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February 28, 2011

2010-11 Season - Vikings to host Webster in NCAAs

Fresh off a win in the CCIW tournament, the Augustana Vikings will host Webster in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament on Friday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. Hope and Hanover will play the evening's first game at 5:30 p.m.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - Coach Grey Giovanine and his 24-3, 6th-ranked Augustana Vikings will be making the school's 12th appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament in 2011. The pairings for the tournament were released Monday afternoon and the Vikings will open play at home on Friday against the Webster Gorloks. Hope and Hanover will be the other teams competing at Carver Center this weekend.

 Augustana earned the CCIW's automatic bid with a 76-52 win over Illinois Wesleyan in the conference tournament championship Saturday, February 26 in Naperville, Illinois. This will be the Vikings' fourth trip to the Division III tournament under Giovanine. Hope and Hanover will play the first game Friday, March 4 at 5:30 p.m. with Augustana and Webster to follow at 7:30 p.m. The winners of those games will meet Saturday, March 5 at 7:00 for the right to advance to the Sweet 16. Ticket prices are $6.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors (60+), students with valid ID and children ages 3-18. Children two and under will be admitted free of charge.

 Augustana went 11-3 in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin, tying for the regular season title before securing the league's automatic bid by winning the conference tournament. In their previous 11 tournament appearances, the Vikings have posted a 23-12 record and have reached the Final Four on four occasions, finishing second twice and third twice. The Vikings last appearance was in 2008.

 Webster enters NCAA tournament play with a 20-6 record. The Gorloks went 13-3 to finish in a three-way tie for the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship and then claimed the league's automatic bid by winning the conference tournament. This will be Webster's third appearance in the Division III tournament and first since 2002. The Gorloks are looking for their first tournament win.

 The Flying Dutchmen of Hope will be making their 22nd tournament appearance with a record of 26-23. Hope has reached the Final Four three times with two second place finishes and one third. The Flying Dutchmen enter the tournament with a record of 22-6 and have won 15 in a row. They were both regular season (12-2) and tournament champions in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

 The Hanover Panthers sport a 19-7 overall record this season. They finished as runners up in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 14-4 mark. The Panthers also finished second in the HCAC tournament. They'll be making their sixth tournament appearance and have a record of 5-5 in their previous five.