2009 NESCAC Men's Basketball Championship
Saturday, February 21 Saturday, February 28 Sunday, March 1
at No. 1 MID 78, No. 8 CONN 62
at No. 1 MID 76, No. 5 BOW 46
at No. 1 MID 77, No. 2 AMH 68
at No. 2 AMH 80, No. 7 TRI 66 No. 2 AMH 86, vs. No. 3 WIL 74
at No. 3 WIL 87, No. 6 BAT 78
No. 5 BOW 66, at No. 4 COL 54
Championship Seeding
Championship Preview
Championship Records 

Middlebury Wins First-Ever Men's Basketball Championship

Middlebury Wins First-Ever Men's Basketball Championship

Courtesy Middlebury Athletic Communications

Box Score

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Middlebury captured its first NESCAC Men’s Basketball Championship as the Panthers earned a 77-68 victory over Amherst. The Panthers improve on their school record with their 24th win of the season against just three losses. Middlebury earns the NESCAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and will make their second straight appearance in the tourney when the pairings are announced on Monday afternoon. Amherst falls to 21-6 overall and is in good shape to receive an at-large bid. The win avenges a loss in the regular season finale at Amherst for Middlebury, also snapping a seven-game losing streak against the Jeffs. Middlebury has now won NESCAC Championships in 16 different sports.

A packed house of 1,200 fans were on hand in Pepin Gym, to watch the Panthers move to 13-0 on the season at home. Amherst came out strong, jumping out to a 10-4 lead in the game’s first 2:37 behind a three from David Waller and five points from Brian Baskauskas. A trey from Middlebury’s Ben Rudin and a pair of free throws by Tim Edwards cut the lead to 10-9 at the 16:49 mark.

The Lord Jeffs surged and went on an 8-0 run over the next 1:45 to take an 18-9 advantage. Five points from Baskaukas, including a three, and a dunk from Mike Holsey sparked the run. Middlebury chipped away and cut the lead to three behind a pair of hoops off the bench from Ryan Sharry. A three from Taylor Barrisse made it a 23-17 Amherst lead before a 7-0 run put the Panthers on top 24-23 on a three from Ryan Wholey with 9:29 left in the first half. Middlebury went on an 8-0 spurt at the 4:13 mark to take a 42-32 lead, before Amherst closed the first half on a 5-0 run to trail 42-37 at the intermission. Baskaukas had a big half for the Jeffs, scoring 14 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

The Panthers opened the second half strong, extending their lead to 49-39 on a tip-in by Aaron Smith with 17:54 remaining. The lead extended to a game-high 11 points, as Sharry converted a three-point play after an offensive rebound to make it a 53-42 lead at the 13:15 mark.

Amherst would not go away, answering with a 10-0 charge that began with a hoop from Jeff Holmes with 11:14 remaining. Middlebury turned the ball over four times during the run that gave the Jeffs a 55-54 lead on a bucket from Conor Mehan with 9:42 left to play. Middlebury regained the lead on its next possession, as Jamal Davis picked up a steal before converting a three-point play to give the Panthers a 59-57 lead.

With the game tied at 65 with 4:11 remaining, the Panther defense held Amherst scoreless for a 3:02 span, taking a 73-65 lead on a Rudin jumper with 1:27 remaining. The Lord Jeffs answered with a three from David Waller, but went 0-3 in the final minute, as the Panthers hit four of six free throws to seal the win.

Rudin led the Panthers with 18 points and nine rebounds, setting a new NESCAC tournament record with 77 points. Sharry tied a career-high with 15 points along with six boards, while Smith scored 11 with nine off the glass. Edwards added eight, Kyle Dudley scored seven, while Andrew Locke blocked three.

Baskauskas finished the game with 17 points after 14 in the first half, to go along with his game-high 14 rebounds. Waller scored 14, Meehan had 13 points and seven assists, while Holmes netted 11.

Quarterfinals - Saturday, Feb. 21 at Higher Seeds

at No. 1 Middlebury 78, No. 8 Connecticut College 62
at No. 2 Amherst 80, No. 7 Trinity 66
at No. 3 Williams 87, No. 6 Bates 78
No. 5 Bowdoin 66, at No. 4 Colby 54

Semifinals - Saturday, February 28 at Middlebury
at No. 1 Middlebury 76, No. 5 Bowdoin 46
No. 2 Amherst 86, vs. No. 3 Williams 74

Championship - Sunday, March 1
at No. 1 Middlebury 77, No. 2 Amherst 68


Quarterfinals - Saturday, February 21
3:00 p.m. at Higher Seeds
No. 8 at No. 1
No. 7 at No. 2
No. 6 at No. 3
No. 5 at No. 4

Semifinals - Saturday, February 28
at Highest Remaining Seed
2:00 p.m./4:00 p.m.

Championship - Sunday, March 1
12:00 p.m.

The top eight teams in the conference will qualify for the NESCAC Basketball Championship.  First round games will be conducted on Saturday, February 21, 2008 with the semifinals and championship games conducted on Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1, respectively.  The tournament champion will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship. 

Seeding will be based on final conference standings of round robin play.  The top four seeds will host quarterfinal games with the number one seed drawing the number 8 seed, the 7th seed will play at the 2nd seed, the 6th seed will play at the 3rd seed, and the 5th seed will play at the 4th seed. Teams will be re-bracketed with the highest remaining seed after quarterfinal action hosting both the semifinal and final rounds.

Pairings will be announced Saturday, February 14.

Tie Breaking Procedures
Ties will be broken as follows:

Head-to-head result (if teams play each other more than once during the regular season, the game that appears on the league schedule will be the game that is counted).

If teams tied during the regular season, or there is a 3-way or more tie, the following tie breaking procedure will be used:

  • Best record among tying teams, against one another (head-to-head).
  • Most conference wins (in games that are part of the conference schedule and count toward league standings).
  • Comparison of results of conference games played against top 4 teams (including all teams at the 4th spot).
  • Comparison of results of conference games played against top 8 teams (including all teams at the 8th spot).
  • Comparison of results of conference games played against conference teams in rank order.
  • Comparisons shall be made one team at a time starting with the highest ranked team.
  • If the tie remains after comparing results against the highest ranked team, the results against the next team in rank order shall be used. This process is continued until a winner is determined.
  • Coin flip (or similar random action involving all tied teams).

Note: In case of ties among three or more schools, the criteria above will be applied in order until a team is (or teams are) separated.  At that point, the process begins anew (returning to the first criteria) with the remaining teams.  The process is continued until the tie is eventually broken.  In cases where only a random action will break the tie of three or more teams, the random action will be applied to all teams involved in the tie.  For example, if three teams are tied and only a random action (pulling names out of a hat) will break the tie, each name will be pulled and seeded in order of being pulled.  Also, in the event that there are two (or more) groups of teams tied at different spots in the standings and the only criteria left that can be used to break those ties is a coin flip/random action, the coin flip/random action used to break the tie of one group (to put teams in rank order) will not affect the tie breaking procedures of the other group(s) of tied teams.