2017 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament
Babson Park Sectional | Third and Fourth Rounds
Friday-Saturday, March 10-11
Staake Gymnasium | Babson Park, Mass.
Friday, March 10 | Sectional Semifinals
No. 2 Christopher Newport vs. Keene State, 5 p.m.
No. 3 Babson vs. No. 14 Tufts, 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 11 | National Quarterfinal
Friday's winners, 7 p.m.
Tickets have been distributed to each of the four competing schools. Leftover tickets for the Christopher Newport vs. Keene State game will go on sale outside of Staake Gymnasium on Friday at 3:30 p.m., while any leftover tickets for the Babson vs. Tufts game will be available at the door starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students with children under two being admitted free of charge. Tickets are only good for individual games on Friday as the gym will be cleared out between games.
No. 2 CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT vs. KEENE STATE
The Captains and Owls will meet for the second straight year in the sectional semifinals. Christopher Newport outscored Keene State 22-10 over the final eight minutes of a 74-62 win last season in Oswego, N.Y.
SCOUTING THE OWLS
NCAA Tournament Appearance: 5th
How they got here: First Round - defeated Amherst, 69-66; Second Round - defeated No. 5 Ramapo, 92-91, in OT
Keene State (21-9) is back in the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive season and fourth time in five NCAA Tournament appearances after upsetting Ramapo last Saturday. The Owls rank fifth in Division III in made free throws (558), 22nd in forced turnovers (18.0) and 26th in total steals (259). Sophomore Ty Nichols (18.5 pts, 4.9 reb, 3.8 ast) is shooting 51.4 percent from the floor, senior Matt Ozzella (15.3 pts, 9.9 reb, 2.4 ast) has posted 14 double-doubles this season and senior Jaquel Edwards (12.2 pts, 5.4 reb) is averaging 13.4 points per outing over the last eight contests. Keene State, which has never reached the Final Four, is seeking its first NCAA Tournament National Quarterfinal berth since 2004.
SCOUTING THE CAPTAINS
NCAA Tournament Appearance: 21st
How they got here: First Round – defeated Morrisville State, 81-45; Second Round – defeated No. 25 Swarthmore, 77-67
No. 2 Christopher Newport (27-2) reached the sectional round of the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row and seventh time overall with a pair of wins on the road last weekend. The Captains, who have won 21 straight games, rank first in Division III in scoring defense (56.4 points) and field goal percentage defense (35.0), and second in scoring margin (18.2). Junior Marcus Carter (12.7 pts, 6.7 reb) is averaging 16.9 points over the last seven contests, senior Tim Daly (12.3 pts, 7.1 reb, 2.2 ast) earned CAC Player of the Year honors and junior Aaron McFarland is contributing 10.7 points off the bench. Christopher Newport is looking to reach the national quarterfinals for the third time in school history.
No. 3 BABSON vs. No. 14 TUFTS
The Beavers and Jumbos will meet for the 41st time overall and second time this season on Friday night. Babson defeated Tufts, 91-78, back on December 3 at Brandeis, and also won the only postseason matchup between the teams, an ECAC semifinal contest back in 1991.
SCOUTING THE JUMBOS
NCAA Tournament Appearance: 5th
How they got here: First Round – defeated Salem State, 84-81; Second Round – defeated St. John Fisher, 94-81
No. 14 Tufts (22-6) is back in the sectional semifinals for the second year in a row after winning a pair of games on the road last weekend in Rochester, N.Y. The Jumbos, who average 83.4 points, rank 14th nationally in defensive rebounds per game (30.3) and are 14th among NCAA Tournament participants in field goal percentage defense (40.7). Junior Vincent Pace (13.9 pts, 6.0 reb) scored a career-high 37 points in Saturday's win over St. John Fisher, senior Tarik Smith (13.1 pts, 3.6 ast) is averaging 15.0 points over the last five games and classmate Tom Palleschi (10.2 pts, 6.2 reb, 2.6 blocks) has blocked 270 career shots. Tufts, which has seven players averaging at least 8.1 points, reached the national quarterfinals for the first time in school history last winter.
SCOUTING THE BEAVERS
NCAA Tournament Appearance: 9th
How they got here: First Round – defeated Husson, 92-76; Second Round – defeated Skidmore, 72-65
No. 3 Babson (27-2), which is competing in its fourth straight NCAA Tournament, reached the sectional semifinals for the third year in a row with a pair of wins at Staake Gymnasium last weekend. The Beavers rank fifth nationally in scoring margin (15.2) and field goal percentage defense (37.8), and are 10th in three-point field goal percentage (40.5). Senior Joey Flannery (22.7 pts, 7.2 reb, 3.8 ast), the reigning NABC Player of the Year, ranks 16th in Division III history in scoring (2,506 points), junior Nick Comenale (15.9 pts, 5.6 reb, 2.3 ast) has connected on a school-record 95 three-pointers and senior Isaiah Nelsen (12.8 pts, 6.1 reb) is 16th in the country in field goal percentage (62.9). The Green and White is seeking its second national quarterfinal appearance in three years.
• Babson and Augustana (Ill.) are the only Division III programs to reach the Sweet 16 in each of the last three years.
• The Beavers are 28-3 at home over the last two years and have won 23 of their last 24 inside Staake Gymnasium going back to January 24, 2016. Babson has also won all six of its NCAA Tournament games at home since 2015
• Christopher Newport has gone 27-3 away from home since the start of last season.
• Tufts has not lost two straight games to Babson since the 2002 and 2003 campaigns.
• Friday's game against Christopher Newport will be the first played in New England for Keene State since 2007.