When The University of Scranton men's basketball team takes the floor in the Chandler Athletic Center at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. on Friday evening, the Royals will be making their 28th appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Scranton (21-6) will face Oswego State (21-6) in a first-round matchup at 5:30 p.m., the first of two games on Friday at Williams. The second features Becker (19-8) against the host Williams (19-8) at 7:30 p.m. The winners of Friday's first-round matchups will tip-off in a second-round game on Saturday at 7 p.m.
The Royals earned their spot in the Tournament by winning the Landmark Conference championship with a 68-63 win over Moravian this past Saturday in the Long Center. Senior center John Vitkus (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) poured in a career-high 27 points while going 11-for-14 from the field. He was named Landmark Conference championship MVP for leading the Royals to their seventh conference title in 10 years in the Landmark.
Junior guard Ethan Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) added 12 points, six assists and five rebounds in the victory. He has 74 made 3-pointers this season and needs six to match the program's single-season record of 80.
Earlier this week, Vitkus was named the Landmark Conference Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season and was also named to the first team. Danzig and fellow junior guard Kevin Doolan (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) earned second-team honors.
Scranton has won two national titles – 1976 and 1983. The Royals have made 10 NCAA Tournament appearances under head coach Carl Danzig, including four straight. Danzig guided Scranton to the Sweet 16 in 2003 and the Elite Eight in 2012.
Oswego State earned an automatic bid to the Tournament by winning the State University of New York Athletic Conference with a 75-70 win over Buffalo State this past Saturday. Senior guard Brian Sortino (Fairport, N.Y./Fairport) led the Lakers with 27 points and five assists, and junior guard Ian Shupp (New Hampton, N.Y./Goshen/Oneonta State) added 22 points and seven rebounds.
Sortino, who was a D3hoops.com second-team preseason All-American, was named all-SUNYAC first-team for the third time in his career. He averages 21.6 points per game and has 78 made 3-pointers this season.
Senior forward Keith Tyson (Syracuse, N.Y./Henninger) and senior center Mykelle Krecko (Peekskill, N.Y./Peekskill/LeMoyne) both earned third-team honors while head coach Jason Leone was named Coach of the Year. Tyson averages 9.8 points and 7.1 rebounds, while Krecko, who stands 6-foot-10, averages 7.6 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game.
The Lakers are making their fourth NCAA Tournament appearance, all since 2011. Friday's first-round matchup will be the second meeting ever between Scranton and Oswego State. The first came on Jan. 25, 1976, when the Royals picked up a 77-52 win in the Long Center.
Admission each day is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors, students and children ages 3 and older. Children 2 and younger will be admitted free of charge. Separate admission will be charged each day. Advance admission can only be purchased in person in the lobby of Lasell Gymnasium on Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. The Chandler Athletic Center has seating for 1,600 fans and standing room-only area to accommodate more.