Queens makes return trip to Elite Eight of Division II tournament

The third-seeded Royals will take on Point Loma of California on Wednesday in Evansville, Ill

All-American guard Shaun Willett has led Queens University into the Elite Eight of the Division II NCAA tournament for the second straight year (Queensathletics.com photo)

  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.