WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's basketball team, which captured the 2019-2020 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship in a thriller Sunday afternoon, will play Hobart College (HC) in the Regional Round of the 2020 NCAA Division III Tournament in Springfield, Mass. The Blue Jays looked on in anticipation during the sqaud's viewing party, as each of the 64 teams in the bracket were revealed Monday in a live selection show on NCAA.com.
Springfield College (SC) will host the regional March 6-7 at Blake Arena. The Blue Jays will play Hobart in the first round on Friday, March 6 at 5:00 p.m. Joining USJ, HC and SC in their 'pod' is SUNY Canton (SUNYC), who will face SC in the first round at 7:30 p.m., following the conclusion of the Blue Jays' game. The single-elimination tournament continues on Saturday March 7, with the two winners going head-to-head at 7:30 p.m. for the right to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Ticket prices are $12 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, and children age 2 and under are free. Tickets will be on sale on gamedays at the entrance of Blake Arena. There will be no presale of tickets.
The Statesmen (21-5) are coming off a semifinal appearance in the 2020 Liberty League (LL) Tournament, falling 80-72 to Ithaca College. HC made a three-peat of NCAA Tournament appearances from 2012-2014. They also appeared in 2001. The Statesmen won the LL Championship in three of those seasons (2001, 2013-14).
The No. 14 Pride (22-4) made the Final Four for the first time in school history in 2018, before losing in overtime to Nebraska-Wesleyan, 90-78. After a disappointing 2019, SC made the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) semifinals this season, before falling to eventual champion Coast Guard, 88-82. Their impressive resume still earned them the right to host a regional in this year's NCAA Tournament.
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The Kangaroos (16-11) are fresh off their first North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Championship in program history, defeating Maine-Farmington, 72-71. In doing so, SUNY Canton also earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The men's basketball team joined the women's lacrosse team, who won the 2019 NAC Championship last spring, as the only teams in SUNY Canton history to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
The No. 17 Blue Jays (26-2) defeated Albertus Magnus College (AMC), 88-84, in a rematch of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship Sunday, capping a storybook sophomore season on a 25-game win streak, including a perfect 11-0 in the GNAC, becoming the second school in GNAC men's basketball history to do so (Albertus Magnus 2012, 2015). USJ is making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, in just its second-ever season.
The championship provides for a 64-team tournament. Automatic qualification (AQ) is granted to 43 conference champions, which form "Pool A." One team is selected from true independents and schools from conferences that do not have an automatic bid for their champions (Pool B). The remaining 20 teams are selected from those teams in conferences with automatic bids that did not win their conference's AQ and the remaining Pool B institutions (Pool C). The teams are geographically paired, whenever possible.
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Sixteen sites will host four teams for first and second-round competition Friday-Saturday, March 6-7. Second-round winners will advance to one of eight third-round sites Friday-Saturday, March 13-14. Winners of the eight third-round games will advance to the quarterfinals and semifinals March 20 and 21. Winners of the two semifinal contests will advance to the final April 5. All games, except the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals, will be played on the campuses of competing institutions. The quarterfinals and semifinals, will be conducted at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, IN, while the National Championship game will be conducted at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA.
USJ will compete in the Regional Round of the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament for the first time, playing its opening round game against Hobart College on Friday, March 6 at 5:00 p.m., inside Blake Arena, on the campus of Springfield College, in Springfield, Mass. Ticket prices are $12 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, and children age 2 and under are free. Tickets will be on sale on gamedays at the entrance of Blake Arena. There will be no presale of tickets.
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