Bowdoin College players cheer as senior captain Maddie Hasson (14) swings the netting after the Polar Bears downed top-seeded Tufts, 70-60, in the NESCAC title game at Medford, Mass., on Sunday. Bowdoin will host the first and second rounds of an NCAA Division III regional, opening with Brooklyn on Friday at 7 p.m. (Brian Beard /

BRUNSWICK — Maddie Hasson, a senior captain of the Bowdoin women’s basketball team, knows very little about the Polar Bears’ first-round opponent in the NCAA Division III tournament.

“Right now we’re just excited to see the bracket come out,” Hasson said Monday afternoon of Brooklyn College. “We’re still focused on ourselves.”

Fresh off a championship victory in the New England Small College Athletic Conference title game over a previously unbeaten Tufts team playing on its own home court, Bowdoin (25-2) will play host to three teams this weekend in Brunswick.

Bowdoin College players and coaches pose after the Polar Bears captured the NESCAC women’s basketball title on Sunday at Medford, Mass. (Brian Beard /

Friday’s regional doubleheader gets under way at 5 p.m. with a game between Emmanuel (21-7) and New York University (20-5). In the nightcap, Bowdoin faces Brooklyn (21-6) at 7 p.m.

The winners will play Saturday night at 7 p.m. in the second round.

Ranked second in the nation, Bowdoin has its sights set on third straight appearance in the national championship game, scheduled for March 21 in Columbus, Ohio. To get there, the Polar Bears will have to win twice this weekend, then twice more March 13-14 in a sectional round that likely will be held in the Midwest, probably Iowa or Wisconsin.


“We’re all really excited to be playing at home this weekend,” said Hasson, who led all scorers with 24 points in Sunday’s 70-60 victory over Tufts (26-1) to secure an automatic NCAA bid. “We’re all energized and encouraged. Winning that conference championship was something we all wanted separately from the national tournament.”

Bowdoin isn’t the state’s only team in the NCAA tournament. Five-time North Atlantic Conference champion Husson University (19-8) of Bangor will travel to the Hudson Valley region of New York to play host SUNY New Paltz (24-3) Friday. DeSales (23-4) and Smith (24-4) are the other two teams in the New Paltz regional.

Bowdoin has advanced to the Sweet Sixteen 13 times in 19 previous NCAA tournaments and reached the Final Four three times. Tickets for this weekend’s games will be available at the door, $7 for adults, $4 for seniors (65+) and students. Bowdoin students are admitted free with a school ID.

“Everybody is healthy and feeling good,” Hasson said. “After celebrating for 24 hours, seeing the bracket come out is a reminder that there are still goals we want to achieve.”

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