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Division III Pairings Announced; Jeffs Draw First-Round Bye in NCAA Tournament

February 24, 2002


AMHERST, MA - The Amherst College men's basketball team drew one of 16 first-round byes in the upcoming NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship Tournament, for which pairings were announced Sunday night in Indianapolis. The Jeffs, who won their second straight NESCAC Tournament with an 85-78 victory over Trinity College, will host a second-round game on Saturday against the winner of Thursday's first-round matchup between Salem State College and Western Connecticut State University.

NESCAC rivals Williams College (21-5) and Trinity College (18-5) also earned at-large bids in the 48-team field, as did regional rival Clark University (20-5), which bowed out of the NEWMAC Championship Tournament with an unexpected semifinal loss to Wheaton College on Friday. All three will host first-round games on Thursday, with Williams taking on Cazenovia, Trinity hosting Colby-Sawyer and Clark squaring off against Suffolk.

Amherst, now 21-6 overall and owner of a six-game winning streak, is making its third consecutive and fifth overall trip to the NCAA Tournament. Last season, the Jeffs downed visiting St. John Fisher College, 89-76, in the NCAA first round, followed by an 89-76 second-round loss at Clark.

Of the 48 teams selected for the Division III NCAA Tournament, 35 are conference champions, eight are runners-up and five represent conferences that don't qualify for automatic bids. Selections are made by the Division III Men's Basketball National Committee, with one member from each region. Each national committee member chairs a regional committee of four to seven people, who produce regional rankings during the last six weeks of the regular season. First and second-round games are held at the higher seed, while the sectionals (March 8-9) feature eight teams playing at each of four campus sites. The Final Four will be held at the Salem (VA) Civic Center on March 15-16.

NCAA FIRST-ROUND MATCHUPS
Ripon at UW-Oshkosh
(Winner plays at St. Thomas)

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Lewis & Clark
(Winner plays at Mississippi College)

Hope at St. Norbert
(Winner plays at Carthage

Edgewood at Gustavus
(Winner plays at Buena Vista)

Webster at Maryville (Tenn.)
(Winner plays at Washington U.)

Wittenberg at Franklin
(Winner plays at DePauw)

Lycoming at Gettysburg
(Winner plays at Randolph Macon)

Bethany at Pitt-Bradford
(Winner plays at Otterbein)

Cazenovia at Williams
(Winner plays at Rochester)

Lasell at Union
(Winner plays at Babson)

Salem State at Western Conn.
(Winner plays at Amherst)

Colby-Sawyer at Trinity (Conn.)
(Winner plays at Brockport St.)

Ithaca at Alvernia
(Winner plays at Elizabethtown)

Cabrini at Kings Point
(Winner plays at Williams Patterson)

Suffolk at Clark
(Winner plays at Staten Island)

N.C. Wesleyan at Hampden-Sydney
(Winner plays at Catholic)