Courtesy of CNU Athletic Communications
FORT WAYNE, IN - The Madness of March rolls on as Christopher Newport and Swarthmore face each other Friday night for the right to play for a National Championship. Game time is set for 6:00 p.m. at Allan County War Memorial Coliseum.
The Captains, 29-3 and riding a 13-game winning streak, arrived in Fort Wayne Wednesday night. CNU held a practice Thursday morning at the Coliseum and appears to still be riding high after back-to-back victories last weekend in Clinton, NY, over Hamilton and Williams to advance to the National Semifinals.
"We had a really good practice Wednesday morning before we left and another good workout today at the Coliseum," Head Coach John Krikorian said. "This is a special spot to be in for any program, and we're focused on playing well and continuing the effort we've been putting forward."
CNU, ranked ninth in the country, will play the sixth-ranked Garnet of Swarthmore for the second time in history. Christopher Newport posted a 77-67 victory in the NCAA Tournament two seasons ago over Swarthmore to advance to the Sweet 16. The Garnet has a 28-3 mark heading into Friday night's first semifinal.
Christopher Newport is making its second appearance in the Final Four in the last four years. The Captains were 30-2 in 2015-16 and advanced to the National Semifinals, losing to St. Thomas (MN) in Salem, Va. This is CNU's 23rd NCAA appearance in the 52-year history over the program, and the Captains are now 22-23 all-time in NCAA games.
Following the CNU-Swarthmore battle, fourth-ranked UW-Oshkosh (27-3) and Wheaton (23-8) will meet at 8:00 p.m. in the second semifinal with Friday's winners advancing to the National Championship on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
The four teams still playing in Division III men's basketball were treated to a banquet Thursday night, and the squads will have shooting sessions Friday morning as they make final preparations at the Coliseum.
Christopher Newport is led by senior Marcus Carter, who was honored on Thursday with his second career All-American recognition. Carter is just 12 points away from Conley Taylor for fourth place on CNU's all-time scoring list, and has averaged 21.5 points per game in the four NCAA victories for the Captains over the last two weekends. Carter has tallied 1,809 career points, and has set a new school mark for career games as he will appear in his 125th Friday night, and is expected to start for the 118th time.
Swarthmore has four players scoring in double figures, led by senior guard Cam Wiley, who averages 14.7 points per game. Both teams have been tremendous defensively this season, with Swarthmore allowing just 62.8 points per game and the Captains giving up an average of only 63.1. The Garnet have held their opposition under the 60-point mark 14 times, while the Captains have done the same 13 times.
All CNU games are broadcast live on the Christopher Newport/Pepsi Radio Network (Xtra 99.1 FM) with Friday's pre-game show beginning at 5:30 p.m. Live video and stats will also be available on CNUsports.com/watch.
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