|Grant Shaeffer and St. Thomas will get to continue their national title defense after all.
Photo by Caleb Williams, d3photography.com
Here's the 2017 NCAA Division III men's basketball tournament bracket as released by the NCAA this afternon.
In the bracket projection we posted last night we missed on two at-large picks. The tournament selection committee went with UW-Oshkosh and St. Thomas whom we left at the table instead of Mount St. Joseph and Ohio Wesleyan. Oshkosh's selection is a big one. The Titans were 17-10 with a .630 winning percentage that's pretty far short of the .667 do-or-die line we've seen in the past. St. Thomas was 1-2 against regionally ranked teams, but got into the field based on other criteria. The Tommies' reward is a first-round matchup with Augustana.
In fact, if you look at four teams which were the subject of much debate but all got into the tournament, they're all from what you might consider Division III power conferences: UW-Oshkosh from the WIAC, St. Thomas from the MIAC, Amherst from the NESCAC and Augustana from the CCIW.
Tufts, Scranton, Washington U. and Christopher Newport all hit the road this weekend, presumably because the women's teams are hosting. There are five NESCAC teams in the field as we projected with two (Williams and Middlebury) hosting the first weekend.
Hardin-Simmons hosts as well, with Texas Lutheran driving to Abilene and Emory and LaGrange flying in, meaning the committee was able to get one extra first-round airplane flight. And, perhaps symbolically, that is the one sending Rhodes all the way to Walla Walla, where they will be the first-round opponent for Whitman, which might well be the No. 1 team in the country by the end of the night.
Plenty more to come throughout the day, including a Top 25 poll released tonight, so check back later. Plus, Hoopsville is going back through the brackets with the committee chairs: