Men’s Basketball Garners At-Large Bid to NCAA Tournament
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – It was good news for the MIT men's basketball team on Monday when the Engineers heard their name called as the recipient of an at large bid to the 2013 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament. It will be the fifth consecutive season that MIT has played in the tournament, which includes a memorable run to the NCAA Final Four a year ago. The Engineers, ranked No. 24 in the final regular season poll by D3hoops.com, will play a first round game on Saturday, March 2 at No. 12 ranked St. Mary's College in Maryland.
MIT finished the season with a 20-5 record, the fifth straight and the sixth time in the last eight seasons the Engineers have reached the 20-win plateau. Senior Will Tashman (Atherton, Calif.) led MIT down the stretch, winning three of the final four New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference Player of the Week awards. Averaging a double-double with his 16.0 ppg and 10.8 rpg averages and the NEWMAC leader in rebounding, Tashman bumped his averages up to 19.6 points and 12.7 rebounds over the last nine games, which included a season best eight-game win streak to close out the regular season. The MIT career leader in rebounds, Tashman became the first MIT player to reach 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career this season.
Another 1,000-point career scorer, senior Mitchell Kates (Colts Neck, N.J.) leads MIT in steals and assists and comes into the NCAA Tournament second on the team in scoring with his 14.8 ppg average. He is also the MIT career record holder in assists and steals. Sophomore Matt Redfield (Los Altos, Calif.) was selected as the NEWMAC Player of the Week twice this season and was also effective over the last nine games during which he averaged 10.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. Freshman Justin Pedley (Kennewick, Wash.) found the range with his three-point shot in MIT's season-ending surge, hitting over 46 percent of his attempts and averaging 10.7 points over the span.
MIT will face a St. Mary's College team that finished 24-3 and is making its fifth overall, and fourth straight, NCAA Tournament appearance. The Seahawks garnered a spot on this year's bracket after capturing the 2013 Capital Athletic Conference championship title with a 79-78 overtime win over Wesley College. St. Mary's owns an 8-4 record in NCAA tournament play and advanced to the Elite Eight in 2011. St. Mary's has four players averaging in double figures in scoring, led by sophomore Nick LaGuerre who averages 13.1 points a game and is shooting 44.8 percent from three-point range and averaging 3.8 assists. Junior Donn Hill, senior Devin Spencer and junior Brendan McFall also average in double-figures for the Seahawks, who are undefeated at home this season at 13-0.
MIT and St. Mary's will square off on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. in the Michael P. O'Brien Athletics & Recreation Center Arena on the St. Mary's campus.