GREENWOOD, IN – The 2016-17 HCAC men's basketball regular season has come to a close and the action shifts to tournament play this weekend. The winner of the six-team Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament will earn the conference's automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division III men's basketball tournament.
Hanover College (21-3, 16-2 HCAC) locked up the conference's top seed on Wednesday, after defeating Mount St. Joseph 72-64. The Panthers captured their first men's basketball regular season conference championship for the first time in over a decade. The Hanover College men's basketball team is currently ranked No. 16 in D3hoops.com Top 25 National Poll.
The Panthers posted an 8-2 record against the five other schools involved in the conference tournament. Mount St. Joseph went 5-5 against the field, while Anderson finished 6-4. Rose-Hulman and Transylvania each earned a 4-6 mark against the field and Manchester stood 2-8 against the tourney teams.
The top seed Panthers finished the season with a 9-1 record down the stretch. Hanover will take on the winner of Rose-Hulman and Transylvania Saturday evening in the HCAC semifinals. Hanover earned a split against Rose-Hulman and swept Transylvania during the regular season.
Rose-Hulman (14-11, 12-6 HCAC) enters the tournament as the No. 4 seed and has won eight out of its last 10 games heading into tournament play. The Engineers will look to move into the semifinals with a win over No. 5 Transylvania on Friday night. Rose earned a season split with the Pioneers during the regular season. Transylvania (16-9, 11-7 HCAC) claimed a 6-4 mark down the stretch this season. RHIT and Transy will tip at 6 p.m. on Friday night from Collier Arena at Hanover College.
Mount St. Joseph (19-6, 14-4 HCAC) earned the No. 2 seed in this weekend's tournament. The Lions finished the regular season with a 7-3 mark, and are currently ranked in the four spot of the Great Lakes Regional rankings. Mount will face the winner of Anderson and Manchester in the other semifinal game on Saturday night at Hanover. The Lions split with Anderson and swept Manchester during the regular season.
Anderson (17-8, 14-4 HCAC) claimed the No. 3 seed and will play No. 6 Manchester Friday night. The Ravens won the two contests against the Spartans (9-16, 7-11 HCAC) during their regular season series. Anderson finished the season 7-3 down the stretch, while Manchester went 4-6 entering tourney play. Anderson and Manchester will tip at 8 p.m. on Friday night at Hanover College.
The HCAC tournament championship game will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday at Hanover College's Collier Arena.
Admission to the HCAC Tournament is available for $8 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and non-HCAC affiliated students. Children under 3 and HCAC students, faculty and staff are admitted free with valid campus identification.
Semifinals - Saturday, Feb. 25 (at Hanover)
No. 1 Hanover vs. No. 4/5 Winner, 5 p.m.
No. 2 Mount St. Joseph vs. No. 3/6 Winner, 7 p.m.
Championship - Sunday, Feb. 26 (at Hanover)