After two years of COVID-19 interruptions – the 2020 NCAA Division III Tournament was scrapped following the second round of play and the 2021 tournament wasn’t held at all – the Pirates will finally get a taste of the postseason on Friday when they face Trinity University in Belton, Texas.
Whitworth, seeded second, hosts No. 3 seed PLU on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Fieldhouse. No. 1 seed Linfield plays fourth-seeded Whitman in McMinnville, Oregon, in Thursday's other semifinal. The winners of those two matchups will clash in the title game on Saturday, and the highest remaining seed will host.
Ranked 16th nationally, Whitworth sits atop the Northwest Conference men's basketball standings a little more than halfway through the league schedule. The Pirates (15-2, 8-1 NWC) host Willamette (5-11, 2-6) Friday night at 8 at the Fieldhouse in their one home game during a three-week span featuring six games on the road.
JT McDermott returned to Whitworth this past September still reeling from COVID aftereffects and unsure he would suit up in a single game this season. Four months later, McDermott is the Pirates' leading scorer as they host first-place Linfield in a Northwest Conference game at the Fieldhouse Tuesday night at 8.