The ball was tipped. And right here we’re. Simply eight groups stay in every of the DII males’s and girls’s basketball tournaments. By the point we meet once more subsequent week within the DII Report, we’ll have two new nationwide champions.
The DII Elite Eight kicks off this week, the boys from Indiana and the ladies from Ohio. Make sure you get caught up on all of the motion thus far, plus each thrilling second from the DII Elite Eight in our reside blogs right here: FOLLOW THE TOURNEYS: Males’s | Ladies’s
There are different sports activities being performed that we’ll must examine in on, in addition to the DII swimming and diving championships from Birmingham, Alabama (you may recap that motion right here). So take a break from the Insanity and get caught up on this week’s DII Report.
5 matchups to look at within the DII Males’s and Ladies’s Elite Eight
Let’s face actuality. Each recreation goes to be an excellent one at this level. However there are some participant matchups and staff matchups that you must ensure you do not miss. Fortunately, you will not need to: You’ll be able to stream each recreation of the quarterfinals proper right here at NCAA.com. The lads’s and girls’s semifinals will likely be broadcasted on CBS Sports activities Community.
1. Northwest Missouri State vs. West Liberty — 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 24
What do the Bearcats do as an encore? The Northwest Missouri State/Northern State Central Area ultimate was among the best DII school basketball video games in latest lore. In the event that they wish to beat the high-tempo Hilltoppers, the Bearcats might need to do it once more.
This was one of many matchups we hoped to see within the preseason. The Hilltoppers offense averages 102 factors per recreation, and Dalton Bolon and Pat Robinson contribute 42 of these factors an evening. I might argue that few are pretty much as good because the Bearcats in forcing groups to play at Northwest’s tempo. Simply take a look at what they did to an excellent Washburn staff that was the one staff to beat them this 12 months. Will probably be attention-grabbing to see which dictates the result of the sport: the poise and expertise of the Bearcats or the high-octane scoring machine that the Hilltoppers are.
2. Drury vs. Charleston (WV) — Midday ET on Tuesday, March 23
Drury is Elite Eight regulars. Charleston hasn’t been right here in 15 years. Not solely is that this the Golden Eagles first time to the DII Ladies’s Elite Eight since 2006, they’re the primary Mountain East Convention staff to make it… ever. This staff is actually, actually good. They common 81.9 per night time and permit simply 64.8, together with holding Glenville State — a staff that led DII averaging 98.4 factors per recreation — underneath 87 factors in all three matchups. Brooklyn Pannell was second in DII in scoring and Erykah Russell averaged a double-double as one in all DII’s best duos.
After which there are the Panthers. You realize, the staff that has misplaced two video games up to now three seasons? This staff is equally balanced, scoring 84.6 and permitting 63.5 factors per recreation. Three gamers rating in double figures and pull down no less than 4 rebounds per recreation, so as soon as once more Drury has a deep staff. Paige Robinson is the star, main the staff in scoring, steals and assists. However how about these steals? Drury has 293 this season, with six gamers recording 31 or extra. Like I mentioned, one other deep staff.
3. Andrew Sischo vs. West Texas A&M’s harmful duo — 3:45 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 24
I am not taking something away from the remainder of Daemen’s lineup or West Texas A&M’s supporting solid. However merely put, Andrew Sischo, Joel Murray and Qua Grant are three of one of the best gamers in DII males’s basketball for 3 years operating. Having all three on the identical court docket goes to be enjoyable.
Maybe nothing was extra compelling than Sischo falling to the ground all by himself as Daemen rushed the court docket in its thrilling victory over rival St. Thomas Aquinas. The Daemen Wildcats are very a lot who they’re due to Sischo. He is averaged 21.3 factors and 10.5 rebounds in his profession and has made Daemen a part of the nationwide dialog the previous three seasons. With a game-high of 25 factors and 13 rebounds, Sischo and Daemen are discovering their method to the DII Elite Eight.
For Murray and Grant, it is enterprise as ordinary. The 2 led West Texas A&M to the final DII Elite Eight performed as freshmen, and earned the No. 1 seed within the South Central final 12 months when play was halted. This season, the Buffs seem like an unstoppable pressure, simply profitable each video games to earn one more Elite Eight start. Collectively, Murray and Grant are liable for 46 factors and 15 rebounds per recreation with 73 steals within the Buffs fast-paced assault.
4. Lander vs. Azusa Pacific — 2:45 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 23
We all know Lander has been nice all 12 months, however extra on the Bearcats in a second. First, let’s check out Azusa Pacific.
Three groups return to the DII Ladies’s Elite Eight from the earlier one performed: the Drury Panthers, Lubbock Christian and these Azusa Pacific Cougars. But it surely wasn’t these Cougars per se, as just one starter returns from that staff. Azusa got here out of the gates slowly, shedding three in a row and form of falling off the radar till discovering one other gear within the West Area bracket. Now, the Cougars are rolling, with 5 starters averaging double figures.
Reverse them is Lander. The Bearcats have misplaced only one recreation this season and it was to a sensational North Georgia staff by a mere two factors. The identical North Georgia staff in addition they beat twice this season, together with a dominant and spectacular 19-point victory within the South Area finals. Zamiya Passmore — who leads the staff in scoring — and Makaila Cange — who averages a double-double — make this a really intriguing matchup.
5. Colorado Faculty of Mines protection in opposition to Lincoln Memorial’s offense — 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 24
Each of those groups are deep and loaded with expertise, so there is no such thing as a benefit there. Each play totally different types of basketball, and that would make for one of many extra attention-grabbing matchups within the spherical of eight.
