NCAA D-III BRACKET
The Emory men's basketball team has earned the program's fifth consecutive bid to the NCAA Division Tournament. Pairings for this year's 64-team field were announced Monday afternoon. The Eagles of head coach Jason Zimmerman will venture to the campus of Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, for a Friday (Mar. 3) match-up against Texas Lutheran University starting at 5:30 pm (CST). Following the Emory-TLU contest, Hardin-Simmons will square off against LaGrange College at 7:30 pm. The winners of those two games will meet on Saturday in a 7:00 pm (CST) tip. All games will be held at the Mabee Complex on the HSU campus.
This year's postseason appearance will be the sixth ever in the history of the program. Emory landed an at-large berth after wrapping up the regular season with an overall record of 18-7, 9-5 in the University Athletic Association which was good for third place. The Eagles closed with a flourish, winning their last four games. Senior Adam Gigax, who was chosen to the All-UAA First Team, paces the team's scoring attack with an 18.8 points per game average. Senior Jim Gordon, a second-team pick to the all-conference team, ranks second with a 15.6 per-game effort.
The following is a history of Emory's participation in the NCAA Tournament.
EMORY NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY (9-5)
Mar. 3, 1990 – Emory 91, Emory & Henry 81 (H)
Mar. 9, 1990 – Calvin 80, Emory 73 (N)
Mar. 10, 1990 – Emory 102, Averett 93 (A)
Mar. 2, 2013 – Emory 77, Randolph 56 (H)
Mar. 9, 2013- Whitworth 86, Emory 67 (A)
Mar. 8, 2014 – Emory 72, Centre 62 (H)
Mar. 14, 2014 – Emory 76, UW-Stevens Point 73 (ot) (A)
Mar. 15, 2014 – UW-Whitewater 74, Emory 51 (N)
Mar. 6, 2015 – Emory 88, Spalding 59 (H)
Mar. 7, 2015 – Emory 85, Whitworth 84 (H)
Mar. 13, 2015 – UW-Stevens Point, 73, Emory 53 (A)
Mar. 4, 2016 – Emory 76, Covenant College 51 (H)
Mar. 5, 2016 – Emory 84, Birmingham Southern 78 (ot) (H)
Mar. 11, 2016 – Augustana 88, Emory 65 (A)
Led by first-year head coach Mike Wacker, Texas Lutheran is making its third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament after securing an automatic bid by winning the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference title, downing Schreiner, 83-70, in the championship contest. The Bulldogs, 19-9 on the season are led by senior guard Sterling Holmes (16.5 pgg, 2.9 apg) and senior forward Zach Behr (16.3 ppg). Friday's game will represent the first-ever meeting between the two schools on the hardwood.
LaGrange College is in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive year, punching its ticket after a title performance at the USA South Tournament, where it defeated Methodist, 75-56, in the final. Guided by sixth-year head coach Kendal Wallace, the Panthers post an 18-10 slate and have won eight of their last nine games. Senior guard Justyn Olson stands as LC's top scorer with a 14.1 points-per-game average. Emory holds a 19-6 edge in the all-time series with LaGrange, though the Panthers have won the last two encounters.
Hardin-Simmons starts the weekend with an overall mark of 22-6 and owns a seven-game win streak, which includes a three-game title run at the American Southwest Conference Tournament, toppling LeTourneau in the championship game. Craig Carse is in his ninth year with HSU and 26th as a college head coach, compiling a career record of 440-285. Senior Nathaniel Jack is averaging a team-leading 18.3 points while classmate Christian O'Neal tosses in 16.0 points. If Emory and the Cowboys were to play, it would be the first meeting between the programs.