HADLEY, Mass. – The Middlebury Panthers are the No. 1 seed in the NESCAC Men’s Basketball Championship. The NESCAC Quarterfinals are set for Saturday, February 16 on the campus of the higher seed. The semifinals will take place on February 23 with the championship game scheduled for February 24, with all three games being played on the campus of the highest remaining seed.
Middlebury, Hamilton, and Amherst all finished with identical conference records of 7-3. In head-to-head competition, all three teams went 1-1, and each team had the same number of conference wins. In results against the top four teams, including all teams at the fourth spot (Middlebury, Hamilton, Amherst, Williams, Trinity, and Wesleyan), all three teams went 3-2. In results against the top eight teams, including all teams at the eighth spot (Middlebury, Hamilton, Amherst, Williams, Trinity, Wesleyan, Colby, Tufts and Bowdoin), all three teams went 5-3. In a comparison of results against all teams in rank order, all three teams had identical results until comparing results against Colby. Middlebury defeated Colby, while Hamilton and Amherst lost to Colby. As a result, Middlebury earned the No. 1 seed. In head-to-head competition, Hamilton defeated Amherst to earn the No. 2 seed, and Amherst earned the No. 3 seed.
Middlebury (18-6, 7-3 NESCAC) is the top seed for the first time since 2009 and is making an appearance in the NESCAC Championship for the fourth straight season and the 12th time in 13 years. The Panthers won six of their last seven games to close the regular season. Middlebury, which has won four titles, the last coming in 2017, will host a quarterfinal game for the third time in four years when it faces No. 8 Tufts (11-13, 4-6 NESCAC). Tufts and Bowdoin finished with identical conference records of 4-6. In head-to-head competition, Tufts defeated Bowdoin to earn the No. 8 seed. The Jumbos are in the NESCAC Championship for the ninth year in a row and as the No. 8 seed for the first time in program history. Tufts defeated Middlebury, 86-84, on January 12 and won a 2003 quarterfinal game in the only meeting with the Panthers in the tournament.
Hamilton (21-3, 7-3 NESCAC) is the No. 2 seed, its highest seed since 2012, following a win over Amherst in the regular season finale. Hamilton, which has won five of its last six games, will host a quarterfinal for just the second time in program history and the second year in a row when it meets No. 7 Colby (17-7, 5-5 NESCAC). The Mules are in the NESCAC tournament field for the first time since 2016 and the No. 7 seed for the first time since 2006. Colby closed out the regular season winning five of its last seven games to earn a playoff spot. Colby earned an 86-78 victory at Hamilton on January 26, but has not faced the Continentals in the NESCAC Championship.
Amherst (20-4, 7-3 NESCAC) is the No. 3 seed after a loss to Hamilton in the final game of the regular season. The Mammoths are the No. 3 seed for the second time in three years and will host a quarterfinal for the fourth straight season. Amherst has been in every NESCAC Championship and owns seven titles. The Mammoths enter the tournament having won six of their last seven games and will host No. 6 Wesleyan (16-8, 6-4 NESCAC), the 2018 NESCAC Runner-Up, in a rematch of last year’s semifinal.
Williams, Trinity, and Wesleyan all finished with identical conference records of 6-4. In head-to-head competition, Williams went 2-0, Trinity went 1-1, and Wesleyan went 0-2. As a result, Williams earned the No. 4 seed, Trinity earned the No. 5 seed, and Wesleyan earned the No. 6 seed. The Cardinals are the No. 6 seed for the first time since 2015 and are in the NESCAC Championship for the fifth straight year. Wesleyan is 2-2 against Amherst in NESCAC postseason play. The Cardinals split a pair of games against the Mammoths this season, winning 62-60 on January 12 and falling 61-60 on February 5.
The final quarterfinal is a quarterfinal rematch from last year with No. 4 Williams (19-5, 6-4 NESCAC) hosting No. 5 Trinity (17-7, 6-4 NESCAC). The Ephs, the defending NESCAC Champions, have been in the NESCAC Championship every year and have won five titles. Williams is hosting a quarterfinal for the second year in a row, but is a No. 4 seed for the first time in program history. Trinity finished the regular season winning eight of its last 10 games to position itself for the NESCAC tournament. The Bantams are the fifth seed for the second time in three years and won their lone NESCAC title in 2008. Williams posted an 86-50 victory over Trinity on January 25, and the Ephs are 3-0 against the Bantams in the NESCAC postseason, including last year’s quarterfinal meeting.
Results for the NESCAC Men’s Basketball Championship will be available at the completion of each day on the NESCAC website.
Quarterfinals - Saturday, February 16
at Higher Seeds
No. 8 Tufts at No. 1 Middlebury - 3 p.m.
No. 7 Colby at No. 2 Hamilton - 3 p.m.
No. 6 Wesleyan at No. 3 Amherst - 2 p.m.
No. 5 Trinity at No. 4 Williams - 3 p.m.
Semifinals - Saturday, February 23
at Highest Remaining Seed
Lowest Remaining Seed vs. Highest Remaining Seed - 2/4 p.m.
Other Quarterfinal winners - 2/4 p.m.
Championship - Sunday, February 24
at Semifinal Host
Semifinal winners - 12 p.m.