Alex Linden, Sports Information Director
LINCOLN – The Nebraska Wesleyan men’s basketball team was selected to host the opening round of the 2020 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball National Tournament when the official bracket was announced on Monday morning.
Nebraska Wesleyan (24-3) will host Webster University (19-8) in the first round of the tournament on Friday night (March 6) in Snyder Arena. Tip-off is set for 7:30 pm. Washington University (20-5) and Bethany Lutheran College (21-6) meet in the other first round game on March 6 at 5 p.m.
Friday’s winners will advance to the second round Saturday, March 2. The championship game will start at 7:30 pm. The 64-team 2019 NCAA III Men’s Basketball Championships will get underway on March 6-7 with the first two rounds at 16 sites across the country.
NWU, ranked 10th in the NCAA III Top 25, earned an automatic bid to the NCAA III Tournament by winning the American Rivers Conference tournament. This will be the Prairie Wolves third straight trip to the NCAA III Tournament and their 17th appearance overall. This is the second straight year the Prairie Wolves have hosted the opening round at Snyder Arena.
Webster, from St. Louis, Mo., captured the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship to qualify for the national tournament. The Gorloks are making their fifth tournament appearance and first since 2014. They are 0-4 all-time in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Washington University, also out of St. Louis, Mo., earned an at-large bid to the 2020 III National Tournament. This is their 23rd NCAA III Tournament appearance with a 33-19 record in NCAA III postseason play. They won the National Championship in 2008 and 2009. Bethany Lutheran, from Mankato, Minn., won the Upper Midwest Conference (UMAC) Tournament championship to earn an automatic bid. This marks the second trip to the NCAA III Tournament for the Vikings. They advanced to the second round in 2018.