Heartland-University D3 Challenge Topic

The official thread for the University-Heartland challenge. Heartland has long been the best Knight D3 conference and University has come near the top in the past few seasons. Starting in season 68, the challenge will begin.
12/23/2013 12:43 PM
Initial challenge is five teams from each conference. One home and one away game for each team. Most total wins wins the challenge. Tiebreaker is conference RPI after non-conference.
12/23/2013 12:44 PM
Participating teams from each conference

Heartland- Hanover, Manchester, Thomas More, Westminster (PA), Waynesburg

University- Hendrix, Millsaps, Sewanee, Stillman, Southwestern
12/23/2013 12:45 PM

Partcipants history

Hanover- Coached by cbous3040 since season 29. Post-season participant in all but intial season. 30 NT appearances. 10 Sweet 16's, 6 Elite 8's, 3 Final Fours, 2 runner-up finishes. Final Four in season 66. Currently unranked.

Manchester- Coached by mattster24 since season 25. Post-season participant from 28 onwards. 38 NT appearances. 80 NT wins. 22 Sweet 16's, 12 Elite 8's, 6 Final Fours, 2 runner-up finishes, 2 National titles. Final Four in season 66. Currently top team in RV section.

Thomas More- Coached by bigrum since season 55. Post-season participant in 8 of 12 seasons (#9 well in hand). 12 NT wins, 2 Elite 8's, 1 runner-up finish, Elite 8 in season 66. Currently ranked #17.

Westminster (PA)- Coached by iusears since season 29. Post-season participant in all, but 2 seasons since season 33. 29 NT appearances. 9 Sweet 16's, 5 Elite 8's, 1 Final Four. NT 2nd round finisher in season 66. Currently ranked #23. Currently unranked.

Waynesburg- Coached by delphcomm1 since season 27. Post-season participant in all seasons since 34. 30 NT appearances. 59 NT wins. 12 Sweet 16's, 11 Elite 8's, 6 Final Fours, 2 runner-up finishes, 1 National title. NT 2nd round finisher in season 66.

Hendrix- In first season under unctarheeels (back after a long hiatus). PI Final 4 finisher in season 66. 4 Sweet 16's or better since season 50. In RV until best player ruled academically ineligible.

Millsaps- Coached by ericksonp since season 47. Post-season participant since season 49. 13 NT appearances. 11 NT wins. 2 Sweet 16's, 1 National title. NT 2nd round finisher in season 66. Currently ranked #13.

Sewanee- Coached by amun_ra since season 60 (first human coach since season 39). 4 NT appearances under amun, including 1 Sweet 16. 1st round NT in season 66, currently ranked #10.

Southwestern- Coached by lbrown1 since season 52 (success dates back to season 42 with piratehoops. Under lbrown1: 11 NT appearances, 11 NT wins. 4 Sweet 16's, 1 Final Four. 2 Sweet 16's and a runner-up under crosby13, and 4 Sweet 16's 3 Elite 8's, and a National title under piratehoops. Sweet 16 in season 66. Currently ranked #6.

Stillman- Coached by shamrockmarc since season 56. Post-season participant in every season, but one, since season 59. 3 NT appearances, 3 NT wins. 1 Sweet 16. PI 3rd round finisher in season 66. Currently ranked #1.

12/23/2013 1:26 PM (edited)
The matchups in the initial challenge will be held in slots 7 and 8. Other games may be played, but will not be a part of the challenge.

Slot 7
Thomas More at Sewanee
Hanover at Hendrix
Millsaps at Manchester
Waynesburg at Stillman
Southwestern at Westminster

Slot 8
Hendrix at Thomas More
Wesminster at Millsaps
Manchester at Southwestern
Stillman at Hanover
Sewanee at Waynesburg
12/23/2013 1:24 PM
great job Pat on setting it all up!  well done.  can't wait to start playing Heartland every year and have it mean more than it does now.  But first things first.. i'm really excited to see how this season finishes up.
12/24/2013 1:04 PM
I wish NESCAC has more teams 
12/24/2013 11:47 PM
Always room for one more in University!
12/26/2013 11:05 AM
Thanks for putting all of this together ericksonp.  It will be a fun challenge the next couple of years!  Good luck to you guys in the big dance this year!!!
12/30/2013 2:24 PM
delph.. same to you bud!   hattrickjoel - come to the U!!!
12/30/2013 11:17 PM
The inaugural day of the challenge is upon us! 

