Eagles open NCAA II Tournament Saturday

USI is seeded 4th in the Midwest Regional

Eagles open NCAA II Tournament Saturday

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -The University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team tips off the NCAA Division II Tournament and the Midwest Regional Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Romeoville, Illinois. The NCAA II Midwest Regional is being hosted by 15th-ranked and top-seeded Lewis University.

The Screaming Eagles (22-8) starts the NCAA II post-season against fifth-seeded Ashland University (23-6). USI has never played Ashland in the NCAA II Midwest Regional, but leads the all-time series, 20-13.

In addition to the USI-Ashland match-up, the top half of the bracket features Lewis University (24-5) against eighth-seeded Grand Valley State University (19-12) at 5 p.m. Saturday. GVSU is the winner of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

The other half of the regional bracket starts at noon Saturday when third-seeded and sixth-ranked University of Findlay (27-4) battles sixth-seeded Drury University. Saturday’s second game at 2:30 p.m. features second-seeded and 11th-ranked Bellarmine University (26-4), the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament champion, taking on seventh-seeded Walsh University (24-7), the Great Midwest Athletic Conference champion.

The semifinals will be played Sunday (March 17) at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., while the regional championship game is scheduled for March 19 at 7 p.m. Live coverage of USI’s games in the NCAA II Midwest Regional, including live statistics and audio/video broadcasts are available at GoUSIEagles.com. The games also can be heard over the airwaves on WEOA 98.5FM/1400AM and 95.7FM The Spin.

USI Men’s Basketball Week 19 NCAA II Tournament Quick Notes:

USI versus NCAA II Midwest Regional Field. USI is 1-5 against the NCAA II Midwest Regional field in 2018-19, but holds a 131-99 lead all-time. The USI series records against the regional field all-time are:

  • Ashland: 20-13 
  • Bellarmine: 51-44
  • Drury: 11-12                 
  • Findlay: 2-2
  • Grand Valley State: 1-1               
  • Lewis: 46-27     
  • Walsh: 0-0 

Last time in Romeoville. The last time USI played in the NCAA Midwest Regional at Lewis in Romeoville, Illinois, the Eagles took home the regional trophy after defeating Wayne State University, 69-68. USI also defeated Kentucky Wesleyan College in the first round and the University of Findlay in the second. The Eagles went on to advance to the NCAA II Tournament championship game, falling to Kennesaw State University in the NCAA II title game.

USI leaders vs. the Midwest Regional field. USI was led against the NCAA II Midwest Regional field by senior guard Alex Stein, who averaged 18.7 points per game versus the seven teams, while junior guard/forward Kobe Caldwellposted 11.5 points. Sophomore forward Emmanuel Little rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10.2 points and a team-high 7.2 rebounds per contest.

Eagles at neutral sites in 2018-19. USI is 5-2 at neutral sites in 2018-19 and led by senior guard Alex Stein with 22.9 points per game, followed junior guard/forward Kobe Caldwell follows with 12.9 points per contest.

Eagles in away games during 2018-19. Four Eagles average in double-digits in road games, led by senior guard Alex Stein and junior guard/forward Kobe Caldwell with 18.4 points and 16.1 points per game, respectively. Sophomore forward Emmanuel Little and senior guard/forward Nate Hansen rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12.6 points and 12.3 points, respectively.

Eagles in the NCAA II Midwest Regional. Senior guard Alex Stein and senior forward Jacob Norman are the only Eagles with NCAA II Tournament experience from the last trip in 2017. Stein had 11 points, six rebounds, and nine assists in the loss to the University of Findlay, 70-69, while Norman had five points and seven rebounds in the effort.

USI vs. GLVC, G-MAC, and GLIAC in NCAA II Tournament. The Eagles are 14-11 against programs from the GLVC and 11-7 against squads from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Eagles have not played a current team from the Great Midwest Athletics Conference (Kentucky Wesleyan was a member of the GLVC and Findlay was a member of the GLIAC when USI has played them in the NCAA II Tournament).

USI in the NCAA II Tournament. USI has appeared in 21 of the last 27 NCAA Division II Tournaments. During the previous 20 trips to the tournament between 1992 and 2017, the Eagles won the NCAA II National Championship in 1995, were the NCAA II Tournament finalist in 1994 and 2004, and reached the regional championship game nine times.

USI all-time in the NCAA II Regional. The Eagles are 32-28 in 26 trips to the NCAA II Tournament, 30-18 since 1992-93.

Second round exit of the GLVC Tournament: Third-seeded University of Southern Indiana won its first round game with sixth-seeded University of Missouri-St. Louis, 87-61, but lost in the semifinals to second-seeded and 11th-ranked Bellarmine University. USI senior guard Alex Stein, who was named to the All-Tournament team, averaged 21.5 points per game, while junior guard/forward Kobe Caldwell posted 15.5 points per game.

Courtesy: USI Athletics

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