MEDFORD - Amherst College has been selected as the host of an NCAA Div. III Women's Basketball Championship Sectional this coming weekend (Mar. 8-9). That's where the Tufts Jumbos will be, and they will play the Lord Jeffs in the tournament's third round on Friday night. Game time is 8 pm.
Tufts advanced to the NCAA "Sweet 16" for the second straight year and for the third time overall by hosting and winning a Regional this past weekend (Mar. 1-2). The Jumbos defeated St. Lawrence University in the first round on Friday night, 57-32. In the second round on Saturday, Tufts eliminated Babson 53-35.
With the two Regional wins, the Jumbos are now 9-4 overall in five NCAA Tournament appearances. Head coach Carla Berube guided the Jumbos to three straight NCAA berths from 2008-10 during which they recorded a 5-3 record. The 2008 team advanced to the "Elite 8". This and last season's "Sweet 16" appreances are the second-best NCAA showings in team history. The 2009 and 2010 teams lost in the second round.
This will be the first NCAA Tournament meeting between NESCAC rivals Tufts (25-2) and Amherst (28-1). They played a very competititve regular-season game at Amherst's LeFrak Gymnasium on February 2 with the Lord Jeffs winning 54-48. Widener (23-5) and Messiah (25-4) will play in the other third round game at Amherst on Friday at 6 pm. Friday's winners will meet in the national quarterfinals on Saturday at 7:30 pm. The winner of that game moves on to the NCAA "final four" at Hope College in Holland, Michigan on March 15-16.
Tickets for this weekend's games at Amherst will be $7 for adults, $4 for students and seniors, while children two and under are admitted free of charge.
Read NCAA Sectional host Amherst College's preview here.