With a field of teams that could give it a feel of a final four more than the opening nights of a national tournament, Hope College has been selected to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division III women's basketball championships this coming weekend (March 4-5). The Flying Dutch received an at-large berth to the 64-team field and have been rewarded as a host site. The teams coming to Hope's DeVos Fieldhouse on Friday and Saturday bring credentials unrivaled at any of the other tournament sites.
Denison (28-0) versus Washington-St. Louis (20-5), 5:15 p.m.
Hope (26-2) versus DePauw (25-3), 7:30 p.m.
The Friday winners will meet Saturday night at 7 p.m.
Tickets for each day are $8 for adults and $4 for students through the DeVos Fieldhouse ticket office.
* Washington University of St. Louis is the defending national champion having beaten Hope in last year's title game. The Bears have won five national championships and are appearing in the tournament for a 22nd consecutive year. Last year Washington defeated Hope 65-59 in the national championship game. Earlier this season Hope defeated Washington 49-47 on a neutral court.
* The host Flying Dutch have won two national championships, the last in 2006. Hope is making its 13th appearance in the tournament and will bring a 76-game home floor winning streak into the weekend, the longest in Division III.
* DePauw won the national championship in 2007 with victories during their title run over Hope and Washington-St. Louis. This is DePauw's eighth straight appearance in the tournament and the 12th in school history.
* Denison (28-0) is one of two undefeated teams in the field. The Big Red is making its seventh appearance in the tournament, the fifth in six years.
MIAA rival Calvin has also been selected to host a first-second round tournament set. The tournament's bracket is set up in a way that Hope and Calvin could advance to a fourth meeting of the teams in the Sectional final the weekend of March 11-12.