This weekend, March Madness will begin for two local Division III men’s basketball programs. Both men’s basketball teams will host first round games in the Division III NCAA basketball tournament. Virginia Wesleyan College will be hosting Delaware Valley College and Christopher Newport University will host Rutgers-Newark on Saturday, March 2nd. The Christopher Newport women’s basketball team will also be in action on Friday, March 1st versus Guilford College.
Virginia Wesleyan received an at-large bid to the tournament after losing to Randolph-Macon in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tournament championship game. Virginia Wesleyan finished the season ranked 25th in the nation with a 21-7 overall record. They are also in the tournament for the ninth consecutive year. Four Virginia Wesleyan received ODAC All-Conference honors, led by Chris Astorga, who led the team in scoring at 15.1 points per game. Astorga and DJ Woodmore were both named to the first team, while Tre’ Ford and Chris Teasley received third team honors. Virginia Wesleyan will face Delaware Valley College on Saturday at 7:00 pm.
Christopher Newport enters the tournament as an automatic bid after winning the USA South Athletic Conference Championship with an 81-74 victory over Greensboro. The Captains finished the season with a 21-5 overall record and have won six straight games heading into the NCAA tournament. The Captains are led by Tra Benefield, who leads the team in scoring (18.0 points per game) and also received first team all-conference honors. Second team all-conference selections, Nik Biberaj (15.3 points per game) and Mike Cherry (14.7 points per game) are also key contributors for the Captains. Christopher Newport will tipoff versus Rutgers-Newark at 5:00 pm on Saturday.
The Christopher Newport women’s team has won 13 straight games entering the NCAA tournament and finished the season with a 26-2 overall record. The Lady Captains ended the regular season as the 17th-ranked team in the country and won the USA South Tournament with a 70-55 victory over Ferrum College. The Christopher Newport women’s game will tipoff on 7:00 pm on Friday.