SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The University of New England will be the top seed in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Women's Basketball Championship Tournament for the seventh year in a row after wrapping up the Regular-Season Championship on Saturday (Feb. 17).
The Nor'easters posted a 16-2 CCC (20-5 overall) record this season and will be in search of their sixth straight CCC Tournament title.
Roger Williams, which was ranked fifth in the Northeast in the latest NCAA Division III Regional Rankings, earns the No. 2 seed with a 15-3 CCC (21-4 overall) record. The Hawks were one of two teams to defeat the top-seeded Nor'easters during the regular season.
UNE and Roger Williams will both serve as hosts for the CCC Quarterfinals with No. 3 seed Endicott and No. 4 seed Western New England hosting the other two first-round games. The Gulls claimed the third seed by finishing 14-4 in league play (16-9 overall), while the Golden Bears finished with a 12-6 conference (16-9 overall) record to secure the fourth seed.
The quarterfinal round takes place on Tuesday, Feb. 20. UNE will host No. 8 seed Eastern Nazarene, which finished the season at 6-12 in the CCC (12-13 Overall) at 7 p.m. The Hawks draw No. 7 seed Gordon, which sported a 6-12 CCC (8-17 overall) record, in their quarterfinal matchup with tip off scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Endicott will host No. 6 seed Curry, owners of an 8-10 CCC (12-13 overall) record, at 7:30 p.m. and Western New England faces off against No. 5 seed Salve Regina, which finished the regular season at 10-8 in conference (13-11) at 7 p.m.
Gordon and Eastern Nazarene had identical 6-12 league records, so the conference's tiebreaking procedure was needed to determine seeding. The first tiebreaking step offered no relief as the teams split their head-to-head matchups with each team earning a win at home. In the second step, the teams were compared based on their results against other conference teams in rank order. Neither team had a win against any of the top-four seeds and both teams went 1-1 against No. 5 seed Salve Regina. Gordon was awarded the No. 7 seed when the results against No. 6 seed Curry were compared as the Fighting Scots went 1-1 against the Colonels, while the Lions went 0-2.
The winners of the quarterfinal games will meet in the semifinal round on Thursday, Feb. 22. The winners of the UNE-Eastern Nazarene and WNE-Salve Regina games will meet in one semifinal, while the winners of the Roger Williams-Gordon and Endicott-Curry matchups will meet in the other. Start times for the semifinals will be determined following the completion of the quarterfinals.
The two semifinal winners earn a trip to the CCC Women's Basketball Championship which takes place on Saturday, Feb. 24. The winner will be named the CCC Tournament Champion will receive the conference's automatic qualifier into the 2018 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship.
(Games hosted by the higher seed)
Quarterfinals – Tuesday, Feb. 20
#8 Eastern Nazarene at #1 University of New England, 7 p.m.
#7 Gordon at #2 Roger Williams, 5:30 p.m.
#6 Curry at #3 Endicott, 7:30 p.m.
#5 Salve Regina at #4 Western New England, 7 p.m.
Semifinals – Thursday, Feb. 22
#1/8 winner vs. #4/5 winner, TBA
#2/7 winner vs. #3/6 winner, TBA
Finals – Saturday, Feb. 24
Semifinal winners at higher seed, TBA
ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE
The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of ten full member and four associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.