North Carolina and Duke aren’t the only men’s basketball teams from the state still in contention to win a national championship.
While the Tar Heels and Blue Devils prepare to play in the Sweet 16 round of the Division I tournament, Queen’s University has already advanced to the Elite Eight of the Division II event. The Royals, who are seeded third among the eight remaining teams, will take on No. 6 Point Loma of California on Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. in Evansville, Ind.
The winner will take on either No. 2 West Texas A&M or No. 7 Southern Indiana in the national semifinals on Thursday, with the championship game scheduled for Saturday.
Undefeated Northwest Missouri State is the top overall seed.
Queens (31-4) is making its second straight Elite Eight appearance and fourth in school history. The Royals advanced to the semifinals in 2017-18, losing to eventual champion Northern State 105-99 in double overtime.
This year’s team advanced with Southeast regional wins against Emmanuel College, Catawba and Augusta University.
All-American Shaun Willett scored a career-high 33 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in the 91-78 winn against Augusta last Tuesday. Jermaine Patterson added 12 points while teammates Daniel Carr and Lewis Diankulu had 11 each to earn spots on the all-tournament team.
Willett, a 6-foot-4 senior, leads the team at 19.6 points and 12.0 rebounds per game for coach Bart Lundy’s team. His 26 double-doubles this season are the most in the nation regardless of NCAA division.