The NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball National Championship Series returns to Salem this weekend as the City prepares to award its 83rd NCAA title since 1993.
This season marks the 21st time the Roanoke Valley has served as the final destination for D-III men’s hoops. Four teams make the trip to Salem for the semifinals on March 17 and ultimately the national championship on March 18.
The mix of teams is diverse in this year’s final series. The first semifinal at 5 pm on Friday features undefeated Whitman College out of Walla Walla, Wash. pitted against Babson College out of Babson Park, Mass. The Blues are 31-0 following two wins at the Marietta College sectional and are currently slotted first in the last D3hoops.com top-25 poll. This is their first appearance this deep in the national tournament.
The Babson Beavers boast a 29-2 mark after claiming their spot in Salem after two games on their own floor. BC is ranked #3 in that final survey. They previously played in Salem in 2015.
Friday’s 7:30 pm semifinal matches Augustana College of Rock Island, Illinois against Williams College of Massachusetts. Augustana is 23-8 on the year and, although not currently ranked in the top-25, they have appeared on the list several times this season. Williams College is also 23-8 and experiencing the same rollercoaster showing in the D3hoops.com poll.
In addition to the NCAA Division III National Championship Series, the NABC will be presenting its annual All-Star Game. This year’s edition features talent from across the country, and the game is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 3:30 pm.
NCAA DIVISION III BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Friday, March 17
Semifinal #1: 5:00 p.m. — Babson vs. Whitman
Semifinal #2: 7:30 p.m. — Augustana vs. Williams
Saturday, March 18
NABC All-Star Game: 3:30 p.m. — West All-Stars vs. East All-Stars
D-III Championship: 6:00 p.m. — Winner Semifinal #1 vs. Winner Semifinal #2