Some brief synopsis on the matchups in slot 7.

# 10 Thomas More (6-0) -20 at Sewanee (2-4)- A mismatch perhaps when you look at the rankings. Bigrum's Saints have won 6 straight on the road to open the year, including an impressive victory over Texas, Dallas. Meanwhile amuns Tigers has suffered 4 straight losses, the last 3 all to top 13 opponents. What is more reflective? Thomas More's impressive record or Sewanee's ability to compete against a brutal schedule?

Key matchup- Gary Clower vs Antonie Remaley. Two highly athletic big men who are their respective teams best low post threat. Clower, along with Barry Scott, form a dynamic duo for Sewanee. But if Remaley, also a master defender, can shut the senior center down, Sewanee will become far easier to guard. 

#17 Millsaps (5-1) at Manchester #26 (5-1) EVEN- One of the more intriguing match-ups on paper (not just bias!). Two traditionally strong programs off to good starts. Mattster's Spartans have mainly cruised through their early schedule, picking up a win over traditionally good Dominican. A confusing loss to Amherst is on the books as well. Meanwhile erickson's Majors picked up a solid win over Capital, helping erase a bit of the memory of an ugly collapse against Chicago.

Key matchup- Mark Frazier vs Robert Raymer. I could have easily gone with the obvious Claude Ball vs Clarence Eads, two of the best PF's in the country, but I chose the battle of point guards instead. Raymer has been terrific early, giving the Spartans nearly 16 ppg from the perimeter. Meanwhile Frazier is a seasoned senior who sets the table for the Majors. If he is off, Millsaps is usually in trouble. 

Hanover (1-5) at #8 Hendrix (6-0) -26- Like the Sewanee-Thomas More matchup, this looks like a mismatch on paper, but Hendrix would be unwise to overlook a potent team. The Panthers of cbous' one win was over an excellent Coe team that prompted a rather bizarre and hilarious outburst from the opposing coach. Meanwhile the Warriors are off to a flying start under second-year coach unc, having won every game by at least 13.

Key matchup- Kirk Reynolds vs Willie Robinson. If Hanover is going to spring the upset, it is going to be through their terrific PF Robinson, who averages 16 ppg. He will be opposed by one of the best players in all of D-3 in Reynolds. Though Patrick Jim leads Hendrix in scoring, it is the senior post that poses the most problems for most coaches. 

#20 Waynesburg (5-1) at #12 Stillman (4-2) EVEN- Another tough one to call. Stillman began the season ranked #2 and jumped to the top spot, before two recent, puzzling losses have knocked them down a peg. It won't get easier facing a strong Waynesburg squad. Shamrockmarc's Tigers are loaded once again, after a terrific season fell short in the 2nd round a year ago, with 3 700+ players already. Meanwhile delphcomm's Yellow Jackets, always a threat, has posted 5 road victories already. Will Waynesburg improve upon their last meeting with a ranked opponent, when they fell to Vassar?

Key matchup- Arnold Gates vs Charles Jack. This was a tough one to pick, because both teams are very balanced. Gates though, has the ability to take over a game offensively. However, he also could get into serious foul trouble and Stillman is a different team with him on the bench. Jack, a good defender who contributes offensively as well, should try and drive straight at the Tigers senior. Because the best way to shut him down, might be putting him on the bench.

Southwestern (3-3) at Westminster (PA) (5-1) EVEN- Another close one according to the odds. Southwestern, like Stillman, was picked in the pre-season top 5. Also like Stillman, they have faltered early. But after a puzzling 3-game losing streak lbrown's Pirates seem to have rebounded, particularly with a road win over #22 Marymount. They encounter a tough Titans squad coached by the veteran iusears. The Titans blew through their opening 5, before taking a step back in a 91-76 loss to a loaded Texas Lutheran team. 

Key matchup- Anthony Melton vs Steven Carlson. Melton is an absolute load in the low post, coming off an All-Conference season. Though Southwestern is balanced and led by Glenn Lincoln, Melton has a nasty inside-outside game that is nearly unguardable at times. Carlson though is a sensational rebounder and a good defender who can also provide scoring inside. However he must avoid fouling out like he did in the loss to TLU.

