Happy new season!

The Ithaca Bombers land in the Liberty League effective this season.
Ithaca College athletics file photo

The 2017-18 Division III basketball season is officially underway, at least for the athletes and coaches. While fans will have to wait until November 15 for the first games, most teams began practice this week.

Our preparations for the upcoming season started months ago, with much of the work happening behind the scenes. We built pages for each team and each conference, men and women, across 800+ programs. The 2017-18 schedules for most of those teams are now available.

If you can't find your team where you left it at the end of last season, it may have a new conference affiliation. Plus we welcome three new teams to our coverage and say goodbye to two others.

Here are the conference membership changes that take effect this season:

  • The American Collegiate Athletic Association brings together Finlandia with five schools from the northeast quadrant of the country -- Alfred State, Maine-Presque Isle, Pine Manor, SUNY-Canton, Valley Forge. While the ACAA was formed to give these schools access to an automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA playoffs, the conference is one team short of what it would need for an AQ in men's and women's basketball. 
  • The largest conference in Division III added three more members. The USA South Athletic Conference added Berea and first year provisional members Brevard and Pfeiffer. As Brevard and Pfeiffer transition from Division II to Division III, they will play the other USAC members but the games won't count in the conference standings until 2018-19. They will not compete in the USAC tournament until 2020-21, assuming they progress through the provisional process as planned.
  • Two Upstate New York schools changed conference affiliations. Ithaca moved from the Empire 8 to the Liberty League and Sage moved from the Skyline to the Empire 8.
  • The first in a series of moves involving the NECC takes place this year as Regis leaves the conference for the GNAC and first-year provisional member Dean enters. Daniel Webster leaves the NECC and the NCAA altogether as the school closed its doors.

Finally we bid adieu to Rust, an independent member of Division III that is moving to the NAIA. We'll remember the Bearcats fondly but we won't miss trying to find those missing scores from Rust's games against Tougaloo or Philander Smith.

We'll have plenty of preseason coverage over the next couple weeks so check back often!