Husson men’s basketball team to battle Eastern Conn. State in NCAA first-round game

Posted March 03, 2014, at 6:32 p.m.
Warren Caruso
Husson University
Warren Caruso

The Husson University men’s basketball team is returning to Plattsburgh, N.Y., for the second year in a row to play an NCAA Division III Tournament first-round game as matchups were announced for the men’s and women’s tourneys Monday.

Husson will face the Eastern Connecticut State Warriors on Friday at a time to be determined. The winner of that game will play in the second round Saturday between the winner of the other first-round game between host Plattsburgh and MIT.

Last year, Plattsburgh eliminated Husson 84-63 in a first-round game.

Both Bowdoin College men’s and women’s basketball teams and the University of New England women’s team earned first-round berths in the NCAA tourneys.

Husson (26-2) paved its way to the national tournament with a 96-89 overtime victory against the University of Maine-Farmington in the North Atlantic Conference final, which earned the Eagles an automatic bid.

It will be the fourth trip to the national tournament in the last six years for the Eagles. It is also the first time they have gone in consecutive years since they did so in 2000-01.

“We are honored to be playing in the NCAA’s, and we look forward to competing at the highest level,” Husson coach Warren Caruso said. “We have gained a lot of experience playing in the NCAA’s over the past few years, and to return to the same site as last year will help us prepare this year.”

Eastern Connecticut (22-6) fell in the Little East Conference championship to Rhode Island College 70-61, but earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tourney.

The Plattsburgh Cardinals (22-5) lost in the State University of New York Athletic Conference championship game to Brockport 57-56, but also earned an at-large birth and the right to host the first two rounds.

The MIT Engineers (20-8) gained an automatic bid to the tournament by winning the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference championship over Springfield College 67-56.

After a one-year absence, the Bowdoin College women’s team is returning to the NCAA tourney and will play the opening round on its home court.

The Polar Bears (21-5) earned an at-large bid and will host a regional Friday at Morrell Gymnasium against Castleton State. The other game will feature Roger Williams and Plattsburgh State.

Bowdoin will be making its 14th appearance in the national tournament and 13th showing in the last 14 years. The Polar Bears have advanced to the Sweet Sixteen on 10 occasions, including five Elite Eight appearances and a trip to the championship in 2004.

For the fourth time in school history, Bowdoin’s men’s basketball team has earned a bid to the NCAA Division III Championship.

The Polar Bears (19-5) will play Richard Stockton on Friday in a regional hosted by Cabrini (Pa.) College. Cabrini will play Bridgewater State in the other opening-round game. The two advancing teams will play Saturday for a trip to the Sweet Sixteen.

Bowdoin finished fourth in the NESCAC standings. The Polar Bears also qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 1996, ’99 and 2008.

The University of New England women’s team (26-2), champions of the Commonwealth Coast Conference, will travel to Medford, Mass., for a Friday matchup against New York University (19-5).

 

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