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Titans Invited To NCAA Basketball Championship

Titans Invited To NCAA Basketball Championship

The UW-Oshkosh men's basketball team received an at-large berth to the NCAA Division III Championship for the second straight season.

The Titans, making their third consecutive and eighth overall trip to the NCAA postseason, plays first-time opponent Marietta College (Ohio) on Friday (March 2) in Springfield, Ohio. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. (EST) in Wittenberg University's Pam Evans Smith Arena.

UW-Oshkosh (20-7), ranked 24th in the country by D3hoops.com, earned its at-large bid after finishing third in the WIAC and advancing to the semifinal round of the league tournament.

Marietta College (21-6), which also received one of the 21 at-large bids, tied for the Ohio Athletic Conference title before falling in the league tournament semifinals.

The other first round matchup in Springfield on Friday features third-ranked Wittenberg University (26-2) against Misericordia University (Pa.) (17-10) at 7:30 p.m. (EST).

Friday's winners will meet Saturday (March 3) at 7 p.m. (EST) for the right to advance to the third round of the national tournament.

UW-Oshkosh made previous trips to the Division III Championship in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2016 and 2017. The Titans, who reached the national quarterfinals in 2003, have a 7-7 record in the NCAA postseason.

Marietta College returns to the NCAA postseason for the fourth straight year and the seventh time overall. The Pioneers have an 8-6 record in the Division III Championship, including a trip to the third round a year ago.

UW-Oshkosh enters the national tournament ranked sixth in the country with a +9.0 average rebounding margin. The Titans are scoring 74.3 points per contest while allowing 70.3.

UW-Oshkosh junior guard Ben Boots is averaging a team-high 15.2 points, 4.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game. He paces the conference with 118 assists and a 2.23 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Sophomore center Jack Flynn, who leads the WIAC with a .638 field goal percentage, averages 13.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per contest for the Titans.

UW-Oshkosh's Adam Fravert, a junior forward, is adding 12.6 points and a team-best 7.6 rebounds per game while collecting a WIAC-leading 33 blocks.

Titan guards Brett Wittchow and Charlie Noone are chipping in 10.5 and 9.3 points per contest, respectively. Wittchow, a junior, is shooting 48.2 percent (40-83) from 3-point range while Noone, a senior, has 61 3-pointers this season and 228 during his career.

Key reserves for UW-Oshkosh include junior guard Kyle Beyak, freshman forward Connor Duax, freshman guard Sam Ebersold and sophomore guard David Vlotho. Duax contributes 3.7 points and 2.9 rebounds per contest while Ebersold and Vlotho have made 15 3-pointers apiece.

Marietta College has five players averaging more than 10 points per game and five regulars shooting better than 50 percent from the floor. The Pioneers are scoring 83.2 points per contest and yielding an average of 74.1.

Marietta College senior guard Dillon Young leads the team with 14.4 points and 3.7 assists per contest and 55 3-pointers. He's shooting 51.3 percent (134-261) from the field, including 45.8 percent (55-120) from beyond the arc.

Junior guard Kyle Dixon is averaging 13.3 points per game for the Pioneers, who also receive 13.1 points a contest from junior guard Anthony Wallace, 11.6 from junior forward Avery Williams and 10.3 from junior forward DeVaughn Wingard.

Williams is leading the squad with 7.7 rebounds per game while sophomore forward Caleb Hoyng, who averages 7.8 points per contest, is shooting a team-high 60.9 percent (84-138) from the field.

Wittenberg University, the regular season and postseason champion in the North Coast Athletic Conference, is returning to the NCAA postseason for the 28th time and first since 2014. The Tigers, won the 1977 national championship, boast a 15-0 record in Pam Evans Smith Arena this season.

Misericordia University is back in the Division III Championship for the second straight year. The Cougars, who secured the automatic berth in the MAC Freedom Conference, are seeking their first NCAA postseason win in the program's fourth appearance.

UW-Oshkosh was eliminated in the first round of the Division III Championship the past two years. The Titans suffered an 87-85 setback at Hope College (Mich.) in last year's national tournament and a 73-63 loss to Elmhurst College (Ill.) in 2016.

UW-Oshkosh Springfield Regional Media Guide

NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship • NCAA.com Website

NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship Selection Show

NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship Interactive Bracket