AMHERST, Mass. -- The Amherst College
men's basketball team, thanks to Saturday's dramatic 95-79 win
at Connecticut College, received the three seed in the Northeast
Region of the 2000 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament
on Sunday night, earning a first-round home game against the winner
of Monday's Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) championship
game between Emerson College and Western New England College.
The Jeffs (18-5), who have won seven games in a row, including Saturday's victory over the Camels, then the top-ranked team in New England, will play in their first NCAA Tournament since the 1996-97 season, when this year's senior trio of Jackson Collins (Brooklyn, NY) and Co-captains Hugh Quattlebaum (Andover, MA) and Chris Smith (Swarthmore, PA) were freshmen. Then, the Jeffs received the four seed in the Northeast, falling in the second round to arch-rival Williams College. The Jeffs have been to one other NCAA Tournament, a cinderella 1993-94 run to the Elite Eight, when they became the first Amherst team ever to reach the quarterfinals of an NCAA Tournament.
The Jeffs could face their arch-rivals in the NCAA Tournament again, as Saturday's win over Conn guaranteed Williams the first-ever NESCAC title, and the automatic bid that goes along with it. The Ephs (20-3) received the number-one seed in the Northeast, and have a first-round bye before hosting the winner of Thursday night's other first-round game in the region, where Eastern Connecticut State University heads to Springfield to battle the Springfield College Pride. The winner of Thursday's first round game between the Jeffs and the GNAC champions advances to Saturday's second round, where the second-seeded Vikings of Salem State College, champions of the MASCAC, await.
The GNAC championship, originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon, was postponed due to a power failure on Saturday, which forced the postponement of the semifinals to Sunday, and the finals to Monday night. Western New England, the top seed in the GNAC tournament, has already played the Jeffs this season, falling to Amherst in Springfield, 80-64 on Dec. 7. The Jeffs last faced Emerson College on March 4, 1998 in the quarterfinals of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Tournament, where the Lions fell to Amherst, 122-86.
The start time for Thursday night's game is not set yet, but will be determined early in the week, and will be announced along with ticket prices.
Thursday, March 2, 2000
#5 Eastern Connecticut State University (17-10) at
#4 Springfield College (19-8)
#6 GNAC Winner (Emerson College/Western New England
#3 Amherst College (18-5)
Saturday, March 4, 2000
Eastern Conn./Springfield Winner at
#1 Williams College (20-3)
GNAC Champ./Amherst Winner at
#2 Salem State College (23-4)