BROOKLYN, NY – In their first year as a full NCAA Division III member, the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) women's basketball team has been selected to compete in the 2012 NCAA Division III National Basketball Tournament and will face Amherst College (27-0) in the first round on Friday, March 2nd at 8 p.m. in Amherst, MA.
The Lady Bears/Lord Jeffs winner will face the winner of Babson (25-2) vs. Bridgewater State (19-7) in the second round on Saturday, March 3rd to determine who advances to sectionals.
The tournament berth is the first for Brooklyn Athletics, who attained full NCAA membership on September 1st, 2011 – after a six-year long process – making all 12 varsity teams eligible to qualify for the national championship tournaments.
After starting the season 1-9, the Lady Bears finished with a 13-13 record powered by a 10-game winning streak that lasted nearly a month, their longest in eight seasons.
St. Joseph's received a pool B bid to the 64-team tournament. The pool B bid is awarded to an independent team or a team who competes in a conference that does not receive an automatic bid for their conference champion.
43 automatic qualifying bids are awarded to conference champions (pool A) and 20 additional bids are awarded to at-large teams (pool C) as selected by the championships committee.
"This is a monumental day for Brooklyn Athletics," remarked athletic director and head women's basketball coach Frank P. Carbone. "Receiving the opportunity to compete in the NCAA tournament in our first year is something we would have never imagined when we started our NCAA journey six years ago. It's an amazing opportunity that will certainly benefit the entire St. Joseph's College community; we feel fortunate and are thrilled to be selected!"
This also marks the first NCAA women's basketball tournament appearance by either Brooklyn or Long Island campus of St. Joseph's College.
Amherst earned their third straight New England Small College Athletic Conference title and will make their fifth straight NCAA tournament appearance, capturing their first national championship last year and were national semifinalists in 2009 and 2010. The Lord Jeffs are one of four undefeated teams in the tournament and finished the season as the #1 team in the latest USA Today/ESPN coaches and D3Hoops.com polls.
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