Ohio Wesleyan (15-3, 22-3) and Wooster (15-3, 19-6) have shared the 2016 NCAC men’s basketball title, marking the first time the NCAC has had co-champions on the men’s side since the 1992-93 season. Wooster leads all NCAC men’s squads with 17 titles all-time, while the Bishops now have six conference championships to their name. Wittenberg is second in the NCAC with 11 titles, while Allegheny is the only other team to have won a conference championship with four all-time. The Battling Bishops and Gators shared the title in both 1988 and 1986, while Allegheny also shared the crown with Wooster in 1989 and Wittenberg in 1993.
OWU has earned the top seed in the 2016 NCAC Men’s Basketball Tournament via a tiebreaker scenario over Wooster. The tournament begins with quarterfinal games at campus sites on Tuesday (2/23) evening. The seeding follows the regular season standings with the top four seeds hosting quarterfinal contests.
The Battling Bishops host the eight seed, Wabash (7-11, 13-12) and the second-seeded Fighting Scots will host seventh-seeded Oberlin (7-11, 12-13). In the other quarterfinal matchups on Tuesday night, third-seeded Hiram (12-6, 18-7) hosts sixth-seeded Kenyon (8-10, 11-14), while fourth-seeded Denison (9-9, 14-11) entertains fifth-seeded Wittenberg (9-9, 14-11). 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 (HIR, DEN, OWU), 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 (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 (2/27) at 4:00 p.m. at the site of the semifinal contests. In addition, if Ohio Wesleyan hosts the championship game it will be played at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday due to the NCAC Indoor Track & Field Combined Events Championships. This year’s tournament champion will receive an automatic bid to the 2016 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament, which beings with first-round play on March 6th.
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.
TOURNEY TALK: Wooster has won six of the last nine NCAC Tournaments, with only Ohio Wesleyan and DePauw interrupting that string. OWU captured titles in 2008 and 2013, while DPU captured its first tournament title last winter with a 69-56 triumph over the Fighting Scots. 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), DePauw (1) and Kenyon (1) round out the list of past tournament champions. Wooster has appeared in the finals 22 times, including a string of 11-straight from 1997-2007, while Wittenberg has made 15 championship game appearances all-time, followed by Allegheny (8), Ohio Wesleyan (8), Kenyon (3), Wabash (3), Denison (1) and DePauw (1) ... Third-seeded Hiram has qualified for the tournament for the first time since the 2011-12 season and the Terriers will also be hosting a quarterfinal game for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign ... Fourth-seeded Denison, which is in search of the first tournament title in program history, will be hosting a quarterfinal game in Granville for the first time since 2005. In 2012, the Big Red advanced all the way to the tournament title game, before suffering a crushing 53-51 loss against Wooster ... Wittenberg, which checks in at the fifth seed for the second year in a row, is making its 27th-straight appearance in the NCAC Tournament and is in search of its first tourney title since hoisting the trophy in 2006 ... Sixth-seeded Kenyon is back in the tournament field after a one-year hiatus last winter. The Lords, who own a 13-17 record all-time in NCAC Tournament play, will be seeking their first quarterfinal round victory since topping Wabash, 77-72, as the three seed in 2013 ... As the seventh seed, Oberlin is making its fourth-straight appearance in the NCAC Tournament and 13th overall. The Yeomen’s last tournament win came in 1992 when they knocked off Allegheny, 88-73, in the opening round ... Eighth-seeded Wabash has qualified for the tournament every year since joining the NCAC in the 1999-2000 academic year. 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 ... Wooster leads all men’s team with an .800 winning percentage (64-16) in tournament games. Wittenberg follows at .688 (44-20), while DePauw is next at .571 (40-3). Ohio Wesleyan .536 (30-26) and Allegheny .511 (24-23) are the only other men’s teams above the .500 mark in tournament play.