2017 D3hoops.com Classic pairings announced

d3photography.com photo by Steve Frommell; Ohio Wesleyan athletics file photo; d3photography.com photo by Dave Hilbert

The ninth edition of the D3hoops.com Classic in Las Vegas will feature the women's basketball defending national champion, a 2017 men's basketball Final Four team, two more teams that won games in last year's NCAA Tournament and a multiple-time Division III national champion.

How many Division III men's basketball national championships UW-Stevens Point has left when it comes to Las Vegas this December is still up in the air, but in all, 15 teams will be joining the D3hoops.com crew and the folks from Sport Tours International, the tournament organizers, from Dec. 28-30 at the South Point hotel and casino in Vegas. As always, we'll bring you all the action on live video.

Amherst loses a number of players from this past season's run to the national title, but will enter the season on a 33-game winning streak, one that could be pushing past 40 by the time late December rolls around. The Mammoths (that's Amherst) will face the Banana Slugs (that's UC Santa Cruz) in a D3hoops.com Classic made in mascot heaven, and then Trine will get a shot at the national champs the next day.

Meanwhile, the Whitman men lost almost nobody from last year's 31-1 team and return to the D3hoops.com Classic. Their 2013 trip ended with a memorable overtime matchup with UW-Stevens Point, and if the rematch goes into overtime, well, at least it's the last game of the day.

Wartburg, a Sweet 16 team last year, will face longtime rival Augsburg, although neither wrestling program will be involved in this contest (we hope). The Knights will also face Stevens Point. Ramapo, which made it to the second round of last year's NCAA Tournament, gets Ohio Wesleyan and Ramapo in its seventh trip to the Classic. OWU is making its first trip after finishing one game short of the NCAA Tournament last March.

Here's the full slate. 

2017 D3hoops.com Classic

All times Pacific

Thursday, Dec. 28
Women
UC Santa Cruz vs. Amherst, 10 a.m.
Trine vs. UW-Stout, 12 p.m.

Men
Augsburg vs. Carroll, 2 p.m.
Ramapo vs. Ohio Wesleyan, 4 p.m.
UW-Stevens Point vs. Wartburg, 6 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 29
Women
Occidental vs. Hamline, 10 a.m.
Trine vs. Amherst