TERRE HAUTE —
In earning their first ticket to the “big dance” for NCAA Division III teams since 1999, the Rose-Hulman Engineers got paired up with a North Central College squad that’s on a roll.
The Division III pairings were released at noon today, and Coach Jim Shaw’s Engineers will open the 2012 tourney against North Central in a matchup at Washington University in St. Louis on Friday at a time to be determined.
Rose-Hulman returns to the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time in school history and the first time since the ’99 season. The Fightin’ Engineers also make their fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament in the Jim Shaw coaching era at the college.
Rose-Hulman (20-8) advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament with a 76-73 overtime win over Transylvania University on Sunday afternoon. Transylvania also was selected to the NCAA field of 62 teams.
North Central College finished 20-7 this season and won the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Tournament title to earn its automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals, who also won the regular season league championship, have won 11 of their last 12 games entering NCAA Division III Tournament play.
The balanced scoring attack for North Central features four players averaging between 11 and 14 points per game, highlighted by Landon Gamble at 13.5 points per contest.
Washington University and Buena Vista University round out the four-team regional in St. Louis. The second round matchup will take place Saturday night.