COLUMBUS, Ohio — Following a Cinderella run through the 2018 Great Midwest Athletic Conference Tournament that culminated with the program's first conference championship in NCAA Division II, Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team will take on top-seeded Ferris State (32-1) in an NCAA Midwest Regional game at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 10 in Big Rapids, Michigan, the NCAA announced through its selection show Sunday night.
The Panthers (20-10, 12-8 G-MAC) were featured in the NCAA's field of 64 after a remarkable run in the G-MAC Tournament earned the program a conference title and automatic NCAA Championship bid in its first year of competition in the Great Midwest.
ODU enters the tournament as one of the hottest teams in the country, winners of eight-straight and 12 of its last 13. After closing the regular season with an overall mark of 17-10, Ohio Dominican reeled off three wins over higher-seeded teams in the G-MAC Tournament, which was hosted at the University of Findlay.
On Thursday, the Panthers topped fourth-seeded Malone in the conference quarterfinals by a final mark of 87-74 before a remarkable win over No. 11 and top-seeded Findlay in the semifinals on Friday night. With the game tied at 66, sophomore Michael Scott (Hebron, Kentucky) scored on a buzzer-beating layup following a steal and assist from sophomore Ryan Hoyng (Celina, Ohio) to lift ODU to a 68-66 win over the top-seeded Oilers in front of a packed Croy Gymnasium.
The Panthers then cruised to a wire-to-wire 71-53 win over third-seeded Hillsdale in the conference championship to earn the right to play on.
"I don't even think it's sunk in for many of us what this means and what it means for our program long term, where we've come from and where we are today," said Ohio Dominican head coach Dan Evans following the G-MAC championship win. "For this group to have made this happen, to remain committed to the things that we talk about, that we preach, that's the reason we're here."
Contact: Aaron McPherson