No. 12 Men's Basketball Set for Friday NCAA Matchup With Skidmore

No. 12 Men's Basketball Set for Friday NCAA Matchup With Skidmore

Cambridge, Mass. (February 28) -- The No. 12 ranked MIT men's basketball team opens the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament on Friday, March 1st at 5:30 p.m. as the Engineers take on the Skidmore College Thoroughbreds in a first-round matchup at Swarthmore College. The game is the third all-time meeting between the teams as the series is tied at 1-1.

The Last Meeting and MIT vs. the Field: In the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, the Engineers came away with a 62-55 win over the Thoroughbreds in a game that took place at Hartwick College. The all-time series began in the 1985-86 season as Skidmore took that game by a 70-66 final. Skidmore is the only team in the pod that MIT has ever faced as the Engineers have never played either Swarthmore or Mitchell.

A Look at the Thoroughbreds: Skidmore comes into the NCAA Tournament with a record of 19-7 and is riding a seven-game winning streak that included a victory over Hobart College to claim the Liberty League title. Noah Meren is the top scorer at 21.2 points per game as he is shooting 49.6 percent from the field and is adding 6.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per contest. Edvinas Rupkus is also averaging double figures at 17.5 points per game and is shooting a team-best 44.8 percent from three-point land.

MIT All-Time in the NCAA Tournament: MIT has a 9-8 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament and is making its third straight and ninth overall appearance in the championship. The team advanced to the Final Four in the 2011-12 season, marking the furthest run in program history. 

Last Year in the NCAA Tournament: In the 2018 NCAA Tournament, the Engineers advanced to the program's second-ever Elite Eight with wins over Brockport, Johns Hopkins and Middlebury. The season eventually came to an end at Ramapo College as the Engineers dropped a last-second 68-66 final to the Roadrunners to conclude the season with a 25-6 record.

The Engineers in the National Rankings: The Engineers enter this week's NCAA Tournament ranked No. 12 in the country, which is down five spots from No. 7 following the team's NEWMAC semifinal loss to WPI a week ago. MIT opened the season at No. 5 in the nation, which marks the team's highest ranking of the year.

NCAA Northeast Region Rankings: MIT comes into the tournament ranked fifth in the final Northeast Region rankings and has been ranked in each of the regional polls. The Engineers were in the top spot in the first regional poll and have been in the No. 5 spot for two consecutive weeks. 

Double-Double Machine: MIT senior Tim Roberts (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) enters the weekend with 17 double-doubles in 26 games, ranking him first in the NEWMAC and seventh nationally. Dating back to last year's NCAA Tournament, Roberts has 21 double-doubles in the last 30 games as he had four straight to help the Engineers advance.

1,000-Point Club: The Engineers have a trio of 1,000-point scorers on the roster with seniors Bradley Jomard (Paris, France), AJ Jurko (Weston, Fla.) and Cameron Korb (Los Gatos, Calif.). Jomard reached the mark in a home game vs. Babson College in 2017-18, while Jurko and Korb both surpassed the mark this season. Jurko's 1,000th point came in a 20-point road win at Keene State in November, followed by Korb in a road win at Clark University. Overall, only 30 players in MIT men's basketball history have tallied 1,000 points for their career.

Well-Rounded Offense: MIT is averaging 84.2 points per game this season, including a 113-point performance at home in a victory over Clark University on Senior Night. Overall, six Engineers are averaging double figures with Jomard, Jurko, Roberts, sophomore Ian Hinkley (Raleigh, N.C.), Korb and sophomore Hamilton Forsythe (Weston, Conn.). Overall, three different players have recorded games of 30 or more points with Jomard (38), Jurko (37) and Hinkley (31). Overall, eight different players have started at least one game for MIT in 2018-19.

NEWMAC All-Conference Winners: In the NEWMAC postseason awards, Jomard was named as the league's Athlete of the Year and was a First Team All-Conference honoree for the third time in his career. Jurko and Roberts were also both named to the First Team as MIT had three First Team selections for second time in program history. This was Jurko's second career First Team selection and third overall, while Roberts was recognized for the first time in his career. All three players have earned a spot on the National Team of the Week at various points in the season.

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