NCAC Weekly Release (2-23-15) - Men's Basketball

NCAC Weekly Release (2-23-15) - Men's Basketball

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Ohio Wesleyan (16-2, 21-4), ranked 17th in the most recent D3hoops.com Top 25, secured its first outright North Coast men’s basketball championship since the 1986-87 season last week following a pair of wins over Oberlin, 106-76, and DePauw, 86-77. The Battling Bishops now own five NCAC titles all-times, followed by Wooster (16), Wittenberg (11) and Allegheny (4). The Battling Bishops, who won another outright championship in 1985, shared the title with Allegheny in both 1988 and 1986, while the Gators also shared the crown with Wooster in 1989 and Wittenberg in 1993.

As conference champions, Ohio Wesleyan has earned the top seed in the 2015 NCAC Men’s Basketball Tournament. Tournament play begins with quarterfinal games at campus sites on Tuesday (2/24) evening. The seeding follows the regular season standings with the top four seeds hosting quarterfinal contests. The Battling Bishops host the eight seed Oberlin (6-12, 10-15) at 7:00 p.m. Wooster (14-4, 20-5), ranked 24th in the most recent D3hoops.com Top 25, finished as the second seed and will host seventh-seeded Denison (7-11, 13-12) at 7:30 p.m.; third-seeded Wabash (12-6, 17-8) hosts sixth-seeded Allegheny (8-10, 11-14) at 7:30 p.m., while fourth-seeded DePauw (9-9, 16-9) hosts fifth-seeded Wittenberg (8-10, 10-15) at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday’s winners will advance to the semifinals on Friday at the site of the highest remaining seed to emerge from the quarterfinal round. In low capacity gyms (OWU, WAB), the semifinal games will be played at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., with the host playing in the later time slot. Please note, in this scenario the gym will be cleared in between games and separate tickets will be required for both contests. In high capacity gyms (DPU, WIT, WOO), the semifinal games will be played at 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. with the host institution playing in the later time slot. One ticket will be valid for both contests in high capacity gyms. The championship game is set for Saturday (2/28) at 7:00 p.m. at the site of the semifinal contests.  In the event that one institution hosts both the men’s and women’s “final four”, the women’s semifinals will be played on Thursday (2/26) and the men’s semifinals will be played on Friday. The championship games would then be played on Saturday with the women playing at 3:00 p.m. and the men at 7:00 p.m. In this scenario, the gym will be cleared in between games and separate tickets will be required for each contest. This year’s tournament champion will receive an automatic bid to the 2015 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament, which beings with first-round play on March 6th.

TOURNEY TALK: Wooster has won six of the last eight NCAC Tournaments, with only Ohio Wesleyan interrupting that string with tournament crowns in 2008 and 2013. The Fighting Scots took home the tournament championship a year ago with a 71-63 victory over arch-rival Wittenberg. Wooster owns 15 postseason titles, with just over half of them coming as the No. 1 seed (1995, ‘99, ‘00, ‘03, ‘07, ‘09, ‘10, ‘11, ‘14). Wittenberg is second all-time with six tourney titles, while Ohio Wesleyan (5), Allegheny (3) and Kenyon (1) round out the list of past men’s tournament champions. Wooster has appeared in the finals 21 times, including a string of 11-straight from 1997-2007, while Wittenberg has made 15 championship game appearances, followed by Allegheny (8), Ohio Wesleyan (8), Kenyon (3), Wabash (3) and Denison (1) ... Third-seeded Wabash has qualified for the tournament for the 16th year in a row. The Little Giants made back-to-back championship game appearances in 2008 and ‘09, falling to OWU in ‘08, 89-72, and dropping an 84-72 decision against Wooster in ‘09 ... Fourth-seeded DePauw advanced to the semifinal round of the tournament for the first time in program history last winter, eventually falling short against Wittenberg by a 63-61 margin ... Fifth-seeded Wittenberg, which is making its 26th-straight appearance in the NCAC Tournament, is seeking its first tourney title since hoisting the trophy in 2006 ... Sixth-seed Allegheny returns to the tournament field for the first time since 2011, and is in search of its first trip to the semifinal round since falling to Wabash, 73-56, in the 2009 tournament ... As the seventh seed, Denison is seeking its first tournament title in program history. In 2012, the Big Red advanced to their first ever tournament championship game where they were narrowly upended by Wooster, 53-51 ... Finally, eighth-seeded Oberlin is making its third-straight appearance in the NCAC Tournament and 12th overall. The Yeomen’s last tournament win came in 1992 with they knocked off Allegheny, 88-73, in the quarterfinal round ... Wooster leads all men’s team with an .805 winning percentage (62-15) in tournament games. Wittenberg follows at .698 (44-19), while Ohio Wesleyan is next at .536 (30-26) and Allegheny is the only other team men’s team above the .500 mark in tournament play at .511 (24-23).