STANDISH, Maine – The first NCAA DIII Women's Basketball regional rankings were released on Wednesday afternoon and Saint Joseph's College (22-0, 10-0 GNAC) is ranked second in the Northeast Region.
The NCAA will release regional rankings each Wednesday for the next two weeks with each set providing a clearer picture as to which teams have the best chance to earn their way into the NCAA DIII Tournament. The final regional rankings will be released on Monday, February 25th, which is when the bracket for the 64-team field is unveiled.
Saint Joseph's, ranked eighth and 11th nationally in this week's D3hoops.com and Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) polls, respectively, has won 47-consecutive home games and is the midst of a 28-game regular-season winning streak versus conference opponents.
The NCAA's official regional rankings primary criteria are: winning percentage (versus Division III teams), strength of schedule, results versus regionally ranked opponents, head-to-head results, and results versus common opponents.
Sixty-four teams go to the tournament — 43 conference champions, one team from Pool B and 20 at-large teams (Pool C). Pool B has 10 teams that are independent or members of conferences that do not have automatic bids, which is enough for one Pool B bid to be allocated to those teams.
Saint Joseph's has advanced to the NCAA Tournament following each of the last three seasons by virtue of winning the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament in 2016, 2017, and 2018.
In the 2018 NCAA Tournament, St. Joe's drew Little East Conference Champion UMass.-Boston and rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to defeat the Beacons, 61-56, and claim the first NCAA tourney triumph in program history.
Saint Joseph's faced off against reigning National Champion Amherst College - on their home court - in second round action the following day. In a game featuring six lead changes and five tie scores, the Monks pushed the Mammoths to the edge but eventually fell, 53-47, to a team went on to defend their national crown and extend their winning streak to 66 games in the process.
Saint Joseph's will host UMaine-Fort Kent on Sunday at 2:00 PM.