The regular basketball season has come to a close, conference games just passed, and now we look toward the regional games. On Sunday, March 5, the NCAA announced the Division II Men’s Basketball Selection. Below are the matchups and what many may have seen already this season.
Starting off with the left side of the bracket, we can find Indiana University of Pennsylvania Crimson Hawks (30-1) hosting the regional tournament. The first announced pairing will be against the Winston-Salem Rams (21-8).
Number four Virginia Union University (23-7) will compete with number five’s Fairmont State University (25-6). The teams matched up in late December and went into overtime. Virginia Union found a five point lead in the overtime period, which led them to a victory of 88-83.
West Liberty University (27-4) takes the second seed and they will take on seventh seed University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (20-10). The Hilltoppers also saw their opponent once this season, where they prevailed with a score of 93-76.
As for the remaining seeds in the region, we have Mercyhurst University (24-5) and East Stroudsburg University (23-8). Mercyhurst previously beat the number one seed holder earlier in the season with a score of 62-49. In their first regular season game against the Crimson Hawks, the Lakers lost by 13 points. They also saw the top seed team in the PSAC tournament where they only lost by one point, 54-53.
Northwest Missouri State University (30-2) holds the top seed and will also host the tournament for the Central region and is expected to take on Southern Arkansas (22-9). Southern Arkansas University has not had the chance to compete against the host team and it is considered a wild card game due to the lack of season history.
The fourth and fifth seeds in this region also have yet to match up this season. Minnesota State University Moorhead (25-6) will go up against Southern Nazarene University (25-4) this upcoming weekend.
It seems to be a common theme that this region has paired up teams who were not seen together this season. Northern State University (24-6) takes the second seed and are matched up with seventh seed’s Emporia State University (22-8).
University of Central Oklahoma Bronchos (26-5) and the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs (23-9) have been put together as the final pairing of the region. This is the first time in tournament history that the Bulldogs have competed in back-to-back years. Like the other teams, this matchup was not seen this season.
The hosting university in the Eastern region is Saint Anselm College (22-7) who happen to be matched up with an opponent they have yet to face this season. The Hawks will compete against the eighth seed, the Caldwell University Cougars (21-9) this weekend.
Fourth seed’s University of New Haven (20-10) will find themselves facing an evenly matched Pace University (20-10) in their first regional game. The New Haven Chargers saw the Pace Setters in late January, and won with a score of 56-50.
Bentley University (21-6) takes the second seed and are matched up against Dominican University New York (21-8). Bentley has been to the regional conference 19 times and it is their fifth trip out since 2007.
Southern New Hampshire University (20-8) and St. Thomas Aquinas College (26-4) rounded out the pairings for the region. These two teams are another pair that were not seen competing earlier this year.
With a 26-4 record, University of Indianapolis will play host to the Midwest Regional conference. The number one seed will take on Mckendree University who has a record of 18-12.
The Hillsdale College Chargers (23-6) take fourth seed and will be competing against the Northern Michigan University Wildcats (24-7). This season was the Wildcats first GLIAC conference title in 23 years and it was accompanied by Max Bjorklund being named the GLIAC Tournament MVP.
University of Missouri -- St. Louis (21-10) has been put up against the University of Wisconsin -- Parkside (21-8). The Parkside Rangers held the number one seed spot in the GLIAC until they were put out by the Michigan Tech Huskies in their final tournament games.
A two-time national semifinalist Ashland University (22-9) has been matched with the 2018 national champions Ferris State University (23-8). Ashland stands as the number three seed while FSU is sixth.
To kick off the right side of the bracket, we have Nova Southeastern University (30-0) hosting the tournament and will take on Miles College (23-6). This will be the first time the pair has been matched up this season.
Lee University (20-7) and University of West Georgia (20-9) were seen together in early January and mid-February. Lee took the win with 17 points, 80-63, in the first game, and 76-71 in the second.
The University of West Alabama (26-5) is the second seed and will take on Tuskegee University (20-8) who they have yet to face.
A third seed Alabama Huntsville (25-7) will be seen facing off against sixth seed Embry-Riddle (19-11) for the first time.
Host Augusta (26-5) has been matched up with Emmanuel (23-7) for the number one seed game. The teams faced off at the end of 2022 with a win by Augusta of 91-77.
University of South Carolina Aiken (22-8) has advanced and paired with Catawba University (23-7), who will be a new opponent for them to compete against this season.
Another pair who have not met this season are UNC Pembroke and North Georgia. UNC has a record of 26-3 while North Georgia is at 20-7.
The final matchup in the region is Lincoln Memorial (27-4) and Lander (22-9). Lander was able to lead the conference in defensive scoring during the 2022-23 season.
South Central Region
West Texas A&M (25-6) will host the South Central regional tournament. Their opponent will be Texas A&M Kingsville (21-11) who they were victorious against in early December.
Angelo State (25-6) finds themselves as the fourth seed in the region. They will take on an opponent they have yet to face, Colorado Mesa (25-5).
Second seed Fort Lewis (28-3) is expected to compete against Lubbock Christian (19-11). This happens to be another pair that will play for the first time together this season.
Finishing the bracket for this region, we have the Colorado School of Mines (26-5) and Black Hills State (25-5). In early December, Black Hills won 85-77 in overtime against Colorado and they took another win in early February 85-66.
The West region rounds out the whole NCAA D2 Men’s Basketball bracket of 2023. Point Loma (27-3) is expected to host and play against Northwest Nazarene (15-14), who they won against in mid-November.
Saint Martin’s (24-6) was placed as fourth seed and will take on the Academy of Art (21-9). In late November, the Academy of Art won by five points with a score of 78-73.
Number two seed California State -- San Bernardino (27-3) will play against number seven seed Montana State University Billings (20-9) for the first time all season.
Finalizing the Western region is Azusa Pacific (22-7) and California State -- San Marcos (19-10) which is another pair that have not been matched together.
You can catch the regional games from March 10-14, which will then lead to the quarterfinals. The quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship are expected to happen on March 21, 23, and 25 in Evansville, Indiana.
All information is courtesy of the NCAA Division II Selection Show of 2023.