BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- The NCAA Division III Tournament pairings have been announced and the Bridgewater State University men's basketball team will travel to Williamstown, Massachusetts Friday night (7:30 PM) to take on the host Ephs of Williams College in an opening round contest.
Williams (22-5) is hosting a four-team pod at the John Wesley Chandler Athletic Center with Ramapo College (21-6) taking on Moravian College (20-7) in the other first round match-up at 5:30 PM. The winners will advance to play a second round game on Saturday evening (7:00 PM).
Bridgewater State will be making its' eighth NCAA Tournament appearance and sixth in the last thirteen years. The previous seven trips to the national tournament came in 1983, 1999, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2014. The Bears, who are 3-7 all-time in NCAA tourament play, advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in 2009.
Bridgewater enters the tournament with an overall mark of 18-9. The Bears earned the automatic qualifier to the NCAAs by winning the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Tournament championship on Saturday with a 77-72 victory over fourth-seeded Fitchburg State University. The Bears were the #2 seed at the MASCAC Tournament after posting a 9-3 conference mark during the regular season.
The BSU men's basketball team is under the watchful eye of 26-year head coach, Joe Farroba. The four-time (1998, 2009, 2010, 2012) MASCAC Coach of the Year sports a career mark of 379-312 (.548) including a conference regular season record of 194-118 (.622). Farroba's 379 wins are by far the most in program history as he is the only Bridgewater coach to reach not only the 300-win milestone but also the 200-win plateau.
DeAndrade is averaging 16.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 47% (141-300) from the floor, 42% (61-148) from behind the arc and 85% (67-79) at the free throw line. He currently sits second in the MASCAC in points per game, third in both three-point percentage and free throw shooting, fourth in assits, sixth in steals, and ninth in field goal percentage. The MVP of the MASCAC Tournament, DeAndrade reached the 1,000-point milestone on Janurary 25th in a 68-58 win over Fitchburg State University. He currently ranks 23rd all-time at BSU in scoring with 1,139 points.
Carty has notched 15.5 points and 12.7 rebounds per game this season, while shooting 43% (111-256) from the field and 81% (125-155) at the line. He leads the MASCAC in rebounding and is also fourth in free throw percentage (88.7%) and sixth in scoring. Carty also ranks fifth nationally in rebounding and eighth in double-doubles with 16.
Ward is averaging 15.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game while shooting 50% (152-303) from the floor and 37% (28-78) from behind the arc. He currently sits third in the conference in both defensive rebounds and total points, as well as fourth in total rebounds, and fifth in field goal percentage.
Under the guidance of fourth-year head coach Kevin App (75-34, .688), Williams captured the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament championship with a 69-58 win over Wesleyan University on Sunday in the NESCAC title game.
The Ephs, who are currently first in the NCAA Division III Northeast regional rankings and eighth in the most recent D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll, are making their second straight NCAA Division III Tournament appearance, sixth in the last ten years and 16th overall. Williams advanced to the Final Four on eight occasions (1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2017) and captured the national title in 2003.
Williams owns a 5-0 lead in the all-time series with BSU. The last time the two teams met was in January of 1999.