MEDFORD – By winning its eighth New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) title earlier today at Wesleyan, the Tufts University men's lacrosse team earned the league's automatic berth into the 2018 NCAA Division III Championship.
Tufts (16-1) is making its 11th NCAA appearance and 10th in a row (2007, 2009-18). As the #2 seed in the North, the Jumbos will host a first-round game between Merchant Marine (13-2) and Johnson & Wales (9-11) on Tuesday (May 8) at Bello Field. The winner of that game will play again on Wednesday against the Jumbos at Bello.
Game times for both Tuesday and Wednesday is 4 p.m. Ticket prices will be $7 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens. On Wednesday, Tufts students free with their ID. Tickets will go on sale at 3 p.m. both days.
The Jumbos have won 19 straight NCAA Tournament games at Bello Field dating back to the 2009 season. Last year they played a second-round game there versus Keene State College and won 26-14. The Jumbos have a 27-7 mark in NCAA play overall with three national titles (2015, 2014, 2010), two finals appearances (2016, 2011) and a semi-final finish (2012).
The U.S. Merchant Marine Mariners won the Skyline Conference championship 21-15 over Mount St. Mary on Saturday. They are making their third NCAA appearance and first since 2009. Johnson & Wales won the Great Northeast Athletic Conference crown 9-5 against Norwich on Saturday. The Wildcats will be playing their first-ever NCAA game.
Wednesday's winner will face either Ithaca or Stevenson in the third round on Saturday (May 12). The Jumbos, as the #2 seed in the North, will host through the quarterfinals as long as they stay alive in the tournament. RIT is the #1 seed in the north.
The championship provides for a 36-team tournament. Automatic qualification (AQ) is granted to 25 conference champions, which form "Pool A." Two teams are selected from true independents and schools from conferences that do not have an automatic bid for their champions (Pool B). The remaining nine teams are selected from those teams in conferences with automatic bids that did not win their conference's AQ and the remaining Pool B institutions (Pool C). The teams are geographically paired, whenever possible.
Materials from NCAA.com used in this release