Quakers travel to Kentucky to play Transylvania March 7 at Centre College

GUILFORD’S INVITATION: The Guilford College men’s basketball team (21-5, 14-2 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC)) has received its school-record third straight berth in the NCAA playoffs. The Quakers, who earned one of 21 at-large bids to the 60-team field, will play in a four-team regional tourney hosted by Centre College in Danville, Ky., March 7-8. Guilford plays Transylvania University (21-5) Friday and Centre (23-4) plays Averett University (20-8). The winners of both games will meet Saturday in the second round. All first- and second-games will be played in Alumni Gymnasium on Centre’s campus.

Guilford is one of two ODAC teams in the field, joining 2009 league tournament champion Virginia Wesleyan College. The ODAC has sent at least two teams to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in 19 of the last 22 years.

SERIES RESULTS: The Quakers face Transylvania, of Lexington, Ky., for the first time in the school’s recorded basketball history. The Pioneers won the 2009 Heartland Athletic Conference (HCAC) title this year. Guilford is 9-4 against Averett, the 2009 USA South Athletic Conference champions. The Quakers defeated the Cougars, of nearby Danville, Va., 73-63, Nov. 25, 2008 in Danville. Guilford and Centre have no recorded hardwood meetings, despite their long basketball histories. The Colonels school captured their second Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament in three years Sunday.

GUILFORD VS. 2008 NCAA PLAYOFF FIELD: The Quakers faced three other NCAA playoff teams this winter: Virginia Wesleyan, Averett and the University of Texas-Dallas. The Quakers have a 2-0 record against Virginia Wesleyan, won the Nov. 25 meeting with Averett in Danville, Va., and lost at UT-Dallas Nov. 22 in the Fred Jacoby/I-20 Classic.

GUILFORD IN NCAA PLAYOFFS: The Quakers are making their third NCAA playoff appearance in as many years. They have a 3-2 record in NCAA games. Guilford fell to St. Mary’s College of Maryland, 89-77, in an opening-round 2008 NCAA Tournament game played in the Quakers’ Ragan-Brown Field House. Guilford reached the 2007 NCAA Tournament quarterfinals with wins over Manhattanville College (101-81), Johns Hopkins University (80-73) and Lincoln (Pa.) University (129-128, 3OT). Virginia Wesleyan ended the Quakers’ season with an 81-71 decision in Virginia Beach, Va.

Before joining the NCAA Division III ranks in 1991, Guilford competed in the NAIA and posted an 8-8 record in seven national tournament appearances. Led by future NBA players M.L. Carr ‘73, World B. Free ’76 and Greg Jackson ‘74, the Quakers won the 1973 NAIA men’s basketball championship. Guilford placed fourth in the 1970 NAIA Tournament.

THE 2009 NCAA PLAYOFFS: The Division III championship provides for a 60-team field. The NCAA granted 39 conference champions automatic qualification for the 2009 championship. Three independent teams and 18 other at-large teams from the remaining independent teams and automatic qualifying conferences who did not receive their conference automatic qualification were selected with specific selection criteria approved by the Division III Championships Committee. Four two-team, first-round games will be conducted Thursday, March 5 with the winners advancing to play four teams that received first-round byes Saturday, March 7. Twelve sites will host four teams for first- and second-round competition Friday-Saturday, March 6-7. Second-round winners advance to one of four sectional-round sites March 13-14. Winners of the four sectional games move on to the finals March 20 and 21. All games, except the finals, will be played on the campuses of competing institutions. The finals will be conducted at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Va.

Dave Walters
Guilford College Athletics