GOTHIC KNIGHTS DANCING AGAIN IN NCAA TOURNAMENT

GOTHIC KNIGHTS DANCING AGAIN IN NCAA TOURNAMENT

 

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NJCU Men’s Basketball Selected to Second Consecutive NCAA Tournament

New Jersey City University men's basketball will be returning to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the second year in a row. The Gothic Knights have been selected to participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament for the 20th time in school history and the 18th time as a Division III program. The 64-team bracket was released on February 26.

NJCU (19-7) will be making NCAA Tournament appearances in consecutive seasons for the first time since doing so in 2004 and 2005 and it's the seventh time in the program history the Gothic Knights have qualified in at least two straight years.
 
For the second straight season, NJCU will face the champions of the Liberty League when the Knights face the Union College Dutchmen (18-8) in the NCAA Tournament First Round on Friday, March 2 at 5:30 p.m. in Plattsburgh, N.Y. It will be the 40th NCAA game in program history.
 
Plattsburgh State (22-4), winners of 19 consecutive games and champions of the SUNYAC conference, will host the first and second rounds at its Memorial Hall. The Cardinals meet Nichols College (25-3), winners of the Commonwealth Coast Conference and 11 consecutive games, in the other first round game at 7:30 p.m.
 
The two winners will square off on Saturday, March 3 at 7 p.m. in the NCAA Second Round with a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 at stake.
 
NJCU is the only at-large team in the four-team sectional. NJCU is among the 21 Pool C at-large teams to reach the NCAA Tournament in the second season Division III will play a full 64-team bracket. The Knights were also an NCAA at-large pick in 2016-17 but fell to Skidmore College, 75-67, in the first round in a pod hosted by Babson College (Babson Park, Mass.). Babson went on to win the NCAA championship.
 
Union, the No. 2 seed in the Liberty League, knocked off Skidmore, 82-65, in the Liberty League finals on February 25. The Gothic Knights last played on February 17 when they were upset by William Paterson, 81-78, in the New Jersey Athletic Conference Quarterfinals.
 
Ticket prices each day are $10 General Admission, $5 for senior citizens, all students and children. Children under two will be admitted free.



 
NOTES:

  • The Gothic Knights were ranked No. 3 in the final Atlantic Region rankings released by the national committee on February 26. NJCU had been ranked No. 1 in the Atlantic Region in the first two polls conducted this month and second in the third poll on February 21. Cabrini (24-3), champions of the Colonial States Athletic Conference are still No. 1 in the Atlantic. Ramapo (21-6) passed the Knights into the No. 2 slot in the Atlantic after winning its second straight NJAC championship.
  • NJCU is regionally ranked for the 12th consecutive week dating back to the 2016-17 campaign.
  • For the second year in a row, NJCU and Ramapo reached the NCAA Tournament and are the only representatives from the NJAC.
  • The Gothic Knights will enter the NCAA tournament with a 6-4 record against regionally ranked opponents and one of the highest strength of schedules (SOS) in the nation. NJCU's .567 final SOS entering the NCAAs is easily the highest in the Atlantic Regionand 18 points higher than any other regionally ranked Atlantic club. Montclair State (.549), No. 6 in the Atlantic, was the next closest regionally-ranked opponent in SOS. Ramapo owned a .544 SOS and Cabrini was a .538. Unranked NJAC opponents Rowan (.561) and Kean (.552) were second and third overall in toughest SOS in the Atlantic.
  • NJCU and Nichols have never met in men's basketball.
  • NJCU and Plattsburgh State have met once in their histories and it came in March 1964 when then Jersey City State College edged Plattsburgh State College, 62-61, in the NAIA District 31 playoffs. After the win, JCSC advanced to the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City, Mo. and fell to St. Cloud (Minn.), 66-47. That 1963-64 men's basketball team was inducted into the NJCU Athletics Hall of Fame in the team category in January, 2017. Ironically, 1963-64 was also the first year that Plattsburgh's current gymnasium Memorial Hall, opened.
  • It's the second year in a row NJCU will meet a new opponent in the NCAA First Round. NJCU had never faced Skidmore.
  • After losing its final regular season game (Stockton, February 14) and NJAC Quarterfinals (February 17), NJCU is seeking to snap a two-game skid and win 20 games for the third consecutive season. NJCU has reached the 20-win plateau in three straight seasons twice in its history—1987-90 (22-6, 24-4, 25-3) and 1977-80 (20-7, 24-5, 25-4).
  • A win will also give NJCU 20 wins in a season for the 17th time in school history.
  • NJCU has qualified for a postseason tournament—either NCAA or ECAC—for the 37th time in the last 40 years.  
  • NJCU does not have a common opponent this season with Union, Nichols or Plattsburgh State.
  • NJCU have one win over teams in this year's NCAA Tournament—Ramapo. NJCU also lost to Johns Hopkins (Centennial Conference) and dropped an overtime game against Ramapo.

 
NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY NOTES:

  • Overall, NJCU will be making its 20th NCAA Tournament appearance—tied for the 11th most in Division III history—and its 11th as an at-large Pool B or Pool C selection. NJCU is making its third at-large appearance in the NCAAs since 1999; it also received a bid as an independent in 2005 and last year's Pool C.
  • All-time NJCU is 17-22 (.436) in 39 NCAA games. The Gothic Knights have reached the Final Four twice (1986, 1992) and Elite 8 four times (1979, 1980, 1986, 1992) with six Sweet 16 appearances (1979, 1980, 1986, 1989, 1992, 2004).
  • In all, the Knights have reached the NCAA Tournament in at least two consecutive season seven times in its history, including the current streak. In addition to back-to-back seasons currently and in the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons, NJCU made the tournament in five straight seasons (1994-95 thru 1998-99). The Knights made it in consecutive years in the late 1980s (1988-89 and 1989-90), twice in the mid-1980s (1985-86 and 1986-87)—including the 1986 Final Four—and three straight years from 1977-78 thru 1979-80. Additionally, NJCU's first two trips came in consecutive seasons in 1972-73 and 1973-74.
  • Union joins NJCU has one of three teams in the Plattsburgh pod qualifying for the NCAAs for the second straight year. It's the fifth appearance for the Dutchmen (1983, 2002, 2005, 2017) and is 4-4 (.500) all-time in the tournament.
  • Plattsburgh State is making its 10th NCAA Tournament appearance and its eighth since 2006 (1976, 1995, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016). The Cardinals are 8-10 all-time (.444) in the tournament with one national fourth-place finish.
  • Nichols is making is second ever appearance in the tournament after making its debut last season. The Bison were 1-1 last year.

MOST NCAA TOURNAMENT APPEARANCES, NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL HISTORY

(20 or more appearances)

SCHOOL

NO. of APPEARANCES (including 2018)

Wittenberg

28

Scranton

28

Hope

27

Wooster

27

Franklin and Marshall

25

Illinois Wesleyan

25

Salem State

24

Christopher Newport

22

Washington (Mo.)

21

Calvin

21

New Jersey City

20 ** (18 Division III, 2 Division II)

Wisconsin-Whitewater

20

Amherst

19

Maryville (Tenn.)

19

St. Thomas

18

Augustana

17

Centre

16

Clark (Mass.)

16

Randolph-Macon

16

St. John Fisher

16

Stockton

16

Williams

16

John Carroll

15

Nebraska Wesleyan

15

Rochester (NY)

15

SUNY Potsdam

15

Virginia Wesleyan

15

Wisconsin-Stevens Point

15

 

 

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