NORFOLK, VA – The 2017 USCAA Basketball National Championships fields were finalized Tuesday following nationwide voting by the USCAA Coaches Polls. For a ninth year, the championships return to Uniontown, located in the Laurel Highlands of western Pennsylvania. The field features 34 teams in four divisions playing 39 games from March 1st-4th. Tournament games are played on the campus of Penn State Fayette.
Leading the Men’s Division I field in 2017 is the University of Maine Fort Kent Bengals. The Bengals are 22-8 and led by Senior Joe McCloskey and Roosevelt Smith Jr. A mainstay at the top of the bracket, Concordia College Alabama secured the second seed in the field. The Hornets top the nation in assists per game and field goal percentage and come to Uniontown with an 18-7 record.
Following Concordia College Alabama in the bracket is Berea College from Kentucky. Leading the Mountaineers to a 3 seed is All-American sophomore guard Richard Parker. Parker is the second leading scorer in the USCAA and has helped guide Berea to an impressive 16-8 record. Rounding out the top half of the bracket will be Illinois Institute of Technology. The Scarlett Hawks, led by Samuel Rarick, Jake Digiorgio, and Max Hisatake, lead the nation in blocks and are fourth-best in rebounds. The second half of the Men’s Division I field features Florida College, Florida National University, Iowa Wesleyan University, and Dean College.
For a third straight year, the Concordia College Alabama Hornets will top the Women’s Division I bracket. The Hornets won the 2014 National Championship and look to bring back the gold to Selma, Alabama. The second-seeded Lady Mountaineers of Berea College surge into the tournament on a 13-game winning streak and are led by Bethany Williams who averages nearly 16 points per game. As the #3 seed, the Rochester College Lady Warriors bring an impressive resume to this year’s championships; the Lady Warriors rank in the top 10 in 14 different team statistical categories, including fourth in points and third in field goal percentage and are led by Maddy Valko and Alyssa Copley. The #4 seed is captured by the sharp-shooting Florida College from Temple Terrace, Florida. Rounding out the Women’s Division I bracket is Silver Lake College (#5), Alfred State College (#6), Dean College (#7) and Paul Quinn College (#8), who make their first trip to a USCAA National Championship.
The defending two-time Men’s Division II National Champion, Berkeley College-New York, heads to Uniontown with a 50 game-winning streak. The Knights have five players averaging double digits in scoring and are third best in the nation in assists with 18.9 per game. Securing the #2 seed in the bracket is perennial contender Central Penn College. Central Penn is the most dominant scoring and rebounding team in all of Men’s Division II basketball. They lead the USCAA with an average of 51 rebounds per game and 97.5 points per game. The #3 seed went to the Mechanics from Williamson College of The Trades (23-5) who are led by senior Kevin Whitfield, freshmen Kyree Freeman, and James Hill. The fourth seed in this year’s tournament is Penn State Greater Allegheny, who secured the automatic bid by winning the Penn State University Athletic Conference Chapionship. They will face off in a cross conference rivalry against the Yankee Small College Conference Champion, Southern Maine Community College, who secure the 5th seed. Penn State Greater Allegheny (#6), NHTI (#7), Villa Maria College (#8), Andrews University (#9), and Penn State Fayette (#10) round out this year’s bracket.
From Auburn, Maine, the Central Maine Community College Lady Mustangs head to Fayette County as the top seed with a 30-1 record. They lead the nation in scoring, offensive rebounds, and assists. The Lady Mustangs are led by Brooke Reynolds with 14.5 points and 8 rebounds per game. At the number two spot, Penn State Lehigh Valley brings a strong 19-3 record to the national championships. Lehigh Valley is led by junior guard and former All-American Andrea Watkins who averages 16.5 points per game. Fellow PSUAC foe Penn State Brandywine notched the #3 seed after earning the automatic bid from the PSUAC championship. Brandywine seeks to continue its winning ways and are led by freshman guard Nikki Velez who averages 17.3 points per game. Southern Maine Community College carved out the #4 seed following a 23-4 season. The Seawolves are paced by Jennifer Conrad who averages 13.6 points per game, and freshman guard Alicia Ruth, who is second in the USCAA in three-point field goal percentage at 40.7%. Penn State Hazleton will take the fifth spot in the tournament, accelerating themselves in the final selections after making the PSUAC championship game. Villa Maria College will enter their first USCAA National Championship after earning the automatic qualifier for top non-conference finisher. Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences earned an automatic bid and 7 seed after winning the Hudson Valley Athletic Conference in a thrilling win over New Rochelle and Penn State Fayette (#8) enters as the host bid.
The USCAA Basketball National Championships kick off with the Skills Competition at the Penn State Fayette Main Arena on February 28th at 12:00 PM, followed by the All-American Banquet at 6:00 PM at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Tickets for the tournament and banquet are available at uscaa.ticketleap.com. Play begins on March 1st with championship games being held on March 4th. A complete list of teams and seeds is below.
For more information on USCAA basketball or the 2017 USCAA Basketball National Championships please visit the Tournament Website at basketball.theuscaa.com
Men’s Division I
#1. University of Maine-Fort Kent
#2. Concordia College Alabama
#3. Berea College
#4. Illinois Tech
#5. Florida College
#6. Florida National University
#7. Iowa Wesleyan College
#8. Dean College
Women’s Division I
#1. Concordia College Alabama
#2. Berea College
#3. Rochester College
#4. Florida College
#5. Silver Lake College
#6. Alfred State College
#7. Dean College
#8. Paul Quinn College
Men’s Division II
#1. Berkeley College-New York
#2. Central Penn College
#3. Williamson College of the Trades
#4. Penn State Greater Allegheny
#5. Southern Maine CC
#6. Penn State York
#8. Villa Maria College
#9. Andrews University
#10. Penn State Fayette
Women’s Division II
#1. Central Maine Community College
#2. Penn State Lehigh Valley
#3. Penn State Brandywine
#4. Southern Maine Community College
#5. Penn State Hazleton
#6. Villa Maria College
#7. Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
#8. Penn State Fayette