posted February 28, 2011

Flying Dutchmen Headed to Illinois for Opening Weekend

The MIAA champion Flying Dutchmen are headed to Illinois for a first round game in the 61-team NCAA Division III men's basketball championships.

The first and second round games will be played at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. On Friday, Hope (22-6) will meet Hanover, Ind. (19-7) at 5:30 p.m. and followed by host Augustana (24-3) against Webster, Mo. (20-6).

The Friday winners will meet Saturday at 7 p.m. for the right to advance to the 16-team Sectional to be held March 11-12. The Final Four will be held in Salem, Va. on March 18-19. * The Flying Dutchmen were the regular season and tournament champions of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). The team will be appearing in the NCAA Division III championships for the sixth straight year and the 22nd time in school history. Hope finished third in the 2008 tournament and was national runnerup in 1996 and 1998. Friday's game will be Hope's 50th in the NCAA championship. Under first-year coach Matt Neil the Flying Dutchmen have won 20 of their last 22 games after getting off to a 2-4 start. * Appearing in the tournament for the sixth time in school history and the first time since 2005, Hanover is in the tournament as an at-large entry after finishing second in the Heartland Conference. Hope, in its 109-year basketball history, has never played Hanover.

* Augustana is in the tournament for the 12th time in school history and the first time since 2008. Out of the Collegiate Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW), Augustana has made four trips to the final four.

* Webster last appeared in the tournament in 2002 and will be making its third appearance in school history seeking its first-ever NCAA win.