For the 75th Anniversary of March Madness, the NCAA brought the Division II and III men’s championship games to Atlanta in conjunction with this year’s Division I Final Four.
Amherst College (Mass.) defeated Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) 87-70 for the Division III title Sunday in the Philips Arena, with Drury University (Missouri) rallying from a 17-point deficit to defeat Metro State Univ. (Colo.) 74-73 for the Division II title afterwards.
The games were free of charge and open to the public, bringing in a crowd of 7,000 plus fans.
“Well, obviously when you’re a kid growing up, the only thing you want to do as a basketball player is play in the NBA, that’s what I wanted to do for as long as I can remember,” said Amherst senior guard Willy Workman. “So when I heard it was going to be played in Atlanta, and it was going to be at Philips Arena, I was overjoyed and we set our minds that we were going to get here and play in this arena.”
The Lord Jeffs of Amherst College (30-2) finished their season on a 24-game winning streak. Amherst won the D-III national title back in 2007 with the same record under head coach David Hixon, who completed his 36th season at the school.
Drury (31-4) also closed out the season on a hot streak, winning 23 straight games en-route to its first championship.