LINCOLN, Neb. The Nebraska Wesleyan men’s basketball team will host Loras College on Saturday night (Feb. 23) in the 2019 American Rivers Conference Tournament Championship game. Tip-off between the Prairie Wolves and Duhawks is set for 7 pm in Snyder Arena with an automatic bid to the NCAA III Tournament on the line.
NWU is the No. 1 seed in the tournament and the No. 1 ranked team in NCAA III Basketball. Loras, the No. 2 seed, is also nationally-ranked at No. 18 in this week’s top 25 poll.
Loras handed the Prairie Wolves their only loss of the season on Jan. 26 in Dubuque, Iowa. NWU defeated the Duhawks in the first meeting between the two teams. Over the past three seasons as conference opponents, the two teams have split the season series each year.
The Prairie Wolves bring a 25-1 overall record into the championship matchup. They defeated Simpson College 85-80 in the semifinals to earn their second straight title game appearance. NWU jumped out to a 20-point halftime lead making 13 3-pointers in the first half, then held off a late Simpson rally.
No. 2 seed Loras is 21-5 on the year and they advanced to the championship by taking out cross town rival University of Dubuque in the semifinals. Dubuque had defeated Loras in the two regular season meetings.
An automatic berth to the NCAA III National Tournament is awarded to the winner of the American Rivers Tournament. The first round of nationals begins on March 1.