Parts of this release are courtesy of Babson and MIT Sports Information.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The NCAA released the field of 64 for the upcoming Division III Men's Basketball Championship on Monday. After claiming the NEWMAC title over the weekend MIT earned the automatic qualifier as they will battle Eastern Connecticut in the First Round. Spending most of the seasonr ranked No. 1 in the nation, Babson earned an At-Large berth as well as hosting rights heading into the opening rounds where they will take on Husson.
The top-ranked Babson College men's basketball team was selected as one of 16 host sites for the first and second rounds of the 2017 Division III NCAA Tournament when the 64-team field was announced on Monday afternoon. The Beavers will take on Husson University at 7:30 p.m., while Skidmore College will face New Jersey City University in the other first round contest at 5 p.m. inside Staake Gymnasium.
Under the direction of head coach Stephen Brennan, the Green and White (25-2) captured its third consecutive New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular season title and earned one of 21 at-large selections to this year's championship after falling to MIT, 67-62, in Sunday's conference title game. Babson, which reached the Division III Final Four in 2015 and the sectional semifinals last season, is back in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth year in a row and ninth time overall.
Husson (21-6) will be making its sixth NCAA Tournament appearance since 2009 after winning its second consecutive North Atlantic Conference (NAC) tournament championship on Saturday. Skidmore (19-7), which returns to the NCAA Tournament for the third year in a row, and 21st-ranked New Jersey City (21-7), both earned at-large selections. The Gothic Knights are back in the postseason for the first time since 2011 and 17th time overall.
The MIT men's basketball team, fresh off Sunday's NEWMAC Championship victory over No. 1 ranked Babson College, has earned the program's sixth berth in the NCAA Division III Championship. The Engineers will travel to Susquehanna University to face Eastern Connecticut State in the first round on Friday, March 3rd. This marks the first-ever meeting between the Engineers and the Warriors.
Now 21-6 overall, the Engineers entered the NEWMAC Tournament as the No. 2 seed after an 11-3 conference record during the regular season. In the final, the Engineers built a double-digit lead over the Beavers and eventually held off the top-ranked team in the nation to secure the program's fifth NEWMAC title. Senior captain Tim Butala (Monroe, Conn.) was named as the tournament's Most Outstanding Player after delivering a 14-point performance, along with a key block in the final seconds, to secure the victory.