MIT's Hamilton Forsythe led all scorers with 23 points, leading the Engineers to a 79-76 victory over Middlebury in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Division III Sweet Sixteen at the Bradley Center on the campus of Ramapo College.
MIT (21-7) will play the winner of Ramapo/Franklin and Marshall on Saturday at 7pm in the Elite 8.
Forsythe netted a game-high 23 points, shooting 8-for-15 from the field, 4-of-9 from three-point range and a perfect 3-of-3 from the free throw line.
Guard AJ Jurko registered 18 points, a game-best seven assists, five rebounds and three steals in the win. Jurko shot 6-for-14 from the field and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.
Ian Binkley posted 17 points in 30 minutes of action off the bench for the Engineers while forward Tim Roberts combined for a double-double, 13 points and a game-high 17 rebounds.
Middlebury (21-7) was led by guard Jack Daly, who notched a double-double – 21 points and 13 rebounds, on 7-of-13 from the field while shooting 6-for-10 from the charity strip. Guard Jack Farrell added 15 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Middlebury took control early, jumping out to a 12-7 lead, after six straight points by Jack Farrell. MIT rallied back on a 13-0 spurt, sparked by a layup by AJ Jurko at the 14:33 mark, taking a six-point lead, 18-12, with 11:28 to play.
Middlebury scored four straight points to pull within two of MIT, 18-16, on a layup by Eric McCord and extended its lead to five, 25-20, after a layup by Farrell, with 7:15 to play.
Both teams traded baskets, with the game seeing the first tie at 29-all on a three-point play by Hamilton Forsythe at the 4:31 mark. Middlebury scored five straight points, taking a five-point advantage, 34-29, after one-of-two made from the free throw line by Jack Daly.
MIT knotted the game at 34-34 with thirty-nine seconds on a three-pointer from the top of the key by Forsythe and Middlebury's Matt Folger knocked down a trey ball of his own with three seconds on the clock, heading into the locker room.
Middlebury's Farrell led all scorers with 12 points at the half while MIT's Forsythe netted 11 points.
In a back-and-forth affair in the second period, the game saw its seventh tie of the game, 70-70, at the 5:50 mark after a three-pointer by Middlebury's Jack Farrell. MIT rallied for five straight points, pushing its lead to 75-70, sparked by a pair of free throws by AJ Jurko at the 5:29 mark. Middlebury's Jack Daly scored back-to-back baskets, pulling within one of the Engineers, 75-74, with :54 seconds remaining.
The Engineers sealed the game from the free throw line, scoring the last four-out-of-six points from the free throw line, holding on for a 79-76 victory.