college basketball, new jersey, ncaa
Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash

New Jersey teams ready to roll for NCAA Division III Tournament

The men's and women's NCAA Division III Basketball Championship Tournament begins on March 1 as five New Jersey schools qualified for the tournaments. On the men's side of the tournament, you will be able to watch Rowan, Stevens, TCNJ, and Stockton all play. On the women's side, New Jersey City University will have the honor of playing in the NCAA Women's Tournament.

Rowan men's basketball team will enter the NCAA Tournament with a 19-7 record on the season and 13-5 in conference play, which landed them first place in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) standings. They came up short in the conference tournament, losing 79-73 to TCNJ in the semifinals.

Rowan will go into NCAA postseason play led by the big three of Ja'Zere Noel, Khalif Meares, and Marcellus Ross. All three averaged at least 30 minutes for Rowan, with Noel averaging 21.4 points, Meares averaging 19.1 points, and Ross averaging 18.8 points. Rowan will kickoff tournament play against Carnegie Mellon. Carnegie Mellon went 16-9 on the season as Rowan will look to defeat them to keep on dancing in the tournament.

Stevens men's basketball team is coming into the tournament hot after winning the MAC Freedom Conference Championship to qualify. Stevens finished the season 22-5 with an 11-3 conference record.

Guard Stephen Braunstein leads the team this season with 17.1 points and is shooting an efficient 43% from three-point range. Stevens will look to continue their momentum from the conference championship win when they face Farmingdale State. Farmingdale State went 26-2 on the season as Stevens will be tasked with defeating a two-loss team.

TCNJ also comes into the tournament after winning the NJAC Championship. They defeated Rowan in the semifinals and then defeated Stockton in the championship, 75-62. TCNJ went 20-8 on the season and 11-7 in conference play. They went from finishing fifth in the conference last season to becoming the conference champions.

TCNJ is led by sophomore guard Nick Koch, who led the team in scoring and assists with 17.8 points and 4.6 assists. TCNJ will face Eastern University in Round One, who went 20-7 on the season. TCNJ will look to keep its success going.

Stockton, who lost in the NJAC Championship to TCNJ, still had a successful season, going 17-10 and 12-6 in the conference, giving them a second-place finish in the standings. DJ Campbell, who averaged 36 minutes for the team this season, leads them into the tournament, averaging a team-high 20 points per game. He also leads the team with 25 blocks this season.

Stockton will kick off their tournament against Tufts University. Tufts finished their season with a record of 19-7 as Stockton will look to get a win and move on.

On the women's side, NJCU will enter the tournament with a 19-8 record and 14-4 in conference play. Led by senior guard Damaris Rodriguez, they defeated TCNJ in the NJAC Championship, 65-52.

Rodriguez leads the team in scoring, assists, steals, and minutes. She averages 19.9 points, 5.5 assists and has 61 steals on the season. She is the only player on the team that averages over 30 minutes a game, with an average of 36.4 minutes.

NJCU will start its tournament journey against UMass Dartmouth in Round One. UMass Dartmouth went 23-4 on the season. They are coming off a loss in their conference championship.

Game Times
Men’s NCAA Championships
3/1 - 3:15 p.m. Rowan vs Carnegie Mellon
3/1 - 3:45 p.m. TCNJ vs Eastern
3/1 - 4:15 p.m. Stockton vs Tufts
3/1 - 4:30 p.m. Stevens vs Farmingdale St.

Women's NCAA Championships
3/1 - 4:00 p.m. New Jersey City vs UMass Dartmouth