You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Wittenberg earns third NCAA tournament berth in four years

Wittenberg men’s basketball coach Bill Brown watched the NCAA Division III selection show Monday afternoon with about 10 of his players at the HPER Center. Anyone who didn’t have class was there to watch the show on a projection screen.

Brown and the Tigers weren’t sure what to think as the selection show approached. After their 71-63 loss to Wooster on Saturday in the North Coast Athletic Conference championship game, the Tigers needed some help from the selection committee in the form of an at-large berth.

Around 12:35 p.m., that’s what they got. When they saw the Wittenberg name flash on the screen and learned their season has a second life, Brown said the players let out a collective yelp.

“We’re really excited,” Brown said. “The seniors have been there three out of four years. That’s pretty good stuff. We’re really excited for them.”

The 22nd-ranked Tigers (21-7) will play unranked Calvin College (22-5) in the first round Friday on the campus of Washington University in Saint Louis at 6:30 p.m.

Wittenberg is 5-1 all-time against Calvin in the NCAA tournament, but the teams haven’t played since 1995. Calvin earned an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament by beating Hope 78-53 Saturday in the championship game of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

Washington (22-3) will play Wilmington College in the other game Friday at 9 p.m., and the winners will play at 8 p.m. Saturday in Saint Louis for a spot in the sweet 16. Wilmington, which beat Miami this season, won the Ohio Athletic Conference championship Saturday, 69-63 over John Carroll, for its second NCAA berth in five years.

Wittenberg will make its 27th NCAA tournament appearance, the most in Division III history, and its third in four years. Last year, it missed the tournament. Three years ago, it lost in the second round to Marietta. In 2012, the Tigers lost to Illinois Wesleyan in the final eight.

This year’s senior class is the first since the 2006 group to make the tournament three times in four years.

Wittenberg is one of three teams from the NCAC in the same section of the bracket. Wooster (25-3) will host Saint Vincent (22-6) in the first round, and Ohio Wesleyan (20-7) will play Saint Norbert (24-1) at Illinois Wesleyan. After beating Wittenberg twice in the regular season and then losing to the Tigers in the NCAC semifinals, DePauw did not make the tournament.

Wittenberg, which swept Ohio Wesleyan in the regular season, could meet the Battling Bishops in the Sweet 16. The Tigers wouldn’t play the Scots until the final eight if both teams made it that far.

Brown hopes the strength of the NCAC prepared his team for a run in March.

“Our league is just really good,” he said. “I think that it toughens people up. It’s prepared us pretty well.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Kenton Ridge baseball eyes third straight conference crown
Kenton Ridge baseball eyes third straight conference crown

Every couple of years, Aaron Shaffer gives his players a quiz on Kenton Ridge baseball — an actual question-and-answer session on the rich tradition of the Cougars. The 10th-year coach wants them to know the program has produced four major leaguers in Adam Eaton, Dustin Hermanson, Dave Burba and Rick White. He makes sure his predecessor, Tom...
Las Vegas Raiders are just latest NFL franchise to gamble on moving
Las Vegas Raiders are just latest NFL franchise to gamble on moving

NFL franchise relocation is nothing new, but with the league approving the Raiders’ move from Oakland to Las Vegas, there’s no better time to evaluate the many moves that have come before. This is an unscientific exercise, but for the most part we used success in the new city (as well as perceived fan interest) as a barometer. Sorry, Cleveland...
When will the Bengals play the Raiders in Las Vegas?
When will the Bengals play the Raiders in Las Vegas?

NFL owners voted 31 to 1 Monday to allow the Raiders to relocate to Las Vegas, although the move is not expected to take place until 2019 at the earliest. The 2019 season is the earliest the Bengals could play a road game against Oakland, although the new stadium in Las Vegas is not expected to be ready until 2020. ›› RELATED: Grading...
Indiana introduces Archie Miller as head coach
Indiana introduces Archie Miller as head coach

Archie Miller has never liked press conferences, but he doesn’t let that stop him from delivering great performances at them. One reporter covering his introductory press conference Monday at Indiana’s Assembly Hall said he won over the whole state. Two days after his six-year run as coach of the Dayton Flyers ended with a sad goodbye to...
Wright State’s Pfeffer tabbed HL Player of Week
Wright State’s Pfeffer tabbed HL Player of Week

After upping her average to .450 with five doubles in five games last week, Wright State senior second baseman Libby Pfeffer has been named the Horizon League Player of the week. The Northmont grad went 9 for 17 last week with five doubles, seven RBIs and four runs scored. Two of the doubles and RBIs came in a 4-3 victory against Dayton in which Pfeffer...
More Stories