INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (SabreAthletics.com) - On Monday morning, March 3, the NCAA announced the bracket for the 2014 Division III Men's Basketball Tournament with Marian set to travel to Stevens Point, Wis. and take on top-ranked UW-Stevens Point. The national tournament berth is Marian's first since 2001.
After claiming the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference regular season title with a 17-3 record, Marian used their smothering defense to advance to the tournament championship game. In their quarterfinal matchup with Wis. Lutheran, Marian jumped out to a 52-22 halftime lead before closing out the eighth-seeded Warriors 83-63. Senior Cody Veleke was a perfect 10-for-10 from the floor and finished with 23 points and seven rebounds.
Hosting Aurora in the semifinal match required Marian to battle the ghosts that had haunted them this season, dropping both contests to the Spartans. The Sabres built a 17-point lead by halftime, holding the usually hot-shooting Spartans to just 23 points. Marian finished off their second-straight 20-point victory, winning 71-51 and shooting 47 percent from the floor. Aurora failed to sink a 3-point attempt, finishing 0-for-13 on the night.
Awaiting Marian in the NACC Tournament Championship game was seventh-seeded Edgewood College. The Eagles had played spoiler, knocking off the No. 2 and 3 seeds in MSOE and Lakeland. In their regular season meetings, Marian went 2-0 against the Eagles, winning 72-60 on Dec. 11 and 67-63 on Jan. 22. Unlike their previous tournament games, both teams were held in check for the most part as Marian went to the locker room at half with a 34-28 lead. Down the stretch, it would be sophomore Drew Binversie that helped Marian clinch their first NCAA Tournament berth in over 10 years. The Valders, Wis. native went 6-for-10 from the floor and finished with 18 points and seven rebounds.
For all three conference tournament games, the Sabres were able to rely on their "6th Man" in the raucous student section. With a specific theme each night, "SabreNation" came out in full force and were there to cheer on their classmates and witness history.
Marian will travel to Stevens Point, Wis. this week to face the No. 1 Pointers, winners of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Dating back to 1987, Stevens Point is 11-0 all-time against the Sabres. They last met on Jan. 6, 2005. At the time, the Pointers were No. 1 in the country and defeated Marian 82-57.
Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. inside Quandt Fieldhouse on Bennett Court. Directions to Quandt Fieldhouse are available here: Google Maps.
Tickets will be $8 for adults, $4 for students college-aged and under and will go on sale Tuesday, March 4, at noon. To purchase tickets, call (715) 346-4100.
(78-79), (79-80), (80-81), (82-83), (83-84),
(87-88), (89-90), (90-91), (98-99), (99-00),
NCAA Tournaments (2)