Saint Joseph's to Play Bridgewater State in Opening Round of NCAA Tourney

STANDISH, ME - The NCAA has announced the DIII Men's Basketball Tournament pairings, and Saint Joseph's College (21-7, 12-6 GNAC) will play at Bridgewater State College (20-6, 10-2 MASCAC) in the opening round on Thursday, March 5th at 7:00 PM.

The Monks earned an automatic berth into the tournament with a 74-72 overtime victory over Emmanuel College in the title game of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference tourney on Saturday. The GNAC championship is the Monks' first as a second-year member of the league, while the NCAA DIII Tournament appearance is the program's second. Saint Joseph's advanced to "The Dance" in 2003 as an NCAA DIII Independent.

The 20-win season is the 16th in Monks Basketball history and the second under sixth-year Head Coach Rob Sanicola's watch.

The Bears defeated Salem State College, 77-66, in the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday night to gain the MASCAC's automatic berth. The win marked the second time in four years and third time overall that Bridgewater has captured the MASCAC crown.

For Bridgewater, the trip the NCAA appearance is the program's fourth, with 2006 being the last occurrence. At 20-6, the Bears reached the 20-win plateau for the third time in program history.

With a first-round bye, Middlebury College (VT) will face off against the victor of the St. Joe's-Bridgewater contest in Vermont on Saturday. Middlebury defeated Amherst College, 77-68, in the New England Small College Athletic Conference Championship on Sunday and was rewarded with the NESCAC's automatic qualifier.