Home Men's Basketball Preview: Merrimack set to face Dominican in NCAA tourney

Preview: Merrimack set to face Dominican in NCAA tourney

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The Merrimack College men’s basketball team begins its 11th NCAA Tournament run in school history and third in as many years on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. when the second-seeded Warriors face seventh-seeded Dominican College (N.Y.) in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II East Regional. Saturday’s game and any future games in the regional tournament will be played at Saint Anselm’s College Stoutenburgh Gym in Manchester, N.H.

The Warriors enter the tournament on the heels of their third Northeast-10 Conference Championship in school history and first in 19 years. Merrimack’s No. 2 seed is the highest in school history since the NCAA moved to an eight-team regional format.

NCAA East Regional Schedule (all played at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium in Manchester, N.H.)
Saturday, March 16 – Quarterfinals
Game 1: #6 Saint Thomas Aquinas vs. #3 Le Moyne – 12 p.m.
Game 2: #7 Dominican (N.Y.) vs. #2 Merrimack – 2:30 p.m.
Game 3: #8 Molloy vs. #1 Saint Anselm – 5 p.m.
Game 4: #5 Daemen vs. #4 New Haven – 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 17 – Semifinals
Game 5: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 – 5 p.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4 – 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 19 – Championship
Game 7: Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 6 – 7 p.m.
Ticket Information
All tickets for the 2019 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball East Regional Tournament are general admission and are valid for all games during that session (one session per day; arena will not be cleared between games). Please see ticket representatives for re-admittance information if you intend to leave the arena and return at a later time that day.

  • $10 for adults
  • $5 for youths (ages 5-17), students and senior citizens
  • Tickets are only valid for the day of purchase. There are no all-tournament passes for sale.
  • The ticket window and pass gates will open 60 minutes prior to the start of the first game of each daily session. There will be no advanced ticket sales.

NCAA Tournament History

  • This weekend will mark the 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, dating back to the Warriors’ first trip to the national tourney in the 1976-77 season. It is the second instance of three straight berths as well, joining the three-year run from 2007-10
  • Merrimack owns an 8-10 all-time record in NCAA Tournament play
  • Merrimack has won the regional quarterfinal round in each of its last four NCAA Tournament appearances (2008-09, 2009-10, 2016-17 & 2017-18)

Five Things to Know:

  • The Warriors’ campaign to date has been highlighted by their third-ever NE10 Championship, breaking a 19-year drought (2000) since titles. Merrimack survived Adelphi, 83-81, in the quarterfinals behind a herculean 46-point effort for junior Juvaris Hayes, the most for a Warrior since 1997. Merrimack then defeated top-seeded Le Moyne in overtime on road to reach the program’s fourth-ever NE10 Championship game. The Warriors then went into second-seeded New Haven’s house and held the Chargers to 46 points in the conference title game, the fewest ever allowed in a NE10 Championship contest.
  • Merrimack’s 22 wins through the NE10 Championship is tied for the most all-time in program history, the fifth 22-win campaign for the program (1977-78, 1988-89, 1998-99 & 1999-00). The NE10 Championship victory was the 76th in the four-year career of seniors Ryan Boulter and Troy McLaughlin, tying the Class of 1992 as the winningest class in men’s basketball history. The Warriors’ 61 wins over the last three years entering Saturday is also the second most of any three-year period in program history
  • Hayes is on the doorstep of an unprecedented third season with Merrimack. Entering Saturday with 599 points, 210 rebounds, 207 assists and 124 steals, Hayes is one point away of posting the first-ever season of at least 600 points, 200 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 steals in NCAA History (across all divisions). This season alone has already seen Hayes claim NE10 Defensive Player of the Year, NE10 All-Conference First Team honors (two-time selection, Two NE10 Player of the Week awards, and a USBWA National Player of the Week nod (3/5)
  • Boulter rests on 98 3-pointers made, needing two to set a new career high and post the first season of 100 3-pointers since Alix in 1995-96. Boulter sits eight triples shy of 300 for his career, which would make him the first Warrior since Darin Mency ’11 to reach that number.
  • Junior Jaleel Lord owns 74 3-pointers, closing in on doubling (44) his previous career high. Classmate Idris Joyner will arrive in Manchester as the regional’s top shot blocker, leading the NE10 and ranking fourth across the East Region (trailing non-NCAA participants) with 54 blocks. His total marks the most for a Warrior since Aaron Strothers ’12 swatted away 59 shots in the 2010-11 campaign.

Meet Dominican:

  • Dominican earned the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament via the Chargers’ 15-point win over Bloomfield to claim the CACC crown. Dominican prevailed by double digits in the quarterfinals and championship game in addition to an eight-point win in the semifinals.
  • Dominican’s 23 wins this season are the second most in school history, and most for the program since 1975. Dominican is led by all-conference selections Daraja Rodwell (Second Team) and Ian Gardener (Third Team).
  • Saturday will be the fifth all-time meeting between Merrimack and Dominican and first-ever postseason contest between the Chargers and Warriors. Merrimack owns a 3-1 edge in all-time series between the programs, but Dominican won the most recent contest, 75-60, at Hammel Court during the 2017-18 regular season. The Warriors’ victories over the Chargers came in the 2010-11, 2012-13 and 2016-17 seasons.
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Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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