Watch the game online at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, March 4, 2022.
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Basketball Tournament and will face Emerson College at 3:35 p.m. on Friday in Rochester, N.Y. on the campus of Nazareth College.
The Corsairs make their 15th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history and first since 2008-09. UMassD's deepest run in the tournament came in 1992-93, when the Corsairs advanced to the Final Four.
UMass Dartmouth (24-4) earned an at-large bid following one of the most successful seasons in recent memory. The Corsairs, who are ranked second in Region II, picked up four regionally ranked wins over Tufts University (92-71), Wesleyan University (104-94), and twice over Little East Conference foe Keene State College (76-60 & 84-81). Both Wesleyan and Keene State are in the tournament along with Westfield State, who the Corsairs defeated 85-81 in an early season matchup.
An at-large selection as well, Emerson fell in the NEWMAC championship game after winning six consecutive games. The Lions have signature wins over Tufts (75-72), Keene State (88-82) and Babson (85-77), who is ranked fourth in Region II. Including Keene State and Tufts, Emerson has won all eight games against common opponents in the first-round matchup. The Lions defeated Brandeis (84-72), Plymouth State (77-74), Bridgewater State (82-69), Wheaton (81-72) and MIT twice (79-72 & 97-88).
The Corsairs have been led all year by senior point guard Marcus Azor. From Brockton, Mass., Azor leads the team in many categories (17.3 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 7.8 apg, 2.4 spg, 1.4 bpg). He is six assists away from reaching 500 in his career. Anyone can step up in any given game. Senior Adam Seablom (14.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg), graduate student Jake Ashworth (14.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg), junior Jackson Zancan (11.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and senior Sean Leahy (9.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg) round out the starting five. Key members of the team off the bench include sophomore Isaac Percy (5.8 ppg), senior Dhalyn Sanders-Dyer (4.9 ppg), junior John Martins Jr. (3.9 ppg) and sophomore center Mike Eurquhart (3.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.0 bpg).
Four players score in double figures for the Lions, led by senior Jarred Houston, who stands at 6'10. Houston scores 18.6 ppg, pulls down 14.4 rpg, swats 3.4 bpg and dishes out 2.9 apg to lead the team. Senior Zach Waterhouse (15.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg), junior Max Davis (13.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg) and senior Nate Martin (11.5 ppg) are all in double figures as well.
Host institution Nazareth and Westfield State will play the late game at 6:05 p.m. The Golden Flyers make their ninth NCAA Tournament in program history after automatically qualifying with weekend wins over St. John Fisher and Utica. Nazareth's 2021-22 season has included some historic milestones, including a 17-game winning streak and a record-equaling 23 wins. Westfield State is making its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance after winning the championship of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 80-66 win over Worcester State. The Owls will bring a 10-game winning streak into tournament play.