Whitworth University is headed south for the opening rounds of the NCAA Division III men’s basketball tournament.  The Pirates will play in the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor pod with an opening game against McMurry University on Friday night in the first round (start time is to be determined).

Whitworth (24-3) is the only team not from Texas playing in the four-team regional.  The other first round contest features the host Crusaders (25-2) against Trinity University (20-8).  UMHB is located in Belton, Texas – about 45 miles south of Waco.

McMurry (20-8) upset Mary Hardin-Baylor in the semifinals of the American Southwest Conference tournament and then defeated Hardin-Simmons in the championship game to earn the ASC’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Whitworth earned its sixth straight trip to the NCAA Division III tournament by winning the Northwest Conference tournament for the sixth season in a row.  The Pirates defeated Puget Sound 86-71 in the final game.

UMHB was given one of 19 pool C (at-large) bids to the Division III tournament.  Trinity earned the automatic bid from the Southern Collegiate Athletics Conference (SCAC).

First round games will take place on Friday with the second round game on Saturday.