Monday, February 26, 2007
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - The Westminster College men's and women's basketball teams received bids to the NCAA Division III Championships after the NCAA selection committee released the pairings Monday morning.
The Westminster men's team (18-8) was one of four Pool B selections in the field of 59 teams. The Titan men will play at John Carroll (19-9) Thursday, March 1, at 7 p.m. with the winner traveling to play at Lake Erie (25-2) Saturday at 7 p.m.
John Carroll received a Pool C at-large bid after it lost in the Ohio Athletic Conference championship game against Capital, 78-73, Saturday, Feb. 24. Westminster was the top seed in the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) before losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Grove City, 86-67, Thursday, Feb. 22.
This is the Titan men's first-ever NCAA tournament berth since the school joined NCAA Division III in 2000-01, and the first postseason berth since the team qualified for the ECAC South Region Tournament in 2004 and lost in the first round to Alvernia, 74-57.
The Westminster women's team (22-6) was also one of four Pool B selections as they make up a field of 63 teams. The Titan women will play at Messiah (25-2) Friday, March 2, at 7:30 p.m. with the winner advancing to play the winner of Kean (24-3) vs. Keuka (18-7) Saturday at 7 p.m., also at Messiah.
Messiah received an automatic bid by winning the Commonwealth Conference. Westminster is one of two PAC women's teams to qualify as the Titans and league champion Thomas More (22-4) were invited. Thomas More defeated Westminster, 59-50, in Saturday's PAC finals.
The Titan women are making their second trip to the NCAA tournament in three years after Westminster advanced to the second round in 2005 by winning at Dickinson, 54-50, and losing at Messiah, 69-46.
Ticket information for both of Westminster's first round games will be released later today on the Titan athletics web site at http://www.westminster.edu/athletics
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College is ranked among national leaders in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Guide to America's Best Colleges, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 361 Colleges" and "Best in the Northeast" by The Princeton Review, and was recognized by the Templeton Guide as a "Character Building College."
Nearly 1,600 students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty, while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa. campus.