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IWU Basketball Approaches Postseason Play

IWU Basketball Approaches Postseason Play

Illinois Wesleyan Titans logo (Photo courtesy: IWU Sports Twitter).

NORMAL- March madness has hit the campus of Illinois Wesleyan University as both its men’s and women’s basketball teams begin playing in their respective NCAA Division III tournaments on Friday.

The women’s team gets to stay home this weekend as they host the first two rounds of the tournament at Shirk Center. The No. 14 Titans (24-3, 15-1 CCIW), who won both the the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin regular season and tournament championships, play Marietta in the first round at 7 p.m. on Friday.  If they win, Wesleyan plays either DePauw or Trine in the second round at 7 p.m. on Saturday. IWU is making its second straight NCAA tournament appearance and is trying to win its first national championship since 2012.

“Definitely, we’ve got to look at it as one opponent at a time, don’t look ahead,” IWU women’s basketball coach Mia Smith said.  “And then it’s up to me and them a little bit to make sure our bodies stay fresh and our minds stay fresh.”

Meanwhile, the men’s team (19-7, 12-4 CCIW) returns to postseason play after a two-year absence. Earning an at-large bid thanks in part to sharing the CCIW regular season championship with Augustana, the Titans earned a first-round matchup with Wooster at 4:30 p.m. on Friday at John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio. The opportunity to play in the tournament is something IWU coach Ron Rose is excited to see his players take advantage of.

“That’s the biggest thing is I want those guys to have this experience,” Rose said. “The excitement of preparing, all those things that go with being a part of the NCAA Tournament, I really wanted this year’s team and these guys to able to experience it this. And so to have our name called was really exciting.”

If IWU beats Wooster, they play either John Carroll or Thomas More in the second round at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Nick Landi contributed to this story. 

WZND Newsroom

March 1st, 2018

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