GRANVILLE, Ohio-- The pairings for the 2017 North Coast Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament have been released and Denison University will host DePauw University in Tuesday's quarterfinal round at 7 p.m. from Livingston Gymnasium.
At 21-4 and 15-3 in the NCAC, 19th ranked Denison enters the tournament as the No. 3 seed while DePauw checks in with a 12-13 overall record after going 8-10 in conference play. Ohio Wesleyan is the No. 1 seed in this year's tournament after winning the regular season conference title with a 16-2 mark in conference play. Wooster won a tiebreaker with Denison to earn the No. 2 seed at 15-3.
Denison is in the midst of their best season in program history and is looking to repeat least year's impressive run through the NCAC Tournament. In 2016, Denison entered as the No. 4 seed and defeated Wittenberg, top-seeded Ohio Wesleyan in the semifinals and Wooster in the Championship to capture the program's first NCAA Tournament berth since 1997.
This year has been a more business-like approach for the Big Red. After an 8-0 start, the team's only speed bump was a three-game losing streak to the same three teams they dispatched from last year's conference tournament. Since the Feb. 4 loss to Wooster, Denison has won four straight, all by double-digits.
Senior post Jett Speelman leads the Big Red in scoring at 18.0 ppg and is third in the NCAC. He is shooting a team-best 46 percent from 3-point range and he leads the nation at the free throw line, shooting 96.1 percent. He needs only 22 points to join Denison's 1,000 point club.
Fellow senior, David Meurer is third in the NCAC in assists (3.7) and second in steals. He will leave Denison as the program's all-time leader in steals. He is also moving up the career scoring list. In 105 career games, he has scored 1,410 points, ranking him eighth all-time.
DePauw is riding a three-game winning streak and is led by senior guard Luke Lattner. He leads the NCAC in scoring at 20.0 ppg and is shooting 42 percent from the field. In two games versus the Big Red this season, he has averaged 18.0 ppg.
Denison has won four-straight against DePauw dating back to last season. This is the first time the two schools have met in the NCAC Tournament.
Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children, 18 and under. Individuals with NCAC guest passes and college students from non-NCAC institutions will also be charged $5. College students will a valid NCAC ID will be admitted free. There will be no pre-sale for this game. Tickets will be available at the door of Livingston Gymnasium starting at 5:30 p.m.