UAA champion University of Chicago earned an automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Division III Basketball Championship. University of Rochester and Washington University each received at-large berths.
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago women's basketball team will travel up to St. Paul, Minn. for the opening rounds of the 2018 NCAA Division III Championship on Friday-Saturday, Mar. 2-3. University of St. Thomas will serve as the host of the four-team regional.
The Maroons (23-2 record) return to the postseason for the second-straight year and will take on Wisconsin Lutheran College (24-3) in the first round on Friday evening. The other Friday matchup will feature St. Thomas (25-2) versus Chapman University (23-4). The winners of those two contests will face off in Saturday night's second-round game. Game times are to be determined.
UChicago is making its seventh NCAA postseason appearance in program history. The Maroons received an automatic bid to the tournament after winning the University Athletic Association (UAA) title with a perfect 14-0 record. They are currently riding a 21-game winning streak, which is tied for the second-longest streak in program history.
University of Rochester
The University of Rochester will make its 15th NCAA Division III playoff appearance in women's basketball when the Yellowjackets host a first-round pod at the Louis Alexander Palestra this weekend.
Rochester will welcome Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Marymount University of Virginia, and Stevens Institute of Technology for games on Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, Marymount will put its 24-3 record against MIT which finished 18-9. This is the first appearance in the NCAA Division III playoffs for the Engineers. That game will tip off at 5 pm.
At 7:30 pm, Rochester takes the court (21-4) against Stevens Tech. The Ducks finished 15-12 and earned their ticket to the tournament by defeating St. John Fisher last Saturday for the Empire 8 championship. Friday's winners will play Saturday at 7 pm with that winning team advancing to the Sectionals (aka Sweet 16) the following weekend.
Tickets are priced at $7.00 for adults, $4.00 for students with ID, senior citizens, and military in uniform.
This will be Rochester's third straight NCAA Division III playoff appearance. The Yellowjackets reached the national quarterfinals (Elite 8) two years ago and were 23-6 overall. UR reached the second round of the tournament last season, defeating Keene State College of New Hampshire in round one before losing to SUNY Geneseo in the second game.
Rochester has not played Stevens or MIT before in women's basketball. The Yellowjackets have met Marymount once – in 2003-04 in the Elite 8 at Marymount. UR won to advance to the Final Four for the second consecutive year.
This is Rochester's 12th NCAA Division III playoff appearance under Jim Scheible. He came to the University in 1999-00. Rochester reached the Final Four three times – in 2002-03, 2003-04, and 2009-10. In 19 years, Scheible has a Rochester record of 365 wins, 154 losses. On January 21, 2018, he earned his 500th career coaching victory when Rochester defeated NYU, 83-79, in overtime, in New York City. He became the 19th active Division III coach to attain 500 coaching victories. In 27 years as a head coach (previous stops at Clarkson and Elmira), he has a career record of 506 wins, 225 losses heading into the Stevens game.
Washington University in St. Louis was selected as an at-large bid into the 2018 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament and will play against Wheaton (Ill.) College in the First Round on Friday, March 2 at 5:30 p.m. (ET) in Holland, Mich.
No. 5 Hope College will serve as the host of the NCAA First and Second Round set for Fri.-Sat. March 2-3. The Bears selection marks the 29th-consecutive season in which WashU advanced to the NCAA Tournament. In NCAA postseason play WashU has accumulated a 71-26 all-time record, which is the most victories in Division III history.
WashU defeated Wheaton 83-74 during the 2016-17 NCAA Second Round in the WU Field House and is 7-0 all-time against the Thunder. Three members of Wheaton's starting lineup return from last years NCAA Tournament team including senior guard Maggie Dansdill, junior forward Devin Kyler and senior guard Kelly Lawson.
Under the direction of first year head coach Randi Henderson, the Bears were selected as an at-large bid after finishing the regular season with an 18-7 overall record and 9-5 in University Athletic Association (UAA) play. WashU's UAA leading 78.7 points per game average is the most by a Bears unit in more than 20 years.
Five Bears are listed within the UAA's top-20 scoring leaderboard led by junior forward Madeline Homoly (16 ppg). Homoly recorded a double-double during the Tournament victory over Wheaton last year with 26 points and 11 rebounds while senior guard Natalie Orr scored 12 points with six rebounds and two assists.
Wheaton is making its 12th NCAA Tournament appearance, and is 6-11 in postseason play. The Thunder were an at-large bid after falling to Illinois Wesleyan in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) Championship, 62-60. Prior to the championship game Wheaton was on a 16-game winning streak.
Hope earned its 19th NCAA Tournament appearance with a 68-62 win over Trine in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Championship game. The Flying Dutch are 34-16 all-time in postseason play including National Championships in 1990 and 2006.
If both WashU and Hope advance it would be the fourth meeting of the two teams in NCAA Tournament play. The Bears are 3-2 all-time against the Flying Dutch, most recently securing a 56-52 win during the Second Round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
Cornell (Iowa) (20-5)
Cornell earned its second NCAA Tournament berth as an automatic bid out of the Midwest Conference after posting a 14-2 record during conference play. The Rams have reached 20 wins in four of the past six seasons under head coach Brent Brase. Cornell went 1-1 during its first Tournament action in 2013. The Bears and Cornell have never previously met in school history.