St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 26, 2018 – The No. 2-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team will host 2018 NCAA Division III First and Second Round play on Friday-Saturday, March 2-3, at the WU Field House in St. Louis.
Maryville College (Tenn.) and Nebraska Wesleyan University will square off in first-round action on Friday at 5:30 p.m., while WashU takes on Aurora University in the second game at 7:30 p.m. The winners of the two first-round games will meet on Saturday at 7 p.m. with a chance to advance to the NCAA sectionals.
WashU (22-3) won its 15th University Athletic Association (UAA) championship this season to earn the league's automatic bid. The Bears are making their 21st NCAA Division III Tournament appearance, and 24th overall. WashU sports a 33-18 (.647) all-time postseason record in NCAA Division III play, and a 37-21 (.638) overall mark in postseason play.
The Bears made three-straight Final Four appearances from 2007-09, and captured the 2008 and 2009 Division III National Championships.
Head coach Mark Edwards has a 685-292 (.701) overall record in 37 years at his alma mater. Edwards ranks fifth in active wins by a Division III head coach and ninth all-time in DIII history. He has guided the Bears to a school-record 34 consecutive winning seasons.
Aurora (19-8) won the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) Tournament with a 76-71 win over Benedictine University (Ill.) to earn the automatic bid. The Spartans have a 1-9 (.100) all-time record in nine previous NCAA appearances.
WashU leads the all-time series against the Spartans 3-1, and the Bears posted a 101-84 victory on March 1, 2011 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Maryville (22-6) secured its first-ever USA South Conference Tournament Championship with a 96-77 win over Covenant to earn the automatic bid. The Scots will be making their 19th NCAA Tournament appearance, and have a 13-18 (.419) all-time record in postseason play. Head coach Randy Lambert earned his 700th career victory on Feb. 23.
WashU defeated Maryville 76-73 on Feb. 28, 1991, in Maryville, Tenn. in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, and then again 71-57 in the second round on March 2, 2002 in St. Louis.
Nebraska Wesleyan (24-3) rallied from an 18-point deficit to earn an 82-78 victory over Central (Iowa) in the championship game of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) Tournament to earn the automatic bid. The Prairie Wolves have a 24-16 record in 14 previous NCAA Tournament appearances. Nebraska Wesleyan was the national runner-up in 1997.
Nebraska Wesleyan and WashU have split six all-time meetings in a series that began in the 1918-19 season. The Bears defeated the Prairie Wolves 77-74 in the consolation of the 1964 Midwest Regional, while Nebraska Wesleyan posted a 58-55 win in the NCAA Quarterfinals in 1988.
Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for seniors, youth, and students. Students with their WashU ID will be admitted for free. Cash sales only. Ticket sales will open one hour before tip off.
All three games will be broadcast live on the WashU Sports Network.