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: Women’s Top 10 Poll (Monday, March 2nd, 2020)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

Heading into the first weekend of the 2020 NCAA D-III Tournament, the Tufts University women’s basketball team remained our top squad in our weekly New England Top 10 Poll despite falling to second-ranked Bowdoin College in yesterday’s New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship.

The Jumbos secured an at-large bid to the upcoming tournament and will face SUNY Poly in Springfield. The winner could tip-off against fifth-ranked Western New England – the Golden Bears will face SUNY Cortland in its initial postseason contest.

Amherst College is also in the NCAA Tournament – they will host Framingham State in the opening round, which is one of our three ‘on the rise’ teams.

Eastern Connecticut moved-up two spots, checking-in fourth overall while Williams College and Rhode Island College secured the sixth and seventh positions, respectively.

Smith College, which won its first-ever New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship on Sunday, moved up two spots to the eighth position while Babson College and Springfield College rounded out the poll, checking-in ninth and tenth, respectively.


New England D-III Basketball Women’s Top 10 Week 14 Poll| Monday, March 2nd, 2020

1. Tufts University 26-1, 10-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 1
2. Bowdoin College 25-2, 8-2 NESCAC Last Week: No. 3
3. Amherst College 22-4, 8-2 NESCAC Last Week: No. 2
4. Eastern Connecticut 23-4, 14-2 LEC Last Week: No. 6
5. Western New England 21-5, 14-2 CCC Last Week: No. 4
6. Williams College 18-8, 6-4 NESCAC Last Week: No. 7
7. Rhode Island College 22-5, 13-3 LEC Last Week: No. 5
8. Smith College 24-4, 7-3 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 10
9. Babson College 18-8, 10-0 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 8
10. Springfield College 19-8, 9-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 9

ON THE RISE: Emmanuel College, Endicott College, and Framingham State


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

 

D3 Basketball: Women’s Top 10 Poll (Monday, Feb. 24th, 2020)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

Our New England D-III Women’s Basketball Top 10 Poll did not see any changes from a week ago, but we did, however, highlight a few new teams on the rise, including Emmanuel College and UMass Boston.

Tufts University continues to be our top team – the Jumbos won their 25th-straight contest this past weekend and will look to continue their momentum against seventh-ranked Williams College, which earned a trip to Medford, Massachusetts by defeating Trinity College in the opening round of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) this past weekend.

Western New England enters the week as the favorite in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament – the Golden Bears have won their last six outings and will host a semifinal contest on Thursday, February 27th against either Gordon College or the University of New England.

Both fifth-ranked Rhode Island College and Eastern Connecticut will be the two teams to watch in the Little East Conference (LEC) Tournament but will be certainly challenged by UMass Boston, pending they advance to the semifinals.

Finally, Babson College secured the top spot in this week’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament – the Beavers could possibly face either ninth-ranked Springfield College or tenth-ranked Smith College in the championship game on Sunday, March 1st, pending two of the three teams advance to the final round.


New England D-III Basketball Women’s Top 10 Week 13 Poll| Monday, Feb. 24th, 2020

1. Tufts University 25-0, 10-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 1
2. Amherst College  22-3, 8-2 NESCAC Last Week: No. 2
3. Bowdoin College 23-2, 8-2 NESCAC Last Week: No. 3 
4. Western New England 21-4, 14-2 CCC Last Week: No. 4
5. Rhode Island College 21-4, 13-3 LEC Last Week: No. 5
6. Eastern Connecticut 21-4, 14-2 LEC Last Week: No. 6
7. Williams College 18-7, 6-4 NESCAC Last Week: No. 7
8. Babson College 18-7, 10-0 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 8
9. Springfield College 18-7, 9-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 9
10. Smith College 21-4, 7-3 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 10

ON THE RISE: Emmanuel College, Framingham State, and UMass Boston


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