NCAA D-III Reduces Number Of Games Required For Championship Selection

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NCAA D-III Football teams will only need to compete in five games this season to be eligible for the postseason. (PHOTO COURTESY: Visualunt.com)

By Matt Noonan

The upcoming NCAA D-III sports season will look a bit different than usual due to the ongoing pandemic, which brought an end to multiple winter championships in March, along with numerous spring sports seasons.

Yesterday the Division III Administrative Committee approved the recommendation from the Division III Membership and Championships Committee to allow its various members to compete in fewer contests than usual this upcoming school year – 33 percent less than normal, to be exact – so they can be eligible to contend for a national title.

The reduction of contests will allow each institution to remain in compliance to compete for a championship but also provide flexibility for athletic departments when it comes to scheduling to “seeking relief in the form of waivers.”

“We hope that a reduction in contest minimums will provide flexibility to our member schools as they work to reopen during what is a very uncertain and complex time,” said Tori Murden McClure, the chair of the committee and Spalding president, in Friday’s release. “We understand this won’t fix everything for everyone, but we believe it is the right move at this time and we will remain flexible moving forward.”

The flexibility will certainly help schools when it comes to reopening – it is possible some schools could start earlier or later like a slew of Division I institutions announced this month, including Notre Dame and Syracuse University.

Football teams, including those here in New England, would only need to compete in five contests this fall to be eligible to compete in the NCAA D-III postseason while basketball teams will need to play 12 contests.

As of now, it appears fall championships will occur, but those plans could be altered due to the coronavirus (Covid-19).

NCAA Unveils Nine-Step & Three Phase Plan To Bring Back Sports

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The NCAA unveiled its nine-step and three-phase plan that will help institutions across the country to get their student-athletes back on the playing field. (PHOTO COURTESY: Pilot MKN on Visualhunt / CC BY)

By NoontimeSports.com

The NCAA unveiled a nine-step and three-phase plan on Friday that should help schools in all three divisions with returning their various teams to the playing field. But don’t expect every school and team to return immediately.

The NCAA’s COVID-19 Advisory Panel, which is led by Chief Medical Officer Brian Hainline, shared its “Resocializiation in Sports” plan which considers multiple factors with getting student-athletes back on the field from federal recommendations to data and science to input from experts that “puts the health, safety, and well-being of student-athletes and the needs of the membership first.”

“It is also important to take into consideration that there will not be a quick, single day of re-emergence into society,” Hainline said in this afternoon’s release, which can be found on NCAA.org.

“We will re-emerge in a manner that recognizes COVID-19 will be around until there is an effective vaccine, treatment or both. That is why resocialization should be rolled out in a phased way that helps assure sustained low infection spread, as well as aids in the ability to quickly diagnose and isolate new cases.”

As Hainline noted and outlined in the nine-step process, for colleges and universities to be successful with getting their teams and student-athletes back on the field, they must have plans in place for testing, temperature checking, contact tracing, and isolating. Schools would also need an ample amount of protective equipment.

Dan Dutcher, who is the vice president of NCAA Division III, provided some insight into this plan on a brand new “Noontime Nation” Podcast, which can be heard on both iTunes and Spotify.

D3 Basketball: Women’s Top 10 Poll (Monday, March 17th, 2020)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

TheTufts University women’s basketball team secured the top spot in our final New England D-III Top 10 Poll with an impressive 28-1 record, including a perfect 10-0 regular-season mark against New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) foes.

Bowdoin College and Amherst College secured the second and third positions, respectively, while Eastern Connecticut checked-in fourth for the second time this month. The Warriors captured the Little East Conference (LEC) tournament title this season and came close to advancing to the third round of the NCAA D-III Tournament.

Williams College moved-up one spot, checking-in fifth while Smith College ended its season in the sixth position after advancing to the program’s first-ever “Sweet 16.” Prior to winning back-to-back NCAA Tournament games earlier this month, the Pioneers captured their first-ever New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship.

Western New England concludes its season in the seventh position followed by Babson CollegeRhode Island College, and Springfield College. 


New England D-III Basketball Women’s Top 10 Week 15 Poll| Monday, March 17th, 2020

1. Tufts University 28-1, 10-0 NESCAC Previously No. 1
2. Bowdoin College 27-2, 8-2 NESCAC Previously No. 2
3. Amherst College 24-4, 8-2 NESCAC Previously No. 3
4. Eastern Connecticut 24-5, 14-2 LEC Previously No. 4
5. Williams College 20-8, 6-4 NESCAC Previously No. 6
6. Smith College 26-4, 7-3 NEWMAC Previously No. 8
7. Western New England 21-6, 14-2 CCC Previously No. 5
8. Babson College 18-8, 10-0 NEWMAC Previously No. 9
9. Rhode Island College 22-5, 13-3 LEC Previously No. 7
10. Springfield College 19-8, 9-1 NEWMAC Previously No. 10

ON THE RISE: Emmanuel College, Endicott College, Framingham State, UMass Boston, and University of New England 


Previous Polls: Preseason Poll |Week OneWeek TwoWeek Three|Week Four Week FiveWeek SixWeek Seven |Week Eight|Week Nine Week Ten |Week 11 |Week 12|Week 13|Week 14

D3 Basketball: Men’s Basketball Top 10 Poll (Tuesday, March 17th, 2020)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

For the second time this month, the Tufts University men’s basketball team secured the top spot in our final New England D-III Men’s Basketball Top 10 Poll followed by Colby College and Springfield College.

