Jim Calhoun‘s initial trip to the NCAA D-III Men’s Basketball Tournament did not last as long as many thought it would as the University of Saint Joseph’s (Conn.) fell to Hobart, 78-74, on Friday evening in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The four-point setback snapped an impressive 25-game winning streak, which began last November, as well as brought an end to an impressive second season for the Blue Jays, who came within one game of reaching the ‘big dance’ one year ago.
Hobart secured a nine-point (34-25) lead at the break and was able to withstand multiple Saint Joseph’s rallies in the second half that brought the Blue Jays within a basket three times during the final four minutes.
Dan Masino, who sealed the win by sinking one of two free throws during the final seconds, led Hobart with 17 points on 6 of 12 shooting while Jackson Meshanicregistered a double-double of 13 rebounds and 12 points.
Saint Joseph’s Jaecee Martin led all scorers with 22 points to go with five rebounds, three assists, and one steal while Jordan Powell finished the contest with 15 points and three caroms.
Hobart will face the winner of Springfield College–SUNY Canton on Saturday, March 7th with tip-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
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.
In just two days, the Hobart men’s basketball team will tip-off against the University of Saint Joseph’s (Conn.) in the opening round of the 2020 NCAA D-III Tournament. And the team’s head coach, Stefan Thompson, seems excited for his Statesmen to compete against Jim Calhoun‘s squad, which enters the national postseason riding an impressive 25-game winning streak.
Calhoun has never coached in the D-III Tournament but has plenty of experience coaching in the postseason with both Northeastern University and the University of Connecticut. He won three national championships with the Huskies of UConn while guiding Northeastern to five March Madness appearances, including a pair of second-round contests in 1981 and 1982.
Last season, Calhoun and the Blue Jays came close to making their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance but lost to Albertus Magnus in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament.
This season, the Blue Jays erased the memories of their 2019 conference tournament championship setback by beating the Falcons in the 2020 GNAC title game this past Sunday.
USJ, which is in its second season as a varsity program, only has one junior on its roster. A majority of the team is first-years and sophomores, who have turned the Blue and Gold into a team to watch over the past few weeks in both Connecticut and New England.
The winner of Friday’s match-up will advance to Saturday’s second-round against the winner of Springfield College and SUNY Canton.
The road to the NCAA D-III Championship is finally upon us, which means its time to highlight the local teams that will be competing this Friday, March 6th in the opening round of the men and women’s basketball tournaments.
Jim Calhoun is headed to the NCAA D-III Tournament this weekend – well, Friday, March 6th, to be exact.
The legendary college basketball coach, who guided the University of Connecticut to three NCAA D-I Championships, just helped the University of St. Joseph’s (Conn.) win its first-ever Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) crown on Sunday while securing a spot in the 2020 NCAA D-III Tournament.
USJ will face Hobart at Springfield College on Friday with tip-off scheduled for 5 p.m. The winner will face either Springfield or SUNY Canton in the second round on Saturday, March 7th.
Calhoun, who is in his second season with the Blue Jays, has led the Blue and Gold to 25 consecutive wins since falling to Tufts University last November. The loss to the Jumbos seems to be a distant memory for the Blue Jays, who posted a perfect mark in conference play this season while securing two wins over in-state rival Albertus Magnus.
Calhoun was named the program’s first coach prior to their initial season last school year. The Blue Jays concluded their inaugural season with a 16-12 overall record, as well as an appearance in the GNAC Championship.