INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Committee announced the field of 64 teams for the 2017 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship.
CIAA Champion Bowie State University is an at-large selection and will enter post season play seeded No. 8 overall in the Atlantic Region and will take on Fairmont (W.Va.) State University, the No. 1 seed on Saturday, March 11th on the campus of Fairmont State at a time to be determined. This will mark the 7th overall meeting between the two schools and Fairmont State leads the series 4-2. Bowie State lost 100-97 at Fairmont State back on November 12, 2016 as part of the Joe Retton Classic.
Fairmont State enters post season play with an overall record of 29-2 and are the 2017 Mountain East Conference Tournament runner-up. Bowie State’s last post season appearance was March 6, 2013 and will enter regional play with a record of 16-14 after claiming the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association crown.
“We’re really excited and blessed to be back in the tournament and our guys worked extremely hard to put us in this position”, said 8th year head coach Darrell Brooks. “We basically look at each game as let’s just win that game that day and be 1-0 for the day. That mindset really helped us going into (CIAA) tournament play and we will keep that mindset going into the NCAA Tournament.”
When asked about Fairmont State, Brooks said, “They’re the #1 team in the region and #1 team in the country for a reason … They’re athletic and a team that presses you for 40 minutes. The keys for us will be we must do a great job in transition defense, we must handle their pressure, defend and rebound well.”
Virginia Union was the only other CIAA institution to receive an invite in the field of eight Atlantic Region teams. Virginia Union (22-7) is the No. 7 seed and will face No. 2 seed and Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Tournament Champion Shippensburg (26-3).
West Liberty (28-3) claimed the Mountain East Tournament Title and will be the No. 3 seed in the Atlantic Region and will go up against Wheeling Jesuit (23-7) who is the No. 6 seed. Indiana (Pa.) is seeded No. 4 and will take on conference foe and No. 5 seed Kutztown.
All eight teams within the region will travel to one site for first-round, semifinal and final competition at the regional level. First-round games will be played March 11, semifinal games March 12 and the regional championship will be played March 13, except in the West Region. The Division II men’s championship game will be played Saturday, March 25th in Sioux Falls, S.D. at the Sanford Pentagon.
Courtesy: Bowie State Athletics