By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Capital University men's basketball team will go on to play another day after the NCAA announced its 2019 Division III Tournament participants on Monday afternoon. The Crusaders received an at-large invitation to The Dance and will compete at the national tournament for the first time since 2012.
Capital (20-7), the Ohio Athletic Conference co-regular season champions, earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and has been placed in a pod of teams that will play at Augustana University (Ill.) in Rock Island, Illinois. The first two rounds in this pod will be played at the Roy J. Carver Center.
The Crusaders' first opponent will be the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Champion, Wisconsin-Platteville University. The Pioneers, based out of Platteville, Wisconsin, finished the regular season 18-10 overall and defeated UW-Stevens Point in the WIAC Tournament championship game, 70-57, to earn the automatic qualifying bid.
More information on this game will be made available this week.
Also living in Capital's pod is host Augustana (24-3) and Aurora University (17-11). The winner of this pod will go on to play the team that emerges out of a pod that includes The College of Wooster (23-5), Baruch College (22-5), Wheaton College (19-8), and Hanover College (21-6).
Capital returns to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012 when it ran the table on the OAC to become co-regular season champions and earned the automatic bid following its OAC Tournament Championship. Capital Men's Basketball will appear in its 13th overall NCAA Tournament and sixth since Head Coach Damon Goodwin took over the program in 1994.
Capital had an early end to its OAC Tournament run when eventual OAC Tournament Champion Baldwin Wallace University handed the Crusaders an 81-67 loss on Thursday, February 21 at The Capital Center.
The OAC will have three teams represented at the NCAA Tournament this season including Capital, Marietta College, and tournament champion Baldwin Wallace University.
The tournament field consists of 64 teams. Forty-three conferences are be granted automatic qualification for the 2019 championship. The remaining 21 tournament bids are granted to one Pool B team and 20 at-large teams from the remaining independent teams and automatic-qualifying conferences who do not receive their conference automatic qualification. They were selected by using specific selection criteria approved by the Division III Championships Committee.
The Division III basketball championship semifinals and national championship game will take place March 15-16 in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
Stay tuned for more information regarding the Crusaders' NCAA Tournament run on athletics.capital.edu or via social media. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@CapCrusaders) or Instagram (@CapCrusaders) for updates.