By Matt Noonan
Both Tufts University basketball teams have a chance to secure the top spot in the upcoming New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournaments as long as both squads beat Middlebury College this evening (Friday, February 14th) and Williams College (Saturday, February 15th) tomorrow.
The Tufts men’s team positioned themselves for the top spot in the upcoming conference tournament earlier this month with an 80-67 win over Colby College followed by back-to-back wins at Connecticut College and Trinity College. The loss to Tufts was Colby’s first of the 2019-20 season.
The Tufts women’s team, which has yet to drop a single game this season, has been the top team in the NESCAC over the past few weeks, thanks to wins last month over Amherst College and Bowdoin College, two teams that will most likely secure the second and third seed in the conference tournament.
The Tufts men’s basketball team last secured the top spot in the NESCAC Tournament in 2017 with an end of season win against Williams. Tufts beat Hamilton College on its home court eight days later in the quarterfinals before falling to Williams in Medford in the semifinals. Tufts did make the NCAA Tournament that year as an at-large but saw its bid toward a national championship conclude against Babson College, which went onto beat Augustana eight days later in the D-III Championship.
The Tufts women’s team secured the top seed in the tournament in 2016 but lost to Amherst in the finals. Tufts rebounded from the one-point setback to the Mammoths by winning five consecutive postseason games as an at-large bid before falling to Thomas More in the national championship game.
We will learn the pairings for the upcoming NESCAC Tournament later this weekend, as well as which teams will face Tufts next weekend.