WALLA WALLA — Whitman College’s top-ranked women’s basketball team earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament on Monday, and hosts a pair of regional semifinals Friday at Sherwood Center.
Whitworth — which handed the Missionaries their only loss of the season in the Northwest Conference championship game Saturday night — takes on NWC rival George Fox at 5 p.m. Friday. The Pirates finished NWC play 12-4, 20-7 overall, and earned the conference’s automatic berth to the tournament with their victory over Whitman on Saturday, while the Bruins finished 13-3 and 22-4.
Whitman, at 26-1 the No. 1-ranked team in the D3hoops.com Top 25 poll, faces Chapman University of Orange, Calif., at 7 p.m.
Friday’s winners at Sherwood Center will square off Saturday at 7 p.m. in a second-round game on the Missionary campus.
Chapman, which finished second to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, is 21-6 overall.
Thirty-two tournament first-round games will be held at 16 regional sites around the country on Friday, with 16 second-round games following on Saturday.
The tournament takes to four sites for Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games March 14-15, and the Final Four will be March 21-22 at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in Stevens Point, Wis.