Central College (20-7) will travel to Stevens Point, Wis. to meet St. Olaf (Minn.) (22-5) Friday in the NCAA Division III men’s basketball tournament.
Game time is tentatively set for 6 p.m. The winner takes on the winner of Friday’s second game, which features Wis.-Stevens Point against Marian (Wis.). The second-round game is set for 7 p.m. Saturday.
The Dutch are among 42 conference champions or conference tournament champions earning automatic berths in the 62-team tournament field.
Saturday’s winner advances to sectional round play March 14-15 at a site to be determined.
Central, which won its 17th Iowa Conference title after being chosen to finish last in a preseason poll of league coaches. The Dutch gained the NCAA berth by winning the six-team league tournament, defeating Buena Vista 86-84 Thursday and Luther 74-70 Saturday at P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium.
The Dutch are making their 10th NCAA tournament appearance and their first since 2010. The Dutch have a 5-10 tournament record. Previous appearances were in 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1985, 1991, 1994, 1995 and 2010.