WSU men’s basketball to face #19 Middlebury in NCAA Opening Round

WESTFIELD – Westfield State University will play #19-ranked Middlebury College in the opening round of the NCAA Division 3 Men’s Basketball national championship tournament on Friday evening, March 7 in Brockport, N.Y.
Westfield (20-7) were slotted in a four-team regional which will be hosted by SUNY-Brockport. The other first-round game in the region features #23 Brockport (24-3) vs. Coast Guard (14-13). The winners of Friday night’s two first round games will clash on Saturday evening for the right to play in the Sweet 16.
Westfield earned an automatic bid to the tournament by virtue of winning the 2020 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference title with an 81-77 win over Worcester State in the title game on Saturday, Feb. 29.
The Middlebury Panthers (20-5) earned an at-large bid. The Panthers lost in the quarterfinals of the New England Small College Athletic Conference tournament.
The Owls will ride an eight game-winning streak into the NCAA’s. It has been a month since Westfield dropped a game, the last an 82-81 overtime loss on a buzzer-beater at MCLA.
Westfield is making its fourth NCAA tournament appearance. The Owls previously qualified in 1985, 1993, and 2015. Westfield lost to Clark, 88-78, in 1985, and fell to UMass-Dartmouth, an eventual final four participant, 90-81, in the first round in 1993. Westfield fell to another final four team, Babson, 75-62 in 2015.
In total, 64 teams were selected by the NCAA committee for the single-elimination tournament. 43 teams receive automatic bids by winning their conference tournament, one pool-B team selected from among the leagues which do not have an automatic bid, and 20 at-large selections. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be held at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on March 20 and 21. The national championship game will be held alongside the Division I and Division II national championship games in Atlanta at State Farm Arena on April 5.
More information on game times, tickets, broadcasts, etc., will be released during the week, and will be posted on when available. – Courtesy of Westfield State University Sports

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