The Hope College men's basketball team is headed west to the Mississippi River to open the NCAA Division III Tournament.
The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association regular-season co-champion and tournament Flying Dutchmen will play Augsburg College of Minnesota in Friday's first-round game at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. Tipoff is 5:30 p.m. Central.
Friday's other first-round game features Augustana vs. Greenville (Illinois) at 7:30 p.m. Central game.
Winners advance to Saturday's 7 p.m. Central second-round game.
Photo by Lynne Powe
Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors aged 60 and up, $5 for students and children aged 2-18 and children under two will be admitted free of charge. Doors at Augustana's Carver Center open at 4 p.m. Central on Friday and 5:30 p.m. Central on Saturday.
Augsburg (21-7) qualified as the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament champion.
Augustana (22-5) is the College Conference of Illinois-Wisconsin regular-season and tournament champion.
Greenville (19-8) is the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament champion.
Fourth-year head coach Greg Mitchell has guided the Flying Dutchmen (18-9) to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
This year marks the fifth time in school history with at least three postseason trips in a row for the Flying Dutchmen. Previous postseason appearance runs went from 2006-12, 1995-98, 1987-92, and 1982-85.
This is the 27th time the Flying Dutchmen have advanced to NCAA Division III Tournament. Hope made it to sectional semifinals last season before losing to Hanover (Indiana).
The Flying Dutchmen are aiming for their fourth Final Four appearance. Hope was national runner-up in 1998 and 1996 and finished third in 2008.