INDIANAPOLIS — Eight past winners, including three-time defending national champion Tufts, plus 2015 runner-up Texas-Tyler headline the 62-team field for the NCAA Division III Tournament, it was announced during a live webcast on Monday afternoon.
All but one of the teams in last week's NFCA Top 25 made the tournament field, with top-ranked Virginia Wesleyan (38-5) hosting a regional that also includes No. 2 Salisbury (34-4), Saint Vincent (28-13) and Haverford (21-19). No. 3 Texas-Tyler (39-4) hosts a regional that also features No. 8-ranked and 2010 national champion East Texas Baptist (34-8), which defeated the Patriots on the same home field twice in two days two weeks ago en route to the American Southwest Conference tournament title, fifth-ranked Texas Lutheran (41-3) and Agnes Scott (10-27).
Six of the seven teams receiving votes last week also scored berths, including Cortland (35-9), St. John Fisher (33-10) and Whitworth (29-13), which will all host, and Illinois' Wheaton College (31-12), which will be playing in its first NCAA tournament. Whitworth's regional includes two-time NCAA champion Linfield (29-13).
Unranked Tufts (29-10), which lost more games this season than the last three years combined, hosts a regional with Becker (27-10), Salve Regina (24-16) and No. 24 Worcester Polytechnic Institute (35-7).
Other hosts include six-time national champion The College of New Jersey (28-14), which won its last Division III title 20 years ago, No. 4-ranked Berry (36-6), fifth-ranked Luther (36-2), No. 10 Christopher Newport (34-7), 13th-ranked Alma (32-8), No. 14 Illinois Wesleyan (30-10), 16th-ranked and 2002 national champion Ithaca (32-8), No. 21 Williams (32-9) and unranked schools Trine (30-12) and Lake Forest (28-12).
Christopher Newport's regional includes 2009 Division III titlist and No. 11-ranked Messiah (39-3), while Luther's has two-time NCAA champ Simpson (30-9) and Lake Forest's features St. Thomas (38-6), which won back-to-back crowns in 2004-05.
Four teams each will play at 14 regional sites and there will also be two regionals consisting of three teams apiece, with games played May 12-14 or May 13 and 15. Winners of those regionals will advance to super regionals on May 20-21. The finals will be held May 26-31 at the James I. Moyer Sports Complex in Salem, Va.
Forty-three conferences had automatic bids for their champions into the tournament field, while the 19 others earned at-large berths into the championship.
For a printable NCAA tournament bracket, click HERE
To watch a replay of the NCAA selection show, click HERE
For the complete NCAA release, click HERE