For the second time in three years, the University of Mount Union men's basketball team will play host to the first- and second-rounds of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
The Purple Raiders (23-4), ranked No. 11 by D3hoops.com, will play host to Williams (Mass.), Neumann (Pa.) and Stevens (N.J.).
Williams and Neumann play at 3:20 p.m. Friday, with the Mount Union-Stevens game to follow at approximately 5:50 p.m. The winners return for a second-round game at 5:50 p.m. on Saturday.
Three Ohio Athletic Conference teams were selected for the tournament. OAC regular-season and tournament champion Marietta (25-2), which is ranked No. 2 by D3hoops.com, is also the host for a four-team pod this weekend. Heidelberg (18-7), which lost to the Purple Raiders in the OAC tournament semifinals, will play Wisconsin-La Crosse Friday on the Illinois Wesleyan campus.
Here are some things to know about this weekend's games at Mount Union and a scouting report on the four teams.
Schedule: Two games will be played Friday inside Timken Gymnasium at the McPherson Academic & Athletic Complex. Williams (Mass.) and Neumann (Pa.) tip off at 3:20 p.m. Mount Union will play Stevens (N.J.) at 5:50 p.m.
Tickets: All tickets will be sold digitally online (athletics.mountunionedu./tickets). There will be no cash sales at the gate. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 students. Fans can attend both games on Friday.
Broadcasts: Each game will have a video broadcast on oac.boxcast.com and you can find the games on Roku, Amazon, Apple and YouTube. The Mount Union game will be on the radio locally (WDPN-AM 1310) and online at www.q92radiosports.com/streams/.
SCOUTING MOUNT UNION
The Purple Raiders are 23-4 overall and 13-2 at home, finishing as runner-up to Marietta in the Ohio Athletic Conference regular season and OAC Tournament. Mount Union is ranked No. 11 nationally by D3hoops.com and second in NCAA Region VII.
Coach: Mike Fuline (11th season, 194-94).
Numbers: Points per game - offense (80.9); defense (66.4). Mount Union is ranked No. 14 nationally in scoring margin (11.4 ppg).
Projected starters: Chris Painter Jr., 6-0 Jr. (10.0 ppg, 3.2 RPG, 2.9 apg); Darrell Newsom, 6-3 Sr. (9.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.1 apg); Ethan Stanislawski, 6-3 Sr. (12.8 ppg, 3.7 RPG, 4.8 apg); Braedon Poole, 6-5 Sr. (12.6 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.8), Logan Hill, 6-7 Sr. (3.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 0.9 apg).
Off the bench: Christian Parker, 6-6 Soph. (19.4 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.4 apg); Andrew Keller, 6-0 Jr. (5.4 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 1.1 apg); Michael Skeriotis, 5-11 Fr. (4.2 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.7 apg).
All-conference: Christian Parker and Ethan Stanislawski were named first team All-OAC, and Braedon Poole was selected to the second team.
Postseason history: Mount Union is making its fourth overall and second straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Purple Raiders earned one of 20 at-large bids and are 6-2 in tournament games and have advanced to the round of 16 in each of its three previous appearances.
SCOUTING STEVENS (N.J.)
The Ducks are 16-8 and champions of the Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom. Stevens is unranked by D3hoops.com and No. 5 in Region IV.
Coach: Bobby Hurley (14th season, 229-123).
Numbers: Points per game - offense (67.1); defense (63.0). Stevens is ranked No. 2 nationally in field-goal percentage defense (35.9%).
Projected starters: Matt LaCorte, 6-2 Grad (9.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.0 apg); Conor Coffey, 6-4 Jr. (10.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.0 apg); Matt Crowley, 5-11 Jr. (8.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.4 apg); Jack Spellman, 6-8 Fr. (10.2 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.0 apg); Alec DiPietrantonio, 6-6 Grad (13.9 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 1.3 apg).
Off the bench: Mike Goodall, 6-0 Soph. (6.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.2 apg); Maguire Sweeney, 6-4 Grad (4.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.7 apg).
All-conference: Alec DiPietrantonio was named first team; Conor Coffey was second team and Jack Spellman was honorable mention on the All-MAC Freedom selections.
Postseason history: Stevens is in the NCAA Tournament for a fourth time overall with its last appearance in 2020 and Ducks have a 2-3 overall record in tournament games. Mount Union and Stevens have never met in men's basketball. Stevens is in the tournament by winning the MAC-Freedom title game over Lycoming (Pa.). Mount Union beat Lycoming 107-61 on Dec. 30.
SCOUTING WILLIAMS (MASS.)
The Ephs (rhymes with Chiefs) are 17-4 and earned an at-large bid after losing to Wesleyan (Conn.) 78-75 in overtime in the New England Small College Athletic Conference tournament championship game. Williams is ranked No. 22 by D3hoops.com and No. 3 in Region 1 by the NCAA.
Coach: Kevin App (7th season, 129-58).
Numbers: Points per game - offense (72.9); defense (62.9). Williams is No. 2 nationally in fewest fouls per game (13.1).
Projected starters: Cole Prowitt-Smith, 6-4 Soph. (13.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.8 apg); Nate Karren, 6-9 Soph. (14.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 3.2 apg); Spencer Spivy, 6-6 Jr. (9.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.5 apg); Declan Porter, 6-7 Fr. (9.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.2 apg); Jovan Jones, 6-6 Sr. (7.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.8 apg).
Off the bench: Brandon Roughley, 6-8 Fr. (7.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 0.8 apg); Alex Stoddard, 6-6 Soph. (4.5 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0.5 apg); Marc Taylor, 6-8 Sr. (3.9 ppg, 0.8 rpg, 0.7 apg); Brandon Arnold, 6-7 Soph. (3.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.6 apg).
All-conference: Nate Kerren was named first team All-NESCAC.
Postseason history: Williams is making its 18th NCAA Tournament appearance but first since 2019. The Ephs have a 50-16 record in the tournament, won the 2003 national title and have made it to the Final Four eight times. Williams played at Mount Union in 2016 during the Raiders holiday tournament. The Ephs beat Mount Union 70-67 in that game.
SCOUTING NEUMANN (PA.)
The Knights are 21-7 overall and won the Atlantic East Conference Tournament, 61-59 over Marymount (Va.). Neumann is unranked by D3hoops.com and No. 6 in Region V by the NCAA.
Coach: Jim Rullo (9th season, 151-80).
Numbers: Points per game - offense (75.7); defense (66.8). Neumann is ranked No. 5 nationally in field-goal percentage (50.2%).
Projected starters: Ryan Starr, 6-3 Jr. (7.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.5 apg); TJ Lewis, 6-3 Fr. (9.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.2 apg; Jalen Vaughns, 6-7 Soph. (22.1 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 1.1 apg); KJ Speller, 6-5 Grad (8.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.8 apg); Tony James, 6-2 Jr. (11.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.3 apg).
Off the bench: Lewis Robinson, 5-11 Fr. (1.7 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 0.7 apg); Justin Smith, 6-3 Sr. (3.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.2 apg).
All-conference: Jalen Vaughns was All-Atlantic East Player of the Year. Tony James was named to the second team and selected as Defensive Player of the Year.
Postseason history: Neumann is making its third NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2017 and looking for their first tournament win. The Knights played at Mount Union in the first round in 2015, falling to the Raiders 87-59.
This article originally appeared on The Alliance Review: Mount Union hosts Division III men's basketball tournament games