The University of Mount Union has been chosen as one of four host sites for the sectional rounds of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship Friday-Saturday, March 9-10 at the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex in Alliance, Ohio.
The Purple Raiders, ranked No. 6 in the nation, host No. 16 Illinois Wesleyan University at 7 pm on Friday, while the first game of the sectional will be No. 22 Centre (Ky.) College vs. Carthage (Wis.) College.
The Purple Raiders are 28-1 overall and are on a school-record 23-game win streak and 25-game home court win streak. Mount Union claimed an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by winning the Ohio Athletic Conference tournament title then beat LaRoche (Pa.) 73-63 in first round and rallied to beat #25 Muhlenberg, 61-55 in the second round.
The Raiders are making their sixth all-time and third-straight NCAA Touranment appearance with a 16-5 record in NCAA Tournament play, including a national championship game appearance in 1996 when it lost to Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Mount Union has advanced to the Final Four twice in its history; the other time happened in 1998 when the Raiders lost to eventual runner-up Southern Maine. Mount Union hosted the sectionals one other time -- in 1995.
Illinois Wesleyan (24-5), located in Bloomington, Ill., in the "Sweet 16" for a fourth year in a row after blow-out wins over Maryville (Tenn.) 84-42 and Thomas More (Ky.) 87-50. The Titans won their fifth straight College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) tournament title and are making their ninth overall and sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance with a 13-9 record. A year ago, they finished fourth in the nation and hosted of the national semifinals and finals.
Carthage (22-7), located in Kenosha, Wis., earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after losing by a point, 68-67 to Illinois Wesleyan in the CCIW Tournament finals. Carthage scored a first round win over No. 19 UW-Whitewater, 74-68, before a 53-48 upset of No. 4 DePauw (Ind.) in the second round. The Lady Reds are making their third NCAA Tournament appearance with a 4-2 record. Two years ago, Carthage was in the same sectional with Mount Union, but lost to George Fox (Ore.).
Centre (26-3), located in Danville, Ky., won the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament for an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Colonels beat Guliford (N.C.) 59-45 in the first round before a 57-55 upset of No. 9 Washington (Mo.) in the second round. Centre is making its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance and the Colonels have made the final four in both 1989 and 1990.
The winner of this sectional advances to the national semifinals and finals next weekend in Holland, Michigan.
Tickets for the games will be $7 for adults and $4 for seniors and students. All tickets will be general admission and available at the door starting at 4 pm Friday.
NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship
Alliance, Ohio Sectional - McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex
Friday, March 9
Centre (Ky.) vs. Carthage (Wis.), 5 pm
Mount Union vs. Illinois Wesleyan, 7 pm
Saturday, March 10
Sectional Final, 7 pm