02/23/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/23/2020 21:29
WINTHROP, Mass. - Aided by a 53-point offensive explosion in the second half on Saturday, the University of Saint Joseph (CT) took down Colby-Sawyer College, 93-76, in the regular-season finale to put the final touches on its unblemished 11-0 record in conference play as we get set for next week's 2020 GNAC Men's Basketball Tournament, which begins with quarterfinal action on Tuesday, February 25.
USJ (23-2, 11-0 GNAC) goes perfect in GNAC play in just its second year of existence, as the Blue Jays won the 11 league tilts by an average of 21.2 points and now prepare to host eighth-seeded Regis College on Tuesday night (7:00 PM). Last season, they nearly ran the tables as the No. 7 tournament seed, winning on the road in the quarters and semis before falling in the GNAC Championship contest at Albertus Magnus College.
The USJ program for first-ever time cracked the D3hoops.com Top-25 nearly two weeks ago with a No. 22 showing, before sliding up to No. 19 in last week's national poll. USJ has also checked in at eighth and seventh in the first two of the three Northeast Regional rankings.
The Blue Jays have now won 22 straight overall entering tournament play. After a 1-2 start in which it fell to RIC, beat Trinity, and lost at Tufts, USJ won 11 straight in non-conference play before winning all 11 GNAC games, including a 98-79 win on the road over Connecticut rival Albertus back on January 29.
Albertus (20-4, 9-2 GNAC), which has also been ranked nationally this season and has appeared at No. 11 and No. 10, respectively, in the first two Northeast Regional rankings, will host seventh-seeded Suffolk University on Tuesday at 7:00 PM in the GNAC Quarterfinals. Albertus' only other GNAC setback this winter came against Suffolk back on Feb. 1.
The other two matchups will feature third-seeded Emmanuel College hosting sixth-seeded Lasell University at 5:30 PM, followed by fourth-seeded Anna Maria College welcoming fifth-seeded Saint Joseph's College of Maine at 7:00 PM.
Anna Maria, SJC, Lasell and Suffolk all finished at 6-5 in league play, while Emmanuel (19-6, 7-4 GNAC) avoided the 6-5 mark with a much-needed 83-81 buzzer-beating victory at Rivier University in the regular-season finale on Saturday, allowing the Saints to nail down the No. 3 seed as a result.
With no reseeding throughout the playoffs, the advancing teams will play in the semifinals on Thursday night (Feb. 27), while the championship game will be hosted by the highest remaining seed next Saturday (Feb. 29) afternoon. Should USJ win on Tuesday and Thursday, the Blue Jays would host the GNAC Final at 5:00 PM next Saturday.
Be sure to catch all the 2020 tournament action live on thegnac.tv or watch on one of our four custom digital streaming apps. The 2020 GNAC Champion will earn the conference's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III Tournament, with the complete field announcement scheduled for Monday, March 3 at 12:30 PM.
Quarterfinals - Tuesday, February 25 (at high seeds)
Game 1: #8 Regis at #1 St. Joseph (CT) - 7:00 PM
Game 2: #5 Saint Joseph's Maine at #4 Anna Maria - 7:00 PM
Game 3: #6 Lasell at #3 Emmanuel - 5:30 PM
Game 4: #7 Suffolk at #2 Albertus Magnus - 7:00 PM
Semifinals - Thursday, February 27 (at high seeds)
Game 5: #4/5 winner vs. #1/8 winner
Game 6: #3/6 winner vs. #2/7 winner
Championship - Saturday, February 29 (at highest remaining seed)
Game 7: At highest remaining seed
The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Founded in 1995, the GNAC annually sponsors and administers 22 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience.
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