The DePauw Tigers, defending conference champion, completed NCAC play with a perfect 16-0 record for the second straight season after defeating Wooster, 76-41, on Saturday for its 25th victory of the season, securing the top seed in tournament play. The Tigers 25-0 record marks the first perfect regular season in program history. Wittenberg leads all league teams with 12 NCAC championships, sharing the crown with Ohio Wesleyan in 1999 and ‘92. Allegheny is next with six titles, including five-straight from 1985-89. No other team in conference history has won more than three consecutive championships. The Gators shared the NCAC’s first championship in 1985 with Wooster. Additionally, Allegheny and Ohio Wesleyan tied for first in 2001. The Battling Bishops own five overall titles, while Kenyon and Denison boast three and Wooster two.
DePauw (16-0, 25-0) will be the top seed in the 29th annual NCAC Women’s basketball tournament. Tournament play begins with quarterfinal games at campus sites on Tuesday. Tournament seeding follows the final regular-season standings with the top four seeds hosting the quarterfinals. The Tigers host the No. 8 seed, Hiram (4-12, 9-16). Second seed Kenyon (12-4, 18-7) hosts seventh seed Oberlin (4-12, 9-16); third-seeded Allegheny (9-7, 14-11) hosts sixth-seeded Ohio Wesleyan (7-9, 8-17) and fourth-seeded Denison (8-8, 13-12) hosts fifth-seeded Wittenberg (8-8, 12-13). Allegheny, Ohio Wesleyan and Wittenberg, Denison will tip at 7:30 p.m. while DePauw, Hiram and Kenyon, Oberlin will tip at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday’s winners will advance to the semifinals and championship on Friday and Saturday at the site of the highest remaining seed after the quarterfinals. Semifinal games will be held at 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. with the high seed playing in the later time slot. The championship game is set for 7:00 p.m. This year’s champion will again receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, which begins with first-round play on March 1-2.
TOURNEY TALK: DePauw is the defending NCAC tournament champion, defeating Denison 61-41 in the 2012 tournament final, the Tigers’ inaugural season of NCAC play. The Big Red (7), Wittenberg (7), Ohio Wesleyan (5) and Allegheny (5) have combined to win 24 of 28 women’s tournament titles. Kenyon has two tournament titles, while DePauw and Wooster each have one. Wittenberg leads all conference teams with 14 appearances in the championship game, while Ohio Wesleyan is close behind with 13. Allegheny and Denison have each been to the finals nine times, winning a championship in all but six trips between the two squads. Kenyon has five title game appearances, while Wooster has four. Oberlin, this year’s seventh seed, has advanced past the quarterfinal round three times, but has yet to earn a trip to the championship game. Hiram enters the 2013 tournament as the eighth seed and will be looking to advance past the quarterfinal round for the first time in school history. DePauw, entering its second NCAC Tournament, carries a perfect 3-0 record in tournament action, while Wittenberg has been the most consistent team in tournament play with a .719 overall winning percentage (41-16). Ohio Wesleyan has gone 41-23 in the tournament (.650), followed by Denison at 31-20 (.607) and Allegheny at 27-23 (.540). Kenyon (26-26, .500) is the next closest team.