For only the fifth time in the school's hisory, North Carolina Wesleyan's men's basketball team is going to the NCAA Div. III Tournament.
With a big trip to the dance hanging in the balance Sunday afternoon, the Battling Bishops held true to their name and held off Ferrum 74-70 in overtime in the championship game of the USA South Conference Tournament at Everett Gymnasium.
This will be Wesleyan's first NCAA excusrsion since 2002 and head coach John Thompson's second trip in his 16-year tenure. They have had several good teams under his watch, but with only the tournament champion receiving a bid and at-large bids a rarity, this is a tough postseason ticket to get.
Wesleyan (21-6) was the USA South's regular season champ and was the No. 1 seed in the tournament. Thompson, who has 10 winning seasons at NCWC - half the school's total, has a career record of 239-186. The 21 victories recorded by his squad this season is a career-best for him and three off the school record of 24.
NOTE: The NCAA announced the pairings for the Div. III Tournament Monday afternoon. NCWC's first-round game will be held in Virginia Beach as Virginia Wesleyan will host rounds 1 and 2. The Bishops will face perennial power Franklin & Marshall College (22-5) at 5:30 p.m. Friday. The host Marlins (23-4) will then face Delaware Valley College (17-10) at 7:30 with the two winners playing on Saturday for a spot in the sectionals.