After claiming the Northeast-10 Conference’s automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship via winning the conference tournament on Saturday at New Haven, the Merrimack College men’s basketball program learned that it received the second seed in this weekend’s NCAA East Regional hosted at top-seeded Saint Anselm. The second seed is the highest in school history since the NCAA expanded the tournament field to eight-team regionals.
Merrimack entered Selection Sunday as the fifth seed in the most recent regional poll as conducted by the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee, but rose three spots in the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Committee’s announcement of the field of 64 teams Sunday night. Since the final regional poll of the season, the Warriors compiled road victories over regionally ranked programs Le Moyne and New Haven to win the their third conference championship ever. The 2019 regional will be hosted at top-seeded Saint Anselm, and pits Merrimack against Dominican College (N.Y.) – the victors of the Central Atlantic College Conference – on Saturday from Stoutenburgh Gymnasium. Official game times will be announced later this week.
The selection marks the 11th in program history, equaling the women’s soccer and men’s tennis program as the second most NCAA Tournament appearances in school history. Merrimack will enter the NCAA Tournament with 22 victories, which is tied for the most in a single year in school annals. The Warriors’ third straight trip to the big dance also matches the three-year run from 2007-10 as the most consecutive berths ever.
The Hawks earned the region’s top seed and right to host the eight-team regional after a regular season NE10 Championship. Saint Anselm won 22 of 27 games during the regular season, and won the NE10’s Northeast Division. Le Moyne slotted in behind the Warriors as the third overall seed, followed by the University of New Haven at No.4 and Daemen College at No. 5 All three programs received at-large bids.
Saint Thomas Aquinas received the final at-large selection as the region’s sixth seed. The final two spots went to automatic qualifiers with Dominican (N.Y.) earning the No. 7 seed over eighth-seeded Molly College, who won its first-ever East Coast Conference title earlier on Sunday.
The regional quarterfinals will be played on Saturday followed by the semifinals on Sunday. The East Regional Final will be played on Tuesday, March 19. Every game of the 2019 NCAA East Regional will be played at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium in Manchester, N.H. Specific games will be announced later this week.
NCAA East Regional
Saturday, March 16 – Quarterfinals
No. 1 Saint Anselm vs. No. 8 Molloy
No. 2 Merrimack vs. No. 7 Dominican (N.Y.)
No. 3 Le Moyne vs. No. 6 Saint Thomas Aquinas
No. 4 New Haven vs. No. 5 Daemen
Sunday, March 17 – Semifinals
Tuesday, March 19 – Championship