Sunday, March 2, 2014

MIT Crowned NEWMAC Champs

Box Score

MIT: 2014 NEWMAC Champions (Pic: Bob Ferrara)
MIT continued their stellar playoff performance today versus Springfield in the NEWMAC Championship, earning the 67-56 win to capture their 4th NEWMAC Championship in 6 years. MIT shot 50% from the field and shot 83% from the charity stripe while defensively holding Springfield to 36% shooting and 11% from three.

With the win, MIT earns an automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA National Tournament. This is MIT's 6th straight NCAA appearance, 6th straight 20-win season, and 6th straight season of winning either the Regular Season or Tournament Championship.

MIT was led by the Tournament's Most Outstanding Player, 6'8" tri-Captain Andrew Acker. Acker, who has had a busy week off the court running on a presidential ticket for MIT's Undergraduate Association (MIT's undergraduate student body government), scored 19 points and hauled in 13 rebounds for his 13th double-double of the season (good for 10th all-time in MIT history for double-doubles in a season). Acker now has 267 rebounds this season, also good for 9th all-time in MIT history, just behind former All-American Will Tashman '13 (280).

6'8" tri-Captain Dennis Levene continued his great play with a 14-point 4-rebound performance, including 6-of-6 from the free-throw line, many of them down the stretch. Despite being plagued by foul trouble, 6'8" tri-Captain Matt Redfield scored 13 points in just 19 minutes of play, including two monster dunks and two blocks. The two blocks put Redfield at 63 for the season (1st all-time in MIT history) and 128 for his career (also 1st all-time in MIT history, passing Godfrey Innis '95).

Point-guard Ryan Frankel, who is averaging 14ppg and 4apg in the playoffs, registered 13 points and 7 assists on the night.

MIT will discover their 1st Round matchup in the NCAA Bracket tomorrow at 12:30pm EST.

NEWMAC Championship Preview: MIT vs. Springfield

MIT vs. Springfield 
Sunday,  Harrington Auditorium - Worcester, MA, 1pm

Live Stats | Video

Probable Starters:
MIT (19-8, 8-6) Ht. PPG RPG Springfield (20-6, 10-4) Ht. PPG RPG
Matt Redfield 6'8" 13.4 9.1 Tim Swenson 6'7" 10.6 9.6
Andrew Acker 6'8" 11.5 9.4 Robbie Burke 6'4" 13.8 7.4
Dennis Levene 6'8" 4.3 4.3 Nick Sienkiewicz 6'3" 10.7 2.7
Justin Pedley 6'6" 11.9 1.6 Alex Garstka  6'1" 11.2 2.2 
Ryan Frankel 5'11" 8.1 3.1 apg Sean Martin 6'1" 11.7 4.2 

A Look at Springfield:
Recent Performance
Springfield is coming off a thrilling overtime 85-77 win yesterday over #2 seed Babson in the NEWMAC Semifinals.

Last Time Out
MIT and Springfield have split the series this season, with MIT taking the first win on their home-court 55-51, and Springfield returning the favor with a 59-51 win at their home just a few weeks later.

X's & O's
Springfield will certainly look to push the ball in transition, but will look to score when the opportunity presents itself. In the half-court, they will run one of their many sets and will look to score off one of the options from each set. They have a solid inside presence in Swenson and Burke and have shooters that can stroke it from beyond the arc.

Defensively Springfield is a gritty team, and will look to apply pressure and intensity for 40 minutes. MIT must be prepared for a number of different defensive strategies by the Pride.