posted March 1, 2009

Both Basketball Teams Headed to the "Big Dance"

The NCAA basketball pairings and tournament locations for the first weekend of play have been announced. The Flying Dutch will be hosting the Regional tournament on Friday and Saturday at the DeVos Fieldhouse while the Flying Dutchmen will be travelling to Wheaton, Ill. for their Regional, also on Friday and Saturday.

The Hope teams are headed to the NCAA Division III championships for the fourth consecutive year and the sixth time this decade. Over the past four seasons the Hope basketball teams have combined to post a 215-33 record (.867). The Flying Dutch have gone 112-7 during that span while the Flying Dutchmen have been 103-26. The Flying Dutchmen have now qualified for the Division III championships 20 times while the Flying Dutch will be in the post-season classic an 11th time.

Hope will host the women's Regional the DeVos Fieldhouse for the first time. Friday games will pit Baldwin-Wallace, Ohio (21-7) against University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg (24-2) at 5:15 p.m., followed by Hope (25-1) versus Washington & Jefferson, Pa. (24-4) at 7:30 p.m. Friday's winners will meet Saturday night (7 p.m.). Tickets will go on sale Wednesday. The Flying Dutch will host an NCAA tournament game for the first time since 2003. Hope had played 14 consecutive NCAA games on the road, including a 2006 national tournament run. This will be Hope's 11th appearance in the NCAA tournament. Hope defeated Washington & Jefferson 71-60 in a second round game in 2003. The Flying Dutch have played Baldwin-Wallace twice in NCAA play, losing 75-71 in 1998 and winning a year ago, 68-48.

The Flying Dutchmen (21-7) will travel to Wheaton, Ill. for their Regional tournament, facing UW-Platteville (22-5) on Friday (6 p.m. CT). The other game will pit host Wheaton (24-3) against Fontbonne, Mo. (18-8). Friday's winners will meet Saturday night. The Flying Dutchmen are playing in the NCAA tournament for the 20th time. A year ago Hope finished third in the nation. UW-Platteville defeated Hope in the 1998 Division III national championship game, 69-56. Earlier this season Hope lost at Wheaton 91-79. A year ago Hope defeated Wheaton 83-70 in the NCAA Sectionals.