By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation
We’re just one day away from the start of the 2020 NCAA D-III Men’s Basketball Tournament, which means its time to highlight a few things you need to know about this year’s postseason while also sharing some predictions, too.
Which New England teams will be competing in this year’s NCAA D-III Men’s Basketball Tournament?
- This year, there are 13 teams from our region that will begin their respective quests to Atlanta, Georgia tomorrow, including two teams that will be host sites for both the first and second rounds.
- The teams competing in this year’s tournament are the following: Babson College, Coast Guard Academy, Middlebury College, Westfield State, Tufts University, Western Connecticut, New England College, WPI, Springfield College, University of Saint Joseph’s (Conn.), Nichols College, and Colby College.
What are the first-round matchups, times and locations?
Here is the schedule for tomorrow’s (Friday, March 6th) first-round schedule:
- WPI vs. Yeshiva University, 1 p.m. (at Johns Hopkins)
- New England College vs. RPI, 3:30 p.m. (at Tufts University)
- Colby College vs. Christopher Newport, 4 p.m. (at Stevens Inst. of Technology)
- Middlebury College vs. Westfield State, 4 p.m. (at Brockport)
- Babson College vs. Ithaca College, 5 p.m. (at Swarthmore College)
- Univ. of Saint Joseph’s (Conn.) vs. Hobart, 5 p.m. (at Springfield College)
- Western Connecticut at Tufts University, 6 p.m.
- Coast Guard Academy at Brockport, 6:30 p.m.
- Nichols College at Stevens Inst. of Technology, 6:30 p.m.
- SUNY Canton at Springfield College, 7:30 p.m.
Which teams could advance to Saturday’s (March 7th) second round?
- Colby College: The Mules face a real tough test tomorrow against a talented Christopher Newport squad. The Captains will certainly challenge Colby from the opening tip, but if the Mules play the way they did against Tufts, as well as against Amherst College and Bates College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament then I think they will be able to squeak out a first-round win.
- Middlebury College: The Panthers haven’t played a game since late February, but this isn’t the first time they have had to wait to hear the committee announce their name on ‘Selection Monday.’ The Panthers should be able to beat Westfield State and then find a way to beat either Brockport or Coast Guard Academy in the second round.
- Springfield College: The Pride of Springfield are equipped and ready to go on a very deep run this month. They should be able to top SUNY Canton on the opening day of the tournament. But can they turn around one day later and beat the University of Saint Joseph’s (Conn.), which is the favorite in their first-round matchup? I think they can.
- Tufts University: The Jumbos enter the postseason riding some serious momentum, thanks to an exciting double-overtime win on Sunday in the NESCAC Championship. Their momentum will be tested immediately against a talented Western Connecticut squad, which enters the postseason on a seven-game winning streak. If they can beat the Colonials, they will most likely have to beat an RPI squad, which should beat New England College in their opening-round matchup.
- University of Saint Joseph’s (Conn.): Jim Calhoun and the Blue Jays could be a real tough out. They have not dropped a game since falling to Tufts last November and proved they are a resilient bunch, especially this past weekend against Albertus Magnus in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship. The Blue Jays should be able to beat Hobart, but will certainly be tested against Springfield in the second round.
What first-round match-up will I be watching?
- WPI vs. Yeshiva. The Engineers face a real tough test in the opening round. And if they are able to beat the Maccabees, who have not dropped a game since falling to Occidental College last November, they will most likely face Johns Hopkins, which is the favorite in their opening round match-up.For WPI to be victorious tomorrow, they will need to play the way they did against Babson last Friday. They will also need big games from Garrett Stephenson, Colin McNamara, and Kahleb Downing.
- Ithaca College over Babson College
- Brockport over Coast Guard Academy
- Middlebury College over Westfield State
- Tufts University over Western Connecticut
- RPI over New England College
- Yeshiva University over WPI
- Springfield College over SUNY Canton
- St. Joseph (Conn.) over Hobart
- Stevens Inst. of Technology over Nichols College
- Colby College over Christopher Newport