Men's Basketball To Host Curry In NCAA Tournament Game - Ticket Info.

February 25, 2013

The Middlebury College men's basketball team will makes its sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance when they host a first-round game on Saturday, March 2nd at 7:00 p.m. in Pepin Gym. The Panthers will battle Curry (21-7) with the winner advancing to next Saturday’s second-round against the winner of the Cortland/Elms contest. Tickets are priced at $6 for adults, $3 for students and will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 26th. CLICK HERE to purchase online. You may also call 802-443-6433 or stop by the McCullough or Mahaney box offices during normal business hours. 

Middlebury is making its sixth consecutive trip to the tournament, earning an at-large bid after falling in the NESCAC semifinals. The Panthers had advanced to the NESCAC title game in the previous four years, with championships in ’09 and ’11.

Middlebury is 6-5 in NCAA play, playing in the first round in ’08, while taking part in the second round in ’09. The Panthers hosted a regional in ’10, falling in the regional final to Rhode Island College, 75-59. Two years ago, the team made its first trip to the final four, topping Western Connecticut at home 79-53 before heading to Rochester for a sectional. The Panthers topped the host school 61-52, before defeating St. Mary’s 65-50 to advance to the final four in Virginia. Middlebury faced St. Thomas in the semifinals, falling 59-57.

A year ago, Middlebury hosted and won an NCAA Regional, topping Morrisville 75-49 and Albertus Magnus, 89-73. The following weekend the school hosted an NCAA Sectional for the first time. Middlebury was eliminated in their sweet 16 game, falling to Scranton, 58-55.

Middlebury is currently ranked seventh in the latest D3Hoops.com poll. The Panthers are second in the NESCAC with 79.6 points/game and a .496 field goal percentage. Middlebury dropped just three games this season, two of them coming in overtime (104-101 3OT vs. Amherst, 87-80 L in OT vs. Williams in NESCAC semifinals) and the other by a point on the road (64-63 @ Williams).

Nolan Thompson is the NESCAC’s Defensive Player of the Year. The senior has shut down numerous opponent’s top scorers and was recently recognized with the honor. He is third on the team with 12.5 points/game, while tying for the team-lead with 5.3 rebounds/contest. The first-team All-NESCAC selection shoots 50% from the floor and became a 1,000-point scorer earlier this season.

Junior guard Joey Kizel is a two-time first-team All-NESCAC selection who is three points shy of 1,000. He is second on the squad with 14.0 points/contest, while his 5.0 assists/game are second on the team and fifth in the NESCAC. Kizel paces the squad and is second in the league with 1.8 steals/game, while shooting 48.9% from the floor.

Senior forward Peter Lynch has taken great strides this season, leading the league and ranking fourth in the county with a .643 field goal percentage. Lynch paces the team in scoring with 15.4 points/game, while tying Thompson for the team-lead with 5.3 boards/contest.

Junior point guard Jake Wolfin is the school’s all-time assists leader with 536. He averages 9.1 points game and also joined the 1,000-point club earlier this season. Wolfin’s 4.2 assists/game lead his team and places him third among his NESCAC peers.

Junior Jack Roberts leads the NESCAC in blocks with 2.2/game from his center position. He also averages 4.8 points and 4.0 rebounds/game while shooting 58.9% from the floor.

Senior James Jensen and sophomore Hunter Merryman both see quality time off the bench. Jensen averaged 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds/game, while Merryman is scoring 9.0/game, while shooting 50.6% from the floor. His .447 shooting percentage from behind the arc places him second in the NESCAC.

Jeff Brown is now in his 16th year at the helm of the Panthers (230-153), having previously served as the Bates bench boss for three seasons. He has led the team to six straight NCAA Tournament appearances with a combined record of 144-25 in that time. The team has also won a pair of NESCAC Championships (’09 & ’11) under his tenure, with Brown earning NESCAC Coach of the Year honors in ’09, ’11 and ’12.

A 1982 graduate of the University of Vermont, Brown scored more than 1,000 points and earned induction into the university's Athletic Hall of Fame during his Catamount basketball career. He is 10th on the all-time scoring list (1,336 points), second in steals (170), seventh in assists (428), eighth in field goals made (526), and ninth in free throws made (284). While playing at UVM, Brown averaged 12.7 points and 4.1 assists per game. He spent three years as the top assistant basketball coach at Manhattan College in New York, before returning to his alma mater as an assistant coach for nine years (1985-94).

2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament – Middlebury, Vt.
First-Round, Saturday, March 2nd
Curry (21-7) @ Middlebury (22-3) – 7:00 p.m.