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Muhlenberg College

Monday, March 3, 2008

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Spring sports

women’s basketball to host ncaa games

NCAA basketball Upon winning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, the natural question for a team to ask is “Where will the NCAA send us?” In the case of the Muhlenberg women’s basketball team, the answer is “nowhere.”

Muhlenberg, the Centennial Conference champion, was selected as a host school for the first two rounds of the NCAA Division III Tournament and will welcome three visitors to Memorial Hall this weekend.

The tournament schedule is as follows:
Friday, March 7
Marymount (23-5) vs. Salem State (21-6), 5:30
Muhlenberg (21-6) vs. DeSales (24-3), 7:30

Saturday, March 8
Friday winners, 7:00

The tournament winner advances to the “Sweet 16” to face the winner of Saturday’s game between undefeated Howard Payne and either Trinity (Texas) or McMurry. Another undefeated team, Hope, is in the same quarter of the bracket.

The regional at Muhlenberg features four 20-win teams that
Kelly McKeon
Freshman Kelly McKeon was named Centennial Conference player of the week after leading the Mules to the No. 1 spot.
all have NCAA Tournament experience.

The Mules are making their fourth NCAA appearance and have a 2-3 record; they won the first-round game in their last two trips, including a 53-45 victory against DeSales (then known as Allentown College) in 1998. Muhlenberg defeated Wesleyan (Conn.) in the first round in 2006 before falling to Mary Washington.

DeSales, ranked 23rd in Division III by D3hoops.com, is 2-7 in seven previous NCAA appearances. The Bulldogs are in the national tournament for the first time since 2003, when they received a first-round bye and bowed to Eastern Connecticut State in the second round. The Freedom Conference champions have not won an NCAA game since 1990.

Muhlenberg and DeSales are familiar with each other, as they meet every year in the regular season. The Mules have won the last three encounters, including a 67-63 victory in November; one of the Bulldogs’ three losses.

The other two teams are more regular participants in the NCAAs.

Salem State, the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference runner-up, is back in the NCAA Tournament after having its streak of 14 straight bids snapped last year. The Vikings are 28-25 in 23 previous appearances, winning the national championship in 1986 and advancing to the “Final Four” on three other occasions.

Marymount, which lost to Mary Washington in the Capital Athletic Conference title game, has been to six of the last seven NCAAs, reaching the national semifinals in 2002. The Saints are 15-15 all-time in 13 NCAA trips.

Tickets for this weekend’s tournament are $6 for adults and $3 for senior citizens, students and children under 12.

Click here for the tournament bracket.

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