The Mines completed third in DII, permitting a mere 60.5 factors per recreation. Lincoln Memorial averaged the fifth-most factors per recreation, scoring 92.8. The Railsplitters additionally led DII in margin of victory, blowing out opponents by 22.8 factors per recreation. Now, Lincoln Memorial closed out the common season on a low observe, having to cancel 5 video games and going 1-2 earlier than foregoing the SAC event as effectively. They returned unscathed by the layoff, completely dominating their method to the Elite Eight. Mines smothering protection was the story to its West Area victory, holding each opponents to simply 52 factors. Will probably be enjoyable to look at which staff’s type prevails.
Diamonds within the tough: Across the DII baseball horn
Let’s have a look round DII baseball at only a few of the standout performances. There have been some Kings of the Okay on show this previous week in DII baseball.
- Riley Martin has come out crimson scorching for the Quincy Hawks. He is struck out no less than 11 in every of his three begins, together with 16 on Friday, which was additionally his birthday. The efficiency made Martin the Hawks all-time chief in strikeouts.
- Colorado Mesa’s Andrew Morris is approaching robust. After placing out 14 in a complete-game victory on Friday, Morris has 43 strikeouts in simply 23 innings pitched this 12 months. That is 16.8 per 9.
- Concordia-St. Paul pitched a pair of shutouts in opposition to Minnesota Duluth, one week after the Bulldogs opened the season tossing a pair of shutouts. Griffin Lapp of the Golden Bears tossed eight four-hit innings, placing out 10 and strolling none.
- Angelo State’s ace Trent Baker tossed one more gem, this one a complete-game shutout, placing out eight whereas not issuing a free move. Baker improved to 5-0 with a 1.82 ERA.
- Zach Parish of Missouri Southern additionally improved to 5-0 on the season, twirling one other dandy whereas placing out 11. The Lions misplaced one later this weekend, however nonetheless seem like a tricky staff within the early going.
- West Florida retains rolling. Evan Floyd went the gap in Sport 1 of a double-header sweep Saturday, placing out 11 whereas enhancing to — watch for it — 5-0. He was assisted by Dylan Menhennett who launched a pair of residence runs within the 3-2 victory.
However let’s not overlook the hitting performances both.
- Trailing 2-0 within the ultimate inning, Mercyhurst’s Josh Surowiec got here up with the bases loaded. With one swing, they had been empty and the Lakers had been winners.
A take a look at the WALK OFF GRAND SLAM! pic.twitter.com/6dEelIKHkW
— Mercyhurst Baseball (@HurstBaseball) March 20, 2021
- Central Missouri is again on monitor and Garrett Pennington is crimson scorching. On this previous weekend’s sweep of Emporia State, Pennington prolonged his hitting streak to 11 video games — recording no less than one RBI in 9 of these — with a two-home run efficiency on Saturday.
- Osvaldo Tovalin had a giant weekend as Azusa Pacific stayed scorching in a four-game sweep of Biola. The Cougars scored 42 runs and Tovalin led the way in which with eight hits and 11 RBI over the weekend.
- Lenoir-Rhyne continues to pour on the runs. The Bears swept one other weekend collection, scoring 20 runs in each video games. On their present six-game profitable streak, the Bears have scored 90 runs on 95 hits. That is 15 runs per recreation, individuals!
Mount Olive received one of the best of North Greenville on Saturday in a matchup of two of our preseason top-10 groups. The Trojans swept the double-header with ace Hunter Stevens enhancing to — you guessed it — 5-0 to shut it out. The 2 powerhouses meet Sunday in one other double-header.
How about Seton Hill? Not solely are the Griffins an ideal 7-0, they’ve beat some stiff competitors to take action. Final weekend it was a 13-6 victory over top-25 Millersville. This weekend, they took the primary recreation from Ashland on Saturday. Via seven video games, the Griffins’ top-three hitters — Tommy Pellis, Derek Orndorff and Jack Oberdorf — are hitting .438 with seven residence runs and 26 RBI. Not too shabby.
DII soccer by the numbers
This is a fast take a look at some spectacular numbers from the previous weekend’s spring soccer schedule.
3 — Speeding touchdowns by Ken Avent in Catawba’s loss to Newberry. Avent piled up 112 yards and people three scores to account for the entire Indians scoring within the 28-21 loss to the Wolves. His counterpart — Newberry’s Mario Anderson — ran for 111 yards and a landing himself.
4 — Seconds remaining on the clock when Limestone’s Jerko’ya Patton punched within the game-winning landing. It was the senior’s second rating of the day to associate with a career-high 151 yards.
4-0 — Texas-Permian Basin continued its greatest begin in program historical past with a 17-2 victory over Texas A&M-Kingsville. MJ Hyperlink had 5 receptions for 156 yards and two scores to cleared the path.
138 — Yards dashing by Tabyus Taylor. Notre Dame (OH) has a brand new head coach and new star operating again in Taylor, however appear to pump out the identical outcomes. Taylor led the way in which a second week in a row, including two touchdowns because the Falcons improved to 2-0.
151 — Complete yards Ohio Dominican held Walsh to in a 17-0 victory. The Panthers allowed simply eight first downs, together with none on the bottom and a mere 29 web yards dashing.
156 — Yards Josh Mercer piled up on simply 11 carries in Missouri Southern’s first recreation of spring soccer. Mercer additionally scored a landing and pulled in a giant 38-yard catch.
200 — Complete yards for Gannon’s Melvin Banks regardless of a loss to Davenport. Banks ran for 142 yards whereas pulling in a 58-yard catch. He additionally scored a landing on the day.
510 — Complete yards by Lenoir-Rhyne because the Bears improved to 2-0 in a 44-13 victory. Grayson Willingham was again underneath middle throwing for 309 yards and two TD as Deondre Lester reeled in eight receptions for 144 of these yards and one of many touchdowns. Freshmen Dwayne McGee had one other spectacular efficiency, dashing for 192 yards and three scores.