LINCOLN, Neb.(KOLN) - The Nebraska Wesleyan men’s basketball team was selected to host the opening round of the 2019 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball National Tournament when the official bracket was announced on Monday morning.
Nebraska Wesleyan (26-1) will host Eureka College (13-14) in the first round of the tournament on Friday night (March 1) in Snyder Arena. Tip-off is set for 7:30 pm. University of St. Thomas (22-4) and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (17-9) meet in the other first round game on March 1 at 5:30 pm.
Friday’s winners will advance to the second round Saturday, March 2. The championship game will start at 7 pm. The 64-team 2019 NCAA III Men’s Basketball Championships will get underway on March 1-2 with the first two rounds at 16 sites across the country.
NWU, the No. 1 ranked team in the country, earned an automatic bid to the NCAA III Tournament by winning the American Rivers Conference tournament. This will be the Prairie Wolves second straight trip to the NCAA III Tournament and their 16th appearance overall. NWU is seeking to become the first team to repeat as NCAA III National Champions since 2009. This is the first time that Nebraska Wesleyan has hosted a NCAA III Tournament game since 1998.
Eureka captured their first-ever St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship to qualify for the national tournament. The Red Devils are also making their first NCAA III Tournament appearance. They were NAIA National Champions in 1994.
St. Thomas and UW-La Crosse both earned at-large berths to the NCAA III Tournament. St. Thomas, ranked 9th in the latest NCAA III Top 25 poll, won the 2011 and 2016 NCAA III National Championship and the Tommies are making their 19th appearance. UW-La Crosse is making their 2nd appearance in the NCAA III Tournament and first since 2006.