Looking for the D3 Repeat
Longtime readers of The Painted Area know that we are not only big fans of Division III hoops, but looking for a repeat title after our alma mater captured the national championship last season.
Well, the D3 tourney is back and gets under way Thursday and Friday on small-college campuses around the country. D3hoops.com is the online bible.
Here's this year's bracket (pdf). The midwestern section of the bracket is brutal as usual, with No. 1 Hope, No. 2 UW-Whitewater and No. 4 Centre all in that corner. Hope could conceivably have to go through teams ranked No. 2, 3, 4, and 6 on its potential road to the title.
Surprisingly, the northeastern bracket is much tougher than usual, with three of the top seven ranked teams - Amherst, Brandeis and Plattsburgh State - all packed together. A potential Amherst-Plattsburgh State matchup in the quarters would be a massive collision of Painted Area worlds.
The national championship will be held once again in Salem, Va., at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 22. Last year's championship game was carried live on CSTV and D3hoops.com.
In the D3hoops.com Pick 'Em bracket game, our overall philosophy remains the same:
1. Consult the computerized Massey Ratings religiously.
2. Pick alma mater to win it all even if it defies all logic (which it actually hasn't recently, as we've made three of the last four Final Fours in addition to winning it all in '07).
3. When in doubt, pick the team from Wisconsin (Wisc. teams have won seven of the last 19 titles [past champions], and play in the toughest conferences in the country).
For my Final Four, I've got Amherst (alma mater of Ken "The White Shadow" Howard), Rochester, UW-Whitewater and Guilford (alma mater of M.L. Carr and World B. Free).
I'm taking Amherst over Rochester, and UW-Whitewater over Guilford... and then I'm going with a back-to-back title for Amherst. They're gonna be rockin-and-rollin on the Amherst Town Common, bay-bee!