Hanover College to Wooster, OH
For the third straight season, the Hanover men's basketball team is in the field of 64 teams for the NCAA Division III National Tournament.
The Panthers (21-6) will travel to Northeast Ohio to compete in the pod hosted by nationally-ranked No. 12 Wooster (23-5) . The Blue and Red open national tournament play against Wheaton (Ill.) (19-8), who is receiving votes in the latest D3hoops.com national poll. Baruch (N.Y.) (22-5) is also in the pod of four institutions.
The Panthers earned the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's automatic bid into the Big Dance after winning the league's tournament title this past Sunday. Hanover, who hosted the postseason conference tournament, defeated the second-seeded Pioneers of Transylvania in the championship game, 76-73.
Hanover will be making its ninth appearance in the NCAA Division III National Tournament, currently holding an 8-8 record. The Blue and Red have been to three Sweet 16's and one Elite Eight, which came during the 2016-17 season, a year that saw Wooster travel to Hanover for the opening weekend of the national tournament. The Panthers are also 7-5 in opening weekend games, including a 4-2 mark in first round action.
Friday's game will be the fourth meeting in men's basketball between Wheaton and Hanover. The Panthers own a 2-1 advantage in the all-time series. Hanover won the most recent meeting between the two programs when the Panthers defeated Wheaton 79-78 in the First Round of the 1995 NCAA Division III Tournament in Wheaton's Centennial Gymnasium. Panthers fell to Manchester University and then head coach Steve Alford in the second round 84-79. Manchester was National runner-up that year. 1995 was also Wheaton's first appearance in the NCAA DIII tournament.
Game times for this weekend have not been decided yet, but Hanover will most likely be playing in the first game on Friday, March 1.