The Big Red men's basketball team will open the 2014 North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament on Tuesday night in Springfield, Ohio. Denison, who garnered the sixth seeded in the tournament, will take on third-seeded and nationally-ranked Wittenberg at 7:30 p.m.
DU secured the sixth seed in this year's tournament after going 8-10 in conference play, while Wittenberg finished the regular season in a three-way tie for second place with a 13-5 mark. After the ties with Ohio Wesleyan and DePauw were broken, the Tigers landed in the third spot in the seeding.
The two teams split the regular season series with each team notching victories on the road. Wittenberg handed DU a 97-69 loss in Granville on Dec .14. Denison returned the favor on Feb. 1 when they knocked off the then 18th-ranked Tigers on their home court, 63-30. The Big Red is one of just three teams this season to pick up a win over Wittenberg in Springfield. In their last tournament meeting, Denison upset the top-seeded Tigers in the semifinals of the 2012 NCAC Tournament, 66-58. That win snapped a six-game skid against Wittenberg in the postseason.
Denison is led by 2013 second-team All-NCAC honoree, Alex Longi. Longi ranks fourth in the league in scoring, averaging 15.4 points per game, is second in assists (85), fifth in assist/turnover ratio (1.6), sixth in field-goal percentage (.516) and 10th in rebounding (6.0).
Junior Brad Woolard and freshman David Meurer are also averaging double figures. Woolard is averaging 13.1 points and 5.3 rebounds a night, while Meurer is scoring 11.8 points per contest. The freshman guard also ranks second in the NCAC in steals with 41, fifth in free throw percentage (.804) and sixth in assists (71). Junior Briggs King leads the Big Red in rebound, averaging 7.1 boards per game.
Tip-off from Springfield, Ohio is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Feb. 25) and tickets will be $7 for adults and $5 for children, students without a valid NCAC ID and anyone with an NCAC guest pass. Any NCAC student with a valid ID will be admitted free of charge.