SPOKANE, Wash. – The announcement of the 2018 NCAA Division III men's basketball bracket had a very familiar look for the Whitworth University Pirates. Just like in 2017, Whitworth will play Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges in a first round game at Whitman College in Walla Walla.
Host Whitman will take on Schreiner University from Texas in the other first round match up. Game times are still to be determined. Click here for the NCAA.com interactive bracket.
The Pirates, making their 12th consecutive NCAA DIII tournament appearance and 13th overall, fell 78-73 to the Stags in the first round game played in Walla Walla in 2017.
Whitworth earned the Northwest Conference's automatic bid to the national tournament with a dramatic 91-88 victory over Whitman in the NWC's tournament championship game on Saturday night. The 4th-ranked Pirates are 24-3 and led by 2018 NWC Player of the Year Kyle Roach, who hit the game-winning three-pointer in the NWC final as time expired. Jared Christy was a second team All-NWC honoree, while Garrett Hull and Ben College received honorable mention All-NWC consideration.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is 19-7 and won the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletics Conference with a 15-1 record. The Staggs rolled past Pomona-Pitzer 86-62 in the SCIAC tournament final on Saturday night. Senior guard Michael Scarlett, who averages 18.9 points per game, is the SCIAC Player of the Year for the second straight season.
CMS held off Whitworth 78-73 in the NCAA first round game last season. The Pirates are 1-1 against the Stags in their NCAA tournament history with an 81-63 first round win in 2009.
The other half of the Walla Walla pod features Whitman and Schreiner. The host Blues are 26-1 and were the top-ranked team in the D3hoops.com poll throughout the season. Whitman advanced to the NCAA Division III final four in 2017. Schreiner is 15-12 and coming off a 77-73 win over Centenary (La.) in the championship of the Southern Collegiate Athletics Conference tournament. The Mountaineers were the SCAC regular season champions with a 10-4 record.
Watch WhitworthPirates.com for more information about this weekend's games, including start times, ticket prices and live links.