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Washington University and Emory Earn Bids to NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship

Washington University and Emory Earn Bids to NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship

UAA champion Washington University received an automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship. Emory University received an at-large bid.

Full Bracket

Washington University

he No. 2-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team will host 2018 NCAA Division III First and Second Round play on Friday-Saturday, March 2-3, at the WU Field House in St. Louis.

Maryville College (Tenn.) and Nebraska Wesleyan University will square off in first-round action on Friday at 5:30 p.m., while WashU takes on Aurora University in the second game at 7:30 p.m. The winners of the two first-round games will meet on Saturday at 7 p.m. with a chance to advance to the NCAA sectionals.

WashU (22-3) won its 15th University Athletic Association (UAA) championship this season to earn the league's automatic bid. The Bears are making their 21st NCAA Division III Tournament appearance, and 24th overall. WashU sports a 33-18 (.647) all-time postseason record in NCAA Division III play, and a 37-21 (.638) overall mark in postseason play.

The Bears made three-straight Final Four appearances from 2007-09, and captured the 2008 and 2009 Division III National Championships.

Head coach Mark Edwards has a 685-292 (.701) overall record in 37 years at his alma mater. Edwards ranks fifth in active wins by a Division III head coach and ninth all-time in DIII history. He has guided the Bears to a school-record 34 consecutive winning seasons.

Aurora (19-8) won the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) Tournament with a 76-71 win over Benedictine University (Ill.) to earn the automatic bid. The Spartans have a 1-9 (.100) all-time record in nine previous NCAA appearances.

WashU leads the all-time series against the Spartans 3-1, and the Bears posted a 101-84 victory on March 1, 2011 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Maryville (22-6) secured its first-ever USA South Conference Tournament Championship with a 96-77 win over Covenant to earn the automatic bid. The Scots will be making their 19th NCAA Tournament appearance, and have a 13-18 (.419) all-time record in postseason play. Head coach Randy Lambert earned his 700th career victory on Feb. 23.

WashU defeated Maryville 76-73 in the teams only meeting in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Feb. 28, 1991, in Maryville, Tenn. 

Nebraska Wesleyan (24-3) rallied from an 18-point deficit to earn an 82-78 victory over Central (Iowa) in the championship game of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) Tournament to earn the automatic bid. The Prairie Wolves have a 24-16 record in 14 previous NCAA Tournament appearances. Nebraska Wesleyan was the national runner-up in 1997.

Nebraska Wesleyan and WashU have split six all-time meetings in a series that began in the 1918-19 season. The Bears defeated the Prairie Wolves 77-74 in the consolation of the 1964 Midwest Regional, while Nebraska Wesleyan posted a 58-55 win in the NCAA Quarterfinals in 1988.   

Emory University

Emory University has been selected as a host site for the opening two rounds of the 2018 NCAA D-III Men's Basketball Championships. Action begins with two games on Friday (Mar. 2) followed by Saturday's second-round contest. First-round match-ups will see LeTourneau University take on Hanover College, followed by Emory squaring off against Berry College.  Times are listed below.  

Emory concluded the regular season with an overall record of 21-4 and finished second in the University Athletic Association with a 12-2 ledger, the second-highest win total in school history for league play.  The Eagles have won their last five outings and are coming off a 71-61 triumph at Rochester on Saturday.  This year marks the sixth straight and seventh overall trip to the postseason for the Emory program.

Berry College landed an automatic berth to the postseason after winning the Southern Athletic Assoication Tournament this past weekend.  The Vikings entered their league championship as the No. 8 seed but upended top-seeded Centre College in the quarterfinals before defeating Birmingham Southern in the semifinals and Hendrix College (88-78) in the title contest. 

LeTourneau, a member of the American Southwest Conference (ASC) posts an overall record of 23-4.  The YellowJackets won the East Division of the league with a 16-2 slate, but fell in the semifinals to East Texas Baptist University in the ASC Tournament. 

Hanover College played its way to an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament after winning its second straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament, defeating Rose-Hulman by an 80-70 count. The Panthers beging the postseason with a mark of 22-6. 

Friday, March 2
5:30 pm -- LeTourneau University vs. Hanover College
7:30 pm -- Emory University vs. Berry College

Saturday, March 3
7:00 pm -- LeTourneau/Hanover winner vs. Emory/Berry winner