UW-Oshkosh is returning to the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship for the second straight season after receiving one of 21 at-large berths to the 64-team national field on Monday (Feb. 27).
The Titans begin play in the first round of the tournament against Hope College (Mich.) on Friday (March 3). Tipoff is set 7:30 p.m. (EST) at Hope College's DeVos Fieldhouse in Holland, Mich.
UW-Oshkosh (17-10) gained its at-large berth after placing second in the WIAC standings and finishing as the runner-up in the league tournament. Last season, the Titans secured the WIAC's automatic berth to the NCAA postseason by winning the league tournament.
Hope College (21-6), which also earned an at-large berth to this year's NCAA postseason, won the regular season title in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) before falling, 86-83, to Calvin College (Mich.) in the MIAA Tournament final.
Friday's other first-round contest in Holland features Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) battling Ripon College.
Washington University (20-5) is currently ranked fifth in the country by D3hoops.com, while Hope College lists 18th.
The winners of Friday's games will remain in Holland for a contest on Saturday (March 4). Second-round winners will advance to one of four sectional sites for games on March 10-11. Winners of the four sectionals will then advance to the semifinals and finals on March 17-18 in Salem, Va.
UW-Oshkosh is making its seventh NCAA postseason trip and owns a 7-6 record in their previous six appearances. UW-Oshkosh advanced to the quarterfinal round of the championship in 2003 and to the third round in 2002.
The Titans have won six of their 11 games against nationally ranked teams this season and 10 of their 14 road contests. UW-Oshkosh had its nine-game road winning streak snapped with a 60-59 loss at UW-River Falls in the WIAC Championship final.
Hope College is back in the national tournament for the second straight year and 26th overall. The Flying Dutch have compiled a 29-26 record in NCAA postseason games.
Hope College, which finished as the national runner-up in 1996 and 1998, have an 11-4 record at home this season.
In the only prior meeting between the teams, UW-Oshkosh defeated Hope College, 84-77, during the second round of the 2003 NCAA Championship in Holland.
Two-time national champion Washington University is heading to its 20th NCAA tournament. The 2008 and 2009 national champion Bears have a 32-17 mark in the NCAA postseason.
Washington University earned an automatic bid to this year's NCAA Championship after winning the University Athletic Association title with a 12-2 record.
Ripon College (20-5) is returning to the NCAA tournament for the 13th time and its first since 2002.
The Red Hawks, who sport a 5-14 record in the NCAA postseason, clinched an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament field with an 81-72 victory over Lake Forest College (Ill.) in the Midwest Conference Tournament final.
UW-Oshkosh previously appeared in the NCAA Division III Championship in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2016.