Posted Online: March 06, 2014, 8:29 pm

NCAA Div. III UW-Whitewater regional pod

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Tom Johnston, tjohnston@qconline.com

NCAA Div. III Regional pod
Location: Kachel Gymnasium, Whitewater, Wis.
Time: Semifinals at 5:30 & 7:30 p.m.
Twitter updates: @TJ_DA
Listen in: www.augustana.edu/vikingsvideo

Probable starting lineups
RV Augustana ppg rpg
G: Hunter Hill, 5-9, Soph. 12.9 2.5
G: Jawan Straughter, 6-1, Soph. 4.2 1.7
F: Tayvian Johnson, 6-6, Soph. 10.2 4.3
F: Ben Ryan, 6-5, Soph. 8.8 6.4
C: Brandon Motzel, 6-7, Soph. 3.5 4.1

No. 18 St. Thomas ppg rpg
G: Marcus Alipate, 6-0, Jr. 10.7 1.0
G: Erik Tengwall, 6-1, Sr. 9.9 3.5
or G: Grant Shaeffer, 6-0, Fr. 4.7 1.0
F: Taylor Montero, 6-4, Soph. 7.0 2.5
F: Zach Riedeman, 6-4, Sr. 12.5, 3.9
C: Conner Nord, 6-6, Jr. 11.5, 6.9

Pairings: Today's semifinals: No. 18 St. Thomas (22-5) vs. RV Augustana (19-7), 5:30 p.m.; No. 1 UW-Whitewater (23-4) vs. unranked Northwestern (16-11), 7:30 p.m. Saturday's championship: Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.

Game notes: This is Augie's 13th trip to the NCAA Div. III Men's Basketball National Championships overall and the fifth trip since 2006. … The Tommies are in the national playoffs for the ninth year in a row and 15th all-time appearance, all in the last 25 years. … This is just the second meeting ever between the two schools, St. Thomas beating the Vikings 72-56 at the Carver Center en route to the 2011 national championship. … UST won the 11-team Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title with an 18-2 record – the program's ninth consecutive championship. Playing without senior PG Erik Tengwall (sprained ankle), the Tommies lost 63-53 to St. Olaf (22-5) in the MIAC Tournament title game. Tengwall is expected to play tonight. … Augustana will be without junior post player Nic Hoepfner this weekend. The former United Township Panther severely sprained his ankle in last Friday's CCIW Tournament semifinal loss. Viking junior sharpshooter Mark Roth broke his now in practice on Monday and will be wearing a mask to protect his nose. … Augustana comes into tonight's game averaging 73.4 points and allowing just 62.1. UST averages 74.7 and allows 61.2. Augie's rebounding average on foes is 36.2-28.0, while UST's is 32.6-26.7.

Coachspeak: "They are one of the best programs in the country, for sure,'' said Augie coach Grey Giovanine of the Tommies. "There are a lot of similarities between us. They are very deep and play a lot of people and play very good defense. They outrebound their opponents by six or seven a game and they are opportunistic in transition. We need to play solid man-to-man defense and try to not get broken down off the dribble.''
-- By Tom Johnston, tjohnston@qconline.com
-- By Tom Johnston, tjohnston@qconline.com