|Marcus Carter and Christopher Newport have made plans to attend the 5th Annual Hoopsville National Invitational Classic.|
Stevenson University will host the fifth annual Hoopsville National Invitational Classic presented by Buffalo Wild Wings at Owings Mills Gymnasium November 18-19, 2016. The classic is the biggest, on-campus tournament in NCAA Division I, II or III.
The 2016 Classic will feature eight teams from five different states and six different conferences. Four teams qualified for the 2016 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship, including national semifinalist Christopher Newport, along with Marietta, Lynchburg and Skidmore.
Rounding out this year’s field is host Stevenson, Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Randolph-Macon and Albright. Stevens Point captured the NCAA Division III national championship in 2015, while Randolph-Macon qualified for six straight NCAA tournaments from 2010-2015. The Mustangs captured back-to-back ECAC South titles in 2014 and 2015 and have been a mainstay in the MAC Commonwealth tournament recently, while the Lions last tasted postseason play with an ECAC final appearance in 2013.
“With historically renowned basketball programs, talented student-athletes, and nationally respected coaches, the 2016 Hoopsvile National Invitational Classic is full of intriguing matchups and compelling storylines,” said tournament director and Stevenson head coach Gary Stewart.
“The Hoopsville Classic continues its rich tradition of featuring some of the very best Division III programs in college basketball. Success for both student-athletes and teams at Hoopsville, has been a launching pad to national prominence since the tournament’s inception.”
|Stevenson will play ODAC champions Lynchburg and Liberty League champions Skidmore at the 2016 Hoopsville National Invitational Classic.|
"Stevenson University is proud to once again host the Hoopsville National Invitational Classic," said Stevenson Director of Athletics Brett Adams. "Over the past four years the tournament has become a highly acclaimed collegiate basketball experience with national implications, and is an integral part of Stevenson University's proud legacy of athletic excellence. This year’s Classic features some of the historically top programs that Division III basketball has to offer.”
Last season, St. Thomas (Minn.) won its second national championship in six seasons after appearing at the fourth installment of the Hoopsville Classic last November. The Tommies established themselves with wins over Emory (82-70) and Southern Vermont (79-67) en route to a 30-3 record.
"I am incredibly proud that once again the Hoopsville Classic has been able to attract such a wide variety of high-quality teams from around the country. To know coaches and programs want to test themselves against some of the best teams in Division III to start their seasons and do it at the Hoopsville Classic is a testament to the hard work everyone involved, especially Gary Stewart and the entire Stevenson team, does to put on a terrific event." said executive director Dave McHugh.
"The Hoopsville Classic has proven itself to be the place where those who want to compete nationally want to start their seasons. To watch last year's participant, St. Thomas, start at the Hoopsville Classic and finish as national champions was exciting to witness. Now to have four-time champion UW-Stevens Point along with last year's semi-finalist Christopher Newport, as well as with so many other national contenders, tip the season off at Stevenson makes this year's Hoopsville Classic a must-watch event for Division III basketball once again."
The tournament tips off on Friday, November 18 at 2:00 pm when Randolph-Macon faces Skidmore. The premier game on day one tips at 8:00 when Christopher Newport faces Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Day two kicks off with Albright facing Randolph-Macon at 2:00, with Christopher Newport (No. 4 in the final 2015-16 D3hoops.com poll) facing Marietta (No. 17).
Skidmore and Lynchburg also received votes in the final D3hoops.com Top 25 of 2015-16.
Albright finished one game out of qualifying for the MAC Commonwealth tournament in 2015-16, with nine of its losses coming by eight or fewer points as the Lions finished 10-15 overall. Senior Omari Ringgold was a MAC Commonwealth Second Team selection after averaging 15.0 points per game a season ago.
Christopher Newport made its first trip to the Division III semifinals in 2015-16 with a 30-2 overall record, with the Captains riding a 21-game win streak into Salem before being upended by St. Thomas. CNU, which was making its 20th all-time NCAA appearance and first since 2012-13, returns junior Marcus Carter, a D3hoops.com Fourth Team All-American after averaging 15.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game while shooting 56% from the floor.
Lynchburg finished 21-6 last season and made its first NCAA appearance since 1979 when it defeated Randolph in overtime to win the Old Dominion Athletic Conference title. The Hornets advanced to the second round, opening NCAA play by defeating Scranton before falling to Ohio Wesleyan. Senior Zack Burnett averaged 16.4 ppg last season en route to All-ODAC First Team honors, the second time in his career he has earned All-Conference accolades.
Marietta, which finished last season ranked No. 17, posted a 25-4 record last season and qualified for the NCAA field for the third time in the past four seasons, winning at least 19 games in each season over that span. The Pioneers are led by senior A.J. Edwards, a D3hoops.com honorable mention All-America last season after averaging 17.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.
Randolph-Macon saw a string of six straight NCAA appearances broken last season but reached the quarterfinals of the ODAC tournament. Prior to last season, the Yellow Jackets posted eight straight 20-win seasons, averaging 22.6 wins over that span. Senior Michael Taylor was All-ODAC Third Team after averaging 12.3 ppg last season.
Skidmore finished 19-9 last season and made its fourth NCAA appearance in six seasons after holding off St. Lawrence to win the Liberty League title. The Thoroughbreds reached the second round, topping Franklin & Marshall before falling to Tufts. Sophomore Edvinas Rupkus was the D3hoops.com East Region Rookie of the Year after averaging 17.2 ppg a season ago.
Stevenson qualified for its fourth straight MAC Commonwealth tournament in 2015-16, one of two schools who has qualified each of the past four seasons. The Mustangs will look to overcome the loss of senior All-Conference performers Erik Fisher and Christian Roberts. Key returners for the Mustangs include junior Ryan Mayberry (13.3 ppg) and senior Ryan Hill (4.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.8 bpg).
UW-Stevens Point, the 2015 national champion, saw a string of nine straight NCAA appearances snapped last season as the Pointers finished 14-12 overall. UWSP has captured four national titles, wearing the crown in 2004, 2005 and 2010 prior to the 2015 campaign. Bob Semling enters his 12th season on the Pointers bench and is a two-time D3hoops.com Coach of the Year while compiling a 256-66 (.795) mark.
Hoopsville, which is hosted by Dave McHugh, is the only show in the nation dedicated to Division III Basketball. The program airs from 7-9pm ET Thursday nights Thursdays through December and then twice-a-week on Sundays and Thursdays from January until the end of the season. For more information, visit http://www.d3hoopsville.com or follow along on Twitter @d3hoopsville.
2016 Hoopsville National Invitational Classic
presented by Buffalo Wild Wings
(all games at Owings Mills Gymnasium – Owings Mills, Md.)
Friday, November 18
Randolph-Macon vs. Skidmore – 2:00 pm
Albright vs. Marietta – 4:00 pm
Lynchburg vs. Stevenson – 6:00 pm
Christopher Newport vs. Wisconsin-Stevens Point – 8:00 pm
Saturday, November 19
Albright vs. Randolph-Macon – 2:00 pm
Skidmore vs. Stevenson – 4:00 pm
Wisconsin-Stevens Point vs. Lynchburg – 6:00 pm
Marietta vs. Christopher Newport – 8:00 pm
Team listed second is the home team