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BLOOMINGTON - Zach Freeman didn't get much school work done Sunday night.

The Illinois Wesleyan junior was glued to the Internet, waiting for the NCAA Division III selection committee to decide the fate of the Titans' basketball season.

"It wasn't really a time to concentrate on homework," Freeman said Monday. "It was a long day. But I'm happy, and I think everybody is excited for this week."

That is because No. 12-ranked IWU (20-6) received an at-large NCAA bid and will face No. 15 Carroll (21-4) Friday at 6 p.m. in a first-round national tournament game at Whitewater, Wis.

The second game pits unranked DePauw (15-12) against host and No. 20 Wisconsin-Whitewater (22-5) at 8 p.m. The winners meet Saturday at 7 p.m. with a Sweet Sixteen berth on the line.

"I was pretty nervous," senior point guard Adam Dauksas said. "I was pretty down after the game Saturday (a 51-49 loss to North Central in the title game of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Tournament).

"I definitely didn't want my career to end like that. Thankfully, we got a second chance. Now we've got to make the most of it."

Three of Carroll's four losses have come to Midwest Conference rival Lawrence, the No. 1-ranked team in the nation. The Pioneers' losses to 24-0 Lawrence were by five, one and six points.

"I've seen them on tape against Carthage. They are a good team. They're well coached," said IWU coach Scott Trost. "They like the transition game. They are very similar to North Central. I don't know if they have a dominant player like (Anthony) Simmons, but they have some really good players."

The Pioneers are former CCIW rivals of the Titans. Located near Milwaukee in Waukesha, Wis., Carroll left the CCIW for the Midwest Conference after the 1992 season.

Carroll averages 85.6 points and is led by 6-foot-2 junior guard Nate Drury at 18.9 points. Jason Scheper, a 6-6 senior, adds 14.7 points, 6-4 Paul Toshner 13.2 and 6-3 freshman Trevor Stratton 10.5.

Scheper and Toshner are the leading rebounders at 7.6 and 6.9, respectively.

"Their point guard (James Johnson) is outstanding, their big kid inside (Scheper) is very good and they've got a really good shooter (Drury) on the perimeter," said Trost. "It will be good to get out of our league and play someone who doesn't know us real well."

Carroll and IWU have common opponents in Carthage and Illinois College.

The Pioneers defeated Carthage, 82-74, and handled Illinois College, 79-60 and 94-62. Wesleyan beat the Red Men, 80-79 and 95-61, and throttled Illinois College, 85-57.

IWU's quarter of the national bracket also features Lawrence, No. 9 Augustana, No. 14 Wisconsin-Stout, No. 17 Puget Sound and No. 19 North Central.

The CCIW's Wesleyan, Augustana and North Central could conceivably meet in the sectional round March 10-11.

"It's a very good sectional," Trost said. "If we play like we're capable, I think we've got as good a chance as anybody to come out of there."

Ticket information

Tickets for IWU's Friday game will be on sale for Wesleyan students, faculty and staff Wednesday from 8 a.m. to noon at the Shirk Center athletic offices. General public sales will follow from 1 to 4 p.m.

IWU receives an allotment of 433 tickets. Whitewater's Kachel Gym has a capacity of 2,600.

Athletic director Dennie Bridges said if tickets run out Wednesday, a phone number will be available to reserve tickets at Whitewater.

Bridges expects some tickets to be returned from the other two visiting teams. "I anticipate everybody being able to get a ticket," he said.

Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for college students and younger.


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