Indianapolis - For the sixth straight season at least two East Coast Conference women's basketball team will compete in the NCAA Championship as St. Thomas Aquinas and NYIT were included in the bracket released on Sunday evening.
After finishing as runner-up five different times, NYIT finally won its first-ever ECC Championship earlier today to claim the league's automatic bid into the tournament. Despite never winning the ECC prior to today, the Bears are no stranger to the NCAA Championship. This is NYIT's fourth appearance in the tournament and third in the past four years.
The Bears earn the No. 8 seed in the East Region bracket, setting them up with a matchup against top-seed and host, USciences of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). The Devils are 29-2 on the season and ranked No. 4 in the latest Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II Top 25 poll. This will be the first ever matchup between the two schools.
St. Thomas Aquinas earns its third ever and second consecutive NCAA spot with an at-large bid.
The Spartans finished with a 26-4 record on the season to claim the No. 5 seed. STAC will take on No. 4 Le Moyne, champions of the NE10.
This will be just the third-ever matchup between the two schools. St. Thomas Aquinas won both previous meetings, which came in back-to-back seasons of 2011-12 and 2012-13.
The remaining matchups in the East Region bracket feature an all-NE10 matchup between top-seed No. 2 Bentley and No. 7 Saint Anselm and No. 3 Jefferson of the CACC and the NE10's No. 6 Stonehill.
Other than NYIT, St. Thomas Aquinas did not play a game vs. one of their potential NCAA opponents this season. NYIT only had one other game against a fellow East Region opponent. The Bears lost in lopsided fashion to Jefferson back in November.
Tournament play will begin at USciences in Philadelphia, Pa. with quarterfinal action on Friday, March 15. The semifinals will take place Saturday, March 16 and after a day off, the championship game will be on Monday, March 18.
To view the full 64 team bracket, click here.
2019 NCAA Division II Women's Basketball East Regional
Quarterfinals - Friday, March 15
No. 1 USciences (29-2) vs. No. 8 NYIT (23-8)
No. 2 Bentley (28-3) vs. No. 7 Saint Anselm (19-9)
No. 3 Jefferson (29-2) vs. No. 6 Stonehill (19-9)
No. 4 Le Moyne (24-5) vs. No. 5 St. Thomas Aquinas (26-4)
Semifinals – Saturday, March 16
No. 3-No. 6 winner vs. No. 2-No. 7 winner
No. 1-No. 8 winner vs. No. 4-No. 5 winner
Championship – Monday, March 18