MEDFORD - The Tufts women's basketball team will challenge for its third straight trip to the NCAA semi-finals when they travel to the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania this weekend (March 11-12) for sectional-round play.
The Jumbos (25-3) play Albright (27-2) in the third round on Friday at 5 pm. Host Scranton (29-0) and Christopher Newport University (24-4) meet in the other Friday game at 7 pm. The winners will play in the NCAA Quarterfinals on Saturday at 5 pm with a berth into the national semi-finals on the line.
Tufts, playing in the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time and for the seventh year in a row, reached the "Sweet 16" for the fifth straight season. Tufts won the Regional at the University of New England (Mar. 4-5) with victories over Regis (MA), 61-49, and Moravian, 65-45. The Jumbos have made the NCAA "Final Four" in each of the last two years. They are 19-9 overall in NCAA play.
Albright (Reading, Pa.) won its first MAC Commonwealth Conference championship to receive an automatic berth into the NCAA's this season. This is the Lions' second NCAA berth, but first since 2008. Their Regional wins over Husson (76-46) and Montclair State (69-66 in OT) gave them a 2-1 record in NCAA action.
Host Scranton is making its 29th appearance in the NCAA's. The Royals won their fourth Landmark Conference championship and then posted victories against WPI (67-43) and Marymouth (60-44) in the Regional they hosted. Scranton has a 57-31 record in the NCAA's and won the 1985 national title. They are eight-time "Final Four" participants overall.
Christopher Newport University (CNU), out of Newport News, Virginia, is from the Capital Athletic Conference. The Captains are making their 17th NCAA appearance and have a 19-17 overall tournament record following 2016 Regional wins over St. Joseph's, Maine (65-47) and Muhlenberg (65-42). CNU seeks its second "Final Four" berth.
Admission for the games has been set at $7 for general and $4 for students, senior citizens (61 and over) and children ages 2 and older. Children under the age of 2 will be admitted for free. Doors for the games on Friday and Saturday will open at 4 p.m., as well.
In last week's D3hoops.com poll, Scranton was #3, Tufts was #7, Albright was #9 and CNU was #23.
One of these teams will move on the national semi-finals to be played at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio on March 19.
The finals will be part of a larger 35th anniversary NCAA women’s basketball championship celebration taking place at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis the first week in April. Championship week will culminate with five championship basketball games and three national titles decided within a 48-hour period. It will be the first time in the history of NCAA women’s basketball that all three divisional championships will be decided in the same city and venue. The Division III national championship game will be played on Monday, April 4 at 6 pm.
2016 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship Bracket / NCAA Digital Program / NCAA Division III Bracket / DIII Championship Records Book / 2015-16 Tournament Statistics / NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Website / D3hoops.com Coverage