wesleyan ranks No. 1 in Division III in field-goal percentage defense (36.4), third in blocked shots per game (5.7) and eighth in rebound margin (8.6).
- Senior guard Jordan Sears was named the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year, freshman guard Austin Hutcherson was named Rookie of the Year, and junior guard Jordan Bonner found a spot on the All-Conference Second Team.
- Bonner is averaging a team-high 15.2 points per game, senior forward Nathan Krill leads the team in rebounding with 8.7 boards per game, and junior guard Kevin O'Brien dishes out a team-best 5.6 assists.
- Sears ranks No. 1 on the team in blocks (1.9) and second in steals (1.4). Hutcherson is third on the team in scoring (11.1) and second in assists (2.6), while shooting 40.4 percent from 3-point range.
- The squad's 21 wins are a program record.
- The Cardinals boast an impressive 11-1 record on their home court this season.
- Wesleyan reached the championship game of the NESCAC Tournament, before falling to then-No. 8 Williams College, 69-58.
- Third NCAA Tournament appearance (2003, 2016, 2018), all automatic qualifications. The Mountaineers are 1-2 all time in the postseason.
- Senior guard Mike Pierre was named the NECC Player of the Year, senior guard Daemond Carter earned Defensive Player of the Year accolades, and fifth-year head coach Dan Engelstad was named Coach of the Year.
- Pierre leads the team in scoring (19.1) and assists (2.5), while junior guard/forward Andre Hodo leads the team in rebounding (6.7).
- Southern Vermont is 9-2 on the road this season.
- The Mountaineers defeated Becker College in the conference championship game, 67-62.
- Friday's matchup with the Cardinals is the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
- Second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and second appearance in school history. The Garnet are 1-1 in the postseason.
- Swarthmore ranks No. 4 in the country in rebounding margin (9.5) and sixth in blocks per game (5.4).
- Junior guard Cam Wiley and senior guard Zack Yonda were named First and Second Team All-Conference, respectively.
- Wiley leads the team in scoring (15.8) and assists (3.2), and sophomore forward Zack O'Dell corrals a team-high 8.0 rebounds per game.
- Friday's game against New England College is Swarthmore's first neutral-site contest of the year.
- The Garnet are 14-1 at home and 8-4 on the road.
- They lost to then-No. 16 Johns Hopkins in the Centennial Conference Championship game, 61-57.
- First-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
- Freshman guard Calvin Cheek was named the NAC Rookie and Defensive Player of the Year, junior guard Rickey Leonard and sophomore guard Izaiah Winston-Brooks were recognized with All-Conference First Team honors, and 16th-year head coach Charlie Mason was named Coach of the Year.
- Leonard leads the team in scoring with 17.3 points per game and Winston-Brooks ranks second, averaging 16.4 points per game. Junior forward Jason Jones is the team's leading rebounder, averaging 9.0 boards per game.
- Cheek leads all NCAA Divisions in steals (5.2), and is the unit's assist leader with 4.5 dimes per contest.
- The team's 21 wins are a program record.
- New England College defeated Colby-Sawyer in the NAC Championship game, 72-56.