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Men's Basketball Weekly Preview: NCAA Tournament 1st Round (Johnson & Wales)

Men's Basketball Weekly Preview: NCAA Tournament 1st Round (Johnson & Wales)

This Week: The Trinity College men's basketball team received an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season during the selection show on Monday. The Bantams were placed in the SUNY-Plattsburgh regional and will face off against Johnson & Wales on Friday followed by the winner of Friday's Plattsburgh State/Fitchburg State game on Saturday, March 5 with a win on Friday.

NCAA Tournament First Round

Trinity (19-7) v. Johnson & Wales (26-2)
Friday, March 4, 2016 at 5:30 p.m.
Memorial Hall
Plattsburgh, New York

Series History against Johnson & Wales: This is the first ever meeting between the two schools.

Scouting the Wildcats: Led by GNAC Coach of the Year Jamie Benton, the Wildcats set a school record with 26 wins. For the first time in JWU history, the Wildcats earned a national ranking and have climbed as high as 14thThe Wildcats lead the country with a 26.5 ppg. scoring margin while ranking in the top 20 for both scoring offense, scoring defense and steals. The team is led by 2016 GNAC Player of the Year, Quarry Greenaway, who is fourth in the country at 26.1 points per game.

Game Notes:

- Trinity is making its ninth trip to the NCAA Tournament, advancing for the second consecutive season after reaching the Elite Eight last year.

Trinity clinched the No. 1 seed in the NESCAC Championship Tournament for the fourth time in program history and the second consecutive season. The Bantams took the regular season crown by one game over Amherst, the only NESCAC team that defeated the Bantams this season.

- The Bantams dropped out of the poll after being ranked 22 alst week, but still received 11 top-25 votes this week. 

- Senior forward Shay Ajayi was the lone Bantam in double figures in scoring with 11 points, including nine in the second half, to go with four rebounds, four steals, and two blocks in the team's NESCAC Semifinal loss to eventual champions, Middlebury. Junior Ed Ogundeko contributed seven points, a team-high nine rebounds, and four blocked shots, and freshman Jeremy Arthur added nine points and five rebounds off the bench for the Bantams.

- Ogundeko leads the conference and ranks 28th nationally averaging 10.6 boards per contest, while Ajayi is sixth in the NESCAC with 7.3 boards per contest. Ogundeko is also fourth in the NESCAC in blocked shots with 1.5 per game.

- The Bantams are averaging 77.5 points per contest, up from 69.6 points per game last season. Ajayi leads the squad with 14.0 ppg (12th in NESCAC) followed by Ogundeko (13.0 ppg, 14th in NESCAC) and Starks (11.8 ppg) who is 22nd in the conference.

- Senior Andrew Hurd is tied for third amongst NESCAC leaders with 4.9 assists per game and is also is fifth nationally in assists-to-turnover ratio at 3.53.

- Trinity enters the NCAA Tournament ranked second in the NESCAC in scoring defense at 67.3 ppg, first in field-goal percentage defense at .385 (4th in nation), and first in rebounding margin at +6.9 (24th in nation).  

Watch the 2016 Selection Show

NCAA Tournament Bracket