With the 2012-13 regular season officially in the books, this year’s North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament field is now set.
With the NEAC having North and South Divisional play in men’s basketball, the top two teams from each division advanced to the playoffs, with the fifth and final team being decided by the winner of the regular season crossover contest between the two teams that ultimately finished in third place in each respective division.
The defending champion Morrisville State College Mustangs, who finished the regular season with a 13-2 record in the NEAC and were 19-5 overall, won their second straight NEAC North Division regular season title and earned the right to host this weekend’s tournament.
Also advancing to the tournament from the North Division is the Wells College Express, who defeated Keuka College 74-64 in their final regular season contest Saturday to secure the second playoff spot from the North with an 8-7 conference record (12-13 overall).
The remaining three teams making it to the five-team tournament will come from the South Division. The Penn State Berks Nittany Lions finished atop the division with an 11-3 conference record, while closing the regular season at 13-11 overall. The Penn State Abington Nittany Lions claimed second place in the South with a 10-4 NEAC record (12-13 overall).
Rounding out the South teams to make the tournament were the Penn State Harrisburg Nittany Lions, who secured the final playoff spot by finishing third in the division with an 8-6 conference record (11-14 overall), while also defeating the North’s third place team, Keuka College, 80-72 during the two teams’ crossover contest on January 13.
Abington will now host Harrisburg in the tournament’s quarterfinal game Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. Both teams split the regular season series as Abington took first draw, defeating Harrisburg 113-105 in two overtimes at home. In the second rival matchup, Harrisburg used their home court to its advantage, snapping Abington's eight-game winning streak with a 104-73 victory.
The winner will then advance to take on Morrisville State in the semifinal round of the tournament, which is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. Berks and Wells will then square off at Morrisville in Saturday’s other semifinal round game at 4 p.m.
The winner of each semifinal contest will move on to compete in the championship game on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. in Morrisville. The champion will earn an automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
The full men’s basketball championship tournament schedule is as follows:
- Quarterfinal Game - Tuesday, Feb. 19
Game 1: Penn State Harrisburg @ Penn State Abington – 7 p.m.
- Semifinals @ Morrisville State - Saturday, Feb. 23
Game 2 (2 p.m.): Morrisville State vs. winner of Game 1 (Harrisburg/Abington)
Game 3 (4 p.m.): Penn State Berks vs. Wells College
- Championship @ Morrisville State - Sunday, Feb. 24
Game 4 (2 p.m.): Winner of Game 2 vs. Winner of Game 3
Information courtesy of Jeff Dobbin/ Sports Information Director, Penn State Abington