Division II Men's Basketball Championship: What to Watch in the Elite Eight
Five Players to Watch
Lincoln Memorial's Gerel Simmons, 6-2, senior, averaged 20.6 points, 4.1 rebounds
Western Oregon's Andy Avgi, 6-6, senior, averaged 20.0 points, 5.6 rebounds
Augustana's Daniel Jansen, 6-9, senior, averaged 20.7 points, 7.4 rebounds
Tarleton State's EJ Reed, 6-6, senior, averaged 17.3 points, 6.7 rebounds
West Liberty's Seger Bonifant, 6-7, senior, 25.0 points, 5.1 rebounds
No. 1 seed Lincoln Memorial
Finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the NABC coaches poll. The Railsplitters have defeated opponents by an average of 20.2 points. Best three-point shooting team in the country at 44.6 percent
No. 2 seed Augustana
Vikings making their first trip to the Elite Eight. Jansen and senior Casey Schilling have each scored over 2,000 points. Vikings have the best assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.92-to-1.
No. 3 seed Western Oregon
Making its first trip to the Elite Eight in just its second overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Recorded its second 30-win season in school history. All five starters average in double figures.
No. 4 seed West Liberty
Making its fifth appearance in the Elite Eight in the last six years. Scored over 100 points 14 times this season. Seger Bonifant is the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,223 points.
No. 5 seed Stonehill
The Skyhawks are making their third trip to the Elite Eight, first since 2012. In 2012, Stonehill beat West Liberty 91-90 in the quarterfinals. Stonehill is the top free throw shooting team of the teams at the Elite Eight at 75.6 percent.
No. 6 seed Saginaw Valley
First back-to-back, 20-win seasons since they had seven straight in the 1990s. Saginaw Valley became the second straight team to reach the Elite Eight in its first NCAA Division II Tournament. Azusa Pacific did it last year. Junior C.J. Turnage is shooting 54.9 percent from the field.
No. 7 seed Tarleton State
The only returning team from last year’s Elite Eight. Last year Tarleton State lost in the semifinals to Indiana (Pa.). Ranked sixth in the nation in field goal percentage defense, limiting opponents to 39.5 percent from the field.
No. 8 seed Barry
Twenty-six victories is a school record. Senior Yunio Barrueta is averaging 24.3 points, ranking him ninth in Division II. Barry led the nation in assists, averaging 20.9 per game.