Wartburg Preparing For NCAA Tournament Openers
The Wartburg Knights men's and women's basketball teams will both open NCAA Tournament play on Friday (March 3, 2017).
The men's squad faces Benedictine (23-4) at Wisconsin-River Falls, while the women play the University of Chicago (18-7) at St. Thomas, located in St. Paul, Minn. The women's game begins at 5 p.m. The men's game tips off at 5:30 p.m.
The NCAA released the pairings for each of the 64-team tournament brackets on Monday.
The Wartburg men (19-9 overall) earned the Iowa Conference's automatic NCAA bid by winning the league tournament as the No. 6 seed on Saturday. The Knights beat fifth-seeded Central, 89-85.
Friday will mark the first matchup between Wartburg and the Eagles. Benedictine reached the NCAA Tournament after winning its second straight Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) title. The Eagles enter the tournament with 12-game winning streak coming and are currently ranked No. 11 in Division III.
The ninth-ranked Wartburg women (25-2 overall) also received an automatic NCAA bid by winning the Iowa Conference tournament championship. The Knights will make their 11th overall appearance and second-straight in the NCAA Tournament.
Wartburg's game against Chicago is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Friday at Schoenecker Arena in St. Paul. It's the same site where the Knights' won a pair of NCAA games in 2016 to advance to their Final Four in program history.
Chicago received an at-large NCAA bid after falling 77-75 to Washington University-St. Louis in the University Athletic Association (UAA) Conference Championship.