University of the District of Columbia Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams Both Earn 2012 NCAA Division II Tournament Bids

WASHINGTON, DC – The University of the District of Columbia men's and women's basketball teams have both earned bids to compete in their respective 2012 NCAA Division II basketball tournaments.

Eighth-year head coach Lester Butler, Jr. has the UDC women's basketball team headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in his career and the fifth time in the program's history. The Firebirds, who return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009, have earned a No. 8 seed in the 2012 East Regional.

District of Columbia (21-6) will square off against the No. 1 seed and East Regional Tournament host, Bentley University in the first round of the eight-team event on Friday, March 9th, 2012 at 6 p.m. The Falcons, who were also the top-seed and host of last year's East Regional Tournament, are ranked No. 6 in the nation and are 24-3 overall this season.

The Firebirds, who have been associated with three different regions during their rich history, are making their first appearance as a member of the East Region. The deepest run by a UDC team came in 1989 when the Firebirds advanced to the Elite Eight, losing to eventual champion, Delta State. They also reached the NCAA Tournament from the old South Atlantic (now Southeast) in 1988 and 1989, and the old East (now Atlantic) in 1995 and 2009.

See the Women's Basketball East Regional schedule below.

The UDC men's basketball team was selected to compete in its first NCAA Tournament since 1987, as the Firebirds earned a No. 7 seed in the 2012 East Regional Tournament.

This marks the fourth NCAA Tournament bid in the history of UDC men's basketball, with the three previous trips all coming under recent inaugural UDC Hall of Fame inductee, Wil Jones. The Firebirds won the NCAA Division II men's basketball title in 1982 and were the runner-up the following year in 1983. They returned to the NCAA Tournament in the 1986-87 season, but were eliminated with two straight losses. UDC is 9-3 all-time in NCAA Tournament play.

UDC (22-5) will square off against No. 2 seed Stonehill on Saturday, March 10th at 2:30 p.m. in the first round of the eight-team East Regional event hosted by top-seeded Franklin Pierce. The Skyhawks finished the season 21-8 overall and claimed the Northeast-10 Tournament championship as a No. 3 seed.

Head coach Jeff Ruland, who has transformed UDC from a  1-20 team in 2009-10 into a No. 23 nationally-ranked Division II power, makes his NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Tournament debut. The former Iona College coach took the Gaels to three Division I NCAA Men's Basketball Tournaments in a nine-year span.

 

NCAA DIVISION II WOMEN'S BASKETBALL EAST REGIONAL

At Bentley University, Waltham, Mass.

 

QUARTERFINALS - FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2012

#3 Dowling (22-6) vs. #6 Holy Family (24-7), 12:00 noon

#2 Southern Connecticut St. (24-5) vs.  #7 C.W. Post (21-9), 2:30 pm

#1 Bentley (27-3) vs. #8 District of Columbia (21-6), 6 pm

#4 Pace (20-8) vs. #5 Franklin Pierce (19-9), 8:30 pm

 

SEMIFINALS – SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2011

#3-#6 winner vs. #2-#7 winner, 5:00 pm

#1-#8 winner vs. #4-#5 winner, 7:30 pm

 

CHAMPIONSHIP – MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2011

7:00 pm

 

  

NCAA DIVISION II MEN'S BASKETBALL EAST REGIONAL

At Assumption College (hosted by Franklin Pierce), Worcester, Mass.

 

QUARTERFINALS - SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

#3 Adelphi (20-8) vs. #6 C.W. Post (23-5), 12:00 noon

#2 Stonehill (21-8) vs. #7 UDC (22-5), 2:30 pm

#1 FPU (21-7) vs. #8 Philadelphia (19-9), 6 pm

#4 UML (19-10) vs. #5 Bloomfield (24-7), 8:30 pm

 

SEMIFINALS – SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 2011

#3-#6 winner vs. #2-#7 winner, 5:00 pm

#1-#8 winner vs. #4-#5 winner, 7:30 pm

 

CHAMPIONSHIP – TUESDAY, MARCH 12, 2011

7:00 pm