Men’s Basketball Earns Third Straight Bid to NCAA Tournament; Will Travel to Ithaca College for Opening Round
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – For the third consecutive season, the MIT men's basketball team will make an appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament, after winning the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship on Sunday. The Cardinal and Grey will face host Ithaca College (20-6) on Friday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the opening round of a four-team regional. Elms College (20-7) and the University of Rochester (20-5) will square off in the other Friday contest, with the winners advancing to the Second Round on Saturday. Saturday's game will begin at 7:00 p.m.
MIT upset top seed and host WPI in the NEWMAC Championship game, winning 63-52 to clinch its second conference crown in the past three years and earn an automatic bid into the national tournament. Will Tashman collected tournament Most Outstanding Player honors for Tech, which improved to 19-8 on the season.
The Engineers are led by a pair of dynamic sophomores in Tashman and Mitchell Kates. Kates leads the team in scoring, averaging 15.3 points per game, and assists with 4.9 per contest. Tashman, who has helped stabilize a front line that is missing All-America center Noel Hollingsworth, leads the NEWMAC in rebounds (8.9 per game) and ranks sixth in scoring (13.8). Sharp-shooter, Jamie Karraker ranks among the NCAA leaders in three-point field goals per game (3.42 per game) and three-point percentage (44.3%).
Tech fell in overtime to DeSales University in the First Round of last year's NCAA Championship, 72-64. In 2009, the program's first ever postseason appearance, MIT downed host Rhode Island College, 73-68, before falling to eventual National quarterfinalist, Farmingdale State, 67-61.
Ithaca is led by Empire 8 Player of the Year, senior Phil Barera. The center has tallied team-bests of 17.0 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, while adding 10 double-doubles. His 65.1 percent field-goal accuracy ranks him second in the nation. Ithaca recently placed four on the Empire 8 All-Conference squad as Barera and sophomore guard Sean Rossi earned first-team recognition and junior guard Jordan Marcus and senior guard Chris Cruz-Rivas were honored on the second team.
In addition to MIT, WPI will also represent the NEWMAC in the NCAA Tournament. The Engineers earned an at-large bid to the "Big Dance" and will host a first round game against Bridgewater State on Friday.
Ithaca College will provide live video of all three games, which can be viewed here.
$6.00 – General Admission
$3.00 – Students and Senior Citizens
Gate will be open one hour before game time
For more information on traveling to Ithaca College, click here.
For a complete tournament bracket, click here.