Although they came up short in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s first-ever Post-Season Tournament last week, Occidental’s men’s basketball team will be going to the NCAA Division III playoffs, thanks to an at-large bid announced today.
The nationally ranked Tigers (21-5) not only are getting a second chance to keep playing, but they will have a third chance against the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens (15-12), winners of the SCIAC Tournament, on Thursday, March 6 at 7 p.m. in Rush Gymnasium. The winner will advance to play on Saturday, March 8 at Whitworth (20-6).
Oxy and Pomona-Pitzer split their season-series, each team winning on the road. Oxy pulled out a 64-59 victory at Voelkel Gymnasium on Jan. 23 before the Sagehens stormed in to Rush Gymnasium handing the Tigers a 62-47 loss, snapping a nine-game Oxy win streak.
In the first round of the SCIAC Post-Season Tournament the Tigers suffered a 66-62 loss to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, while Pomona defeated the # 2 seeded California Lutheran University Kingsmen 54-44 at Gilbert Arena in Thousand Oaks. In the tournament final, Pomona and CMS battled into overtime, with the Sagehens defeating the Stags 55-53 to earn an automatic bid to the playoffs.
Second-round play will take place on March 14-15. The winners of the four sectional games will advance to the final round, which will be played at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Virginia on March 21-22.
Tickets for the March 6 game at Rush Gymnasium are $6 for adults, $3 for students, senior citizens and children under 12. Children under 2 are free.