#9 VWC (27-5) vs. #8 UW-Stevens Point (25-5)
When: March 20, 8 p.m.
Where: Salem Civic Center, Salem, Va
What you need to know:
The University of Wisconsin Stevens Point comes into the Final Four matchup as the No.8 ranked team in the nation. They also own the No.1 ranked defense in the nation, allowing 54.5 points per game. Just last weekend in the Elite Eight, the Pointers suffocating defense held East Texas Baptist to 28 points for the entire game, an NCAA Division III tournament record. In their four wins in the NCAA tournament so far, the Pointers defense has allowed an average of 47.5 points per game and have yet to allow an opponent score over 60 points in a game. Anchoring the best defense in the nation are four seniors, Alex Richard, Austin Ryf, Joe Ritchay and Jordan Lutz, all of whom lead UW-Stevens Point in points per game, field goals made and scoring average. Leading the team is Alex Richard, who has 372 points and an average of 12.4 points per game this season. The Pointers are also an excellent free throw shooting team, averaging 73.4% from the the free throw line this season. UW-Stevens Point is not an offensive team however. The Pointers are only averaging 66.2 points per game this season, which places them as the 295 best offense in the country. They do have a solid three point game though, as they boast a 40.3% three point field goal average on the season, best for No.12 in the nation.
Virginia Wesleyan enters the game as the No.9 ranked team in the nation. The Marlins are coming off the heels of one of the most important wins in program history, defeating Randolph-Macon, the No.1 ranked team in the nation and their ODAC rival, 49-47 in the Elite Eight last Saturday. Offensively, the Marlins are significantly better than than the Pointers, averaging 77.9 points per game, best for No.44 in the nation. The Marlins are led by sophomore guard Khory Moore, who is averaging 17.3 points per game. While Moore has been a big factor in the Marlins run so far, senior Greg Montgomery, who is averaging 12.8 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game, which leads the team, will have to maintain a strong presence in the paint against a stout Pointers defense. VWC also comes into the matchup with one of the best three point offenses in the country, making an average of 9.6 three point field goals per game, No.15 best in the country. In their 32 games this season, VWC has made 306 three point field goals, fifth best in the nation.
– UW-Stevens Point has never lost in the Salem Civic Center.
– The Pointers have won national titles in 2004, 2005 and 2010.
– The Pointers are 4-2 versus ranked opponents this year.
– UW-Stevens Point has not played at a neutral venue all year.
– Virginia Wesleyan won a national title in 2006.
– VWC has never lost in the Final Four round.
– VWC is the only team remaining to not have played a home playoff game.