• Joseph Balleweg

D3 Men's Final Four Preview

The last two weeks of upsets and close ball games all come down to this: The Division III Final Four.


Who is in the running?


Elmhurst vs. Wabash

Marietta vs. Randolph-Macon


Let’s get into it.


Elmhurst VS Wabash


Elmhurst

Road to Final Four:

Wash. & Jeff.: 95-70

Pomona-Pitzer: 76-70

Calvin: 79-77

Mary Hardin-Baylor: 87-84


Elmhurst won the CCIW tournament, and came into the national tournament ranked No. 3 in Region VIII. Each team defeated was a ranked team in their region. After their first round victory, they won each game by less than 10 points, including an overtime win over MH-Baylor. It always fares well to be a team that wins close games come tournament time.


You may say the biggest win of the tournament was the win over MH Baylor. But, don’t forget that earlier in the year they lost to Calvin 75-57. They rebounded in the tournament and beat Calvin by two points. You think that win builds confidence?


Not to mention, they have won three straight games when trailing at half.


Wabash

Road to Final Four:

Berry College: 91-79

Emory University: 87-86

Williams College: 73-59

Illinois Wesleyan: 81-75


Winners of the NCAC Conference, Wabash ranked No. 3 in Region VII coming into the tournament. Similar to Elmhurst, they outplayed that No. 3 ranking. Their toughest game came against Emory, the No. 2 team from Region VI.


What could give them confidence going into their matchup with Elmhurst? Well, besides freshman Jack Davidson dropping 29 points in the quarterfinals it is who they beat in the quarterfinals: Illinois Wesleyan - who ranked higher than Elmhurst in Region VIII and a team who beat Elmhurst earlier this season. Wabash is a team of giant killers. Beating No. 1 Illinois Wesleyan and Region VI No. 2 Emory for the second time this season.


Marietta vs Randolph-Macon


Randolph-Macon

Road to Final Four:

Mitchell: 99-57

Babson: 67-51

Umass Dartmouth: 92-69

WPI: 76-53


Winners of the ODAC conference, and ranked No.1 in Region VI, this tournament is Randolph-Macon’s to lose. They are 31-1 and besides their one point loss to CNU early in the year, the games were not close.


They have won each tournament game by double digits and have outscored their opponents by 104 points.


Yes. You read that right. 104 points.


Senior Buzz Anthony led the team with 23 points in their win over WPI in the quarterfinals. The leader of this team, he holds the school record for assists, steals and is third in points in school history for Randolph-Macon. Yes, he is pretty good.


According to D3Hoops, this is a No. 1 vs No. 2 matchup between Randolph-Macon and Marietta. I’ll just say this, I don’t think Yellow Jackets care about rankings.


But then again, it is March.


Marietta

Road to Final Four:

Medaille: 91-79

Rochester (NY): 88-83

Oswego St. 89-81

Chris. Newport: 81-79


Winners of the OAC conference, Marietta expected to be here. Ranked No. 1 in Region VII, they received a top seed in the national tournament. Even with their high status, they had three straight games end within single digits.


Their biggest win of the tournament came against Chris. Newport in the quarterfinals, ranked No. 3 in Region VI. No question who leads this team. Senior Lukas Isaly is averaging 25 points in the tournament and dropped 38 points in their win over CNU. He will have to show up against Randolph-Macon if they have any chance of winning that game.


Listen, Randolph-Macon has been virtually impenetrable this season, only losing one game.


But wait, who was that loss to? Oh yeah, CNU - who Marietta just beat.


So you're saying there’s a chance? It is March after all.


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