Wartburg Men, Women Celebrate IIAC Titles [Videos]
The Wartburg men's and women's basketball teams are both headed to the Division III NCAA Tournament after winning Iowa Conference tournament championships Saturday night (Feb. 25, 2017).
The men's team (19-9 overall) beat Central, 89-85, in Pella, while the No. 9 ranked women (25-2 overall) defeated Luther, 81-68, at Buzz Levick Arena in Waverly.
The Knights made history with their IIAC championship in men's basketball. Entering the tournament as the No. 6 seed, Wartburg became the lowest seed ever to win the title and earn the league's automatic NCAA bid. It's the second tournament championship in program history for the Knights, whose last title and NCAA Tournament appearance was in 2001.
Wartburg claimed the crown by outscoring Central 55-42 in the second half after the fifth-seeded Dutch built a 43-29 advantage at intermission. Senior Jordan Cannon (Bollingbrook, Ill.) and junior Nate Woeste (Atkins) each scored 14 points to lead the the Knights (highlight video below).
The women's tournament championship was the third in program history for Wartburg and first since 2002. The victory guaranteed a return trip to the NCAA Tournament for the Knights, who advanced to the Final Four of the 2016 NCAA Tournament after earning an unexpected at-large bid into the field.
Junior Katie Sommer (Cedar Rapids) led all Wartburg scorers with 27 points, finishing just one shy of her career mark. All five of the Knights' starters tallied double figures (highlight video below).
Both Wartburg teams will learn their opponnt and game location when the NCAA Tournament pairings are released Monday morning (Feb. 27).
IIAC Championship Men's Basketball Highlights
IIAC Championship Women's Basketball Highlights
Videos Courtesy of Wartburg Knights via YouTube