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

March 2, 2003

AMHERST, MA - The Amherst College men’s basketball team drew an at-large bid and 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 fell to third-ranked Williams College 74-70 in the NESCAC Championship game, will host an NCAA second-round game this Saturday against the winner of Thursday’s first-round matchup between Lasell College and Southern Vermont.

Williams College earned an automatic bid after winning its first-ever NESCAC Championship (21-5) and also drew a first-round bye. The Ephs await the winner of Thursday’s first-round matchup between St. Joseph’s (Maine) and Salem State.

Amherst, now 22-4 overall, is making its fourth consecutive and sixth overall trip to the NCAA Tournament. Last season, the Jeffs advanced to the NCAA "Sweet 16" for the first time since 1994 and only the second time in school history, before falling at SUNY Brockport, 69-64.

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 14-15) feature eight teams playing at each of four campus sites. The Final Four will be held at the Salem (VA) Civic Center on March 21-22.

NCAA FIRST-ROUND MATCHUPS
Mary Washington at Alvernia
(Winner plays at Randolph-Macon)

Milwaukee Engineering at UW-Oshkosh
(Winner plays at Hope)

Savannah A&D at Christopher Newport
(Winner plays at Hampden-Sydney)

Blackburn at Illinois Wesleyan
(Winner plays at Washington U.)

Illinois College at Buena Vista
(Winner plays at Rockford)

Aurora at Trinity (Texas)
(Winner plays at Occidental

Whitworth at Gustavus Adolphus
(Winner plays at UW-Stevens Point)

Mississippi College at Maryville (Tenn.)
(Winner plays at Hanover)

St. Joseph’s (Maine) at Salem State
(Winner plays at Williams)

Colby-Sawyer at Hamilton
(Winner plays at St. John Fisher)

Lasell at Southern Vermont
(Winner plays at Amherst)

Western Connecticut at Clark
(Winner plays at Rochester)

Buffalo State at Scranton
(Ursinus plays at winner)

Pitt-Bradford at John Carroll
(Winner plays at Wooster)

CCNY at Kings Point
(Winner plays at Ramapo)

Elizabethtown at Montclair State
(Winner plays at Catholic)