The Jumbos, who captured their first-ever New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) tournament title earlier this month, won a pair of NCAA Tournament games, including an exciting (and dramatic) opening-round win over Western Connecticut.

WPI secured the fourth position for the second time this month while Middlebury College switched positions with St. Joseph’s (Conn.). The Panthers advanced to this year’s NCAA Tournament as an at-large bid – they beat Westfield State in the opening round before falling to Brockport in the second round.

The Blue Jays of St. Joseph’s made their initial appearance in the ‘big dance’ under second-year coach Jim Calhoun, who guided the Blue and Yellow to the program’s first-ever Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) championship. Calhoun’s crew lost to Hobart in the opening round of the tournament, but the Blue Jays have a bright future – they will certainly be a team to watch in New England next winter.

Babson College secured the seventh position followed by Amherst CollegeNichols College, and Brandeis University.


New England D-III Basketball Men’s Top 10 Week 15 Poll| Monday, March 17th, 2020

1. Tufts University 23-6, 8-2 NESCAC Previously No. 1
2. Colby College 24-4, 8-2 NESCAC Previously No. 2
3. Springfield College 23-5, 11-1 NEWMAC Previously No. 3
4. WPI 20-8, 10-3 NEWMAC Previously No. 4
5. Middlebury College 21-6, 6-4 NESCAC Previously No. 6
6. St. Joseph’s (Conn.) 26-3, 11-0 GNAC Previously No. 5
7. Babson College 20-7, 10-4 NEWMAC Previously No. 7
8. Amherst College 18-8, 7-3 NESCAC Previously No. 8
9. Nichols College 21-9, 12-4 CCC Previously No. 9
10. Brandeis University 17-8, 9-5 UAA Previously No. 10 

ON THE RISE: Coast Guard Academy, New England College, and Western Connecticut 


Previous Polls: Preseason Poll |Week One| Week Two | Week ThreeWeek Four| Week Five |Week Six |Week Seven |Week Eight|Week Nine | Week Ten|Week 11|Week 12|Week 13Week 14 

D3 Men’s Lacrosse Team of the Year

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

The New England D-III Lacrosse season concluded abruptly last week due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), but that won’t stop us from highlighting our region’s student-athletes, who have earned spots on our Zelos Athletics Team of the Year.


All-Noontime Men’s Lacrosse First Team

Jon Coffey Amherst College Summit, N.J. 
Colin Minicus  Amherst College Darien, Conn.
Cian Keohane Nichols College Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
Bryce Adam Tufts University Newton, Mass. 
Mac Bredahl  Tufts University Chatham, N.J.
Nick Shanks  Tufts University Laguna Beach, Calif.
Gavin Admirand UMass Boston Marshfield, Mass. 
Conor Lenfest UMass Boston Waltham, Mass.
Garett Bozek Univ. of New England Nashua, N.H. 
Troy Sliney  Wheaton College Bradford, Mass. 

All-Noontime Men’s Lacrosse Second Team 

Louis Piccolo Dean College Foxborough, Mass.
 Jack Farrell  Eastern Connecticut  Stratford, Conn.
Max Scheidl Hamilton College Mendham, N.J.
Connor Smith New England College Oakland, Maine
Hunter Ferreira Nichols College Mansfield, Mass. 
Pat Leary Salve Regina University Wakefield, Mass.
Jack Dobrzynski UMass Boston West Greenwich, R.I.
Darragh Fahey UMass Boston Walpole, Mass.
Tom Martello  Wesleyan University Rockville Centre, N.Y.
Harry Gahagan Williams College Glen Cove, N.Y. 

All-Noontime Men’s Lacrosse Third Team 

 Caleb Holdridge Coast Guard Academy Waterford, Conn. 
Will Iorio Coast Guard Academy Weaverville, N.C.
Jay Gallipo Gordon College Dover, N.H. 
Matt Gelb Johnson & Wales Univ. Huntington, N.Y.
Lukas Drexler-Bruce MIT Denver, Colo.
Connor Hillemeir Roger Williams Farmington, Conn.
Adam Race Univ. of New England Cazenovia, N.Y.
Alex York  Univ. of New England Gorham, Maine
Ben Coakley Wentworth Inst. of Tech. Flemington, N.J.
Ryan Reuling Western Connecticut Groton, Conn.