Best of luck to all!!!!

1/18/2014 11:54 AM (edited)
Day One Recap

The first day of the challenge proved as exciting as hoped, with 4 games being decided by six points or less. Heartland took the early lead in the challenge, winning three of the first five. Here are the recaps.

Thomas More 78 Sewanee 76

The Saints superior depth and a host of foul trouble for the hosts helped Thomas More rally past Sewanee in the closing minutes. Trailing 72-67 with just over 3 minutes remaining, Thomas Taylor helped lead the rally off the bench, scoring 4 crucial points to put the Saints up for good. 4 Tigers, including star Barry Scott, fouled out. Thomas More attempted to give the game away, shooting a putrid 24-51 from the line, including many critical misses down the stretch, but they were just able to outlast Sewanee. Antonie Remaley led the Saints with 15 points and 11 boards while 17 points from Scott paved the way for Sewanee.

Manchester 76 Millsaps 73

Like the above matchup, the University squad couldn't hold on to a first-half lead. Fueled by the outstanding Claude Ball, the Spartans went on a run to lead 69-62 midway through the second half. The Majors would chip away, however, as Mark Frazier came alive down the stretch, although he fouled out with seconds left. A Nicholas Eddy 3 pulled Millsaps within 1 with 24 seconds left and after Manchester missed a free throw had a chance to tie. But Chuck Cowell missed a jumper with 5 seconds remaining and the Spartans survived on the strength of 27 points and 9 boards from Ball. Clarence Eads had 18 and 12 for Millsaps.

Hendrix 67 Hanover 61

The first University win in the challenge, Hendrix never trailed, and lead from 4-2 onwards. The game had the looks of a blowout early in the second half as a pair of Patrick Jim three-pointers put the Warriors up 42-29. However the Panthers chipped away. Scott Lewis hit a pair of his own from downtown and Willie Robinson hit back-to-back shots to pull within 54-52. Ronnie Glaze hit a pair of shots around a Ted Rivenburg 3 to put it away down the stretch. Robinson scored 20 in the loss for Hanover while Kirk Reynolds had 16 points and 13 rebounds to go with 18 from each Jim and Rivenburg for Hendrix. 

Stillman 77 Waynesburg 73

Stillman used a 17-2 run near the end of the first half to seize control and held off a furious rally down the stretch to even the challenge up at two games a piece. A balanced attack turned a 19-15 deficit into a  32-21 lead. The Tigers pushed for the kill early in the second stanza, an and-one from Arnold Gates taking the lead to 46-31. The Yellow Jackets stormed back, a Christopher Liles free throw cutting the deficit to one. Stillman quickly pushed the lead back to 11, but Waynesburg refused to go away. Down 68-57 with 2:35 left the game appeared over. Joseph Blow hit a pair of triples and 2 freebies to cut it to 74-70 with 14 seconds left. Charles Jack made it a 2 point deficit with 4 seconds left, but Robbie Foust hit a pair from the stripe to seal the deal. Gates led Stillman with 20 while Jack had 14 for Waynesburg.

Westminster (PA) 78 Southwestern 61

Southwestern's surprising struggles continued in the only game that wasn't much of a contest. Things started alright for the Pirates, Glenn Lincoln's floater putting them up 26-20 with 6:35 left in the first. The Titans ended the half on a 13-5 run to control of the game for good. A brief rally made the deficit 44-41, but Westminster was too much, holding Southwestern to 10-26 shooting in the second half. Rob Drayton had 17 points in 18 minutes for the Titans, while Jonathan Green had 15 off the bench to lead the Pirates.

1/18/2014 11:49 AM
Aweseome recap!!!  I applaud the effort you are putting into this!
1/18/2014 1:18 PM
great recaps Pat!  loved reading them all.  GL to everyone in day 2!  
1/18/2014 2:06 PM
Good job pat. WISH I could say the same about my team in this version of the Challenge. Alas, a building year is upon us and we fared very poorly this season. Hopefully, we'll get our mojo back next season. A good recruiting class seems to have us headed in that direction.
1/18/2014 11:53 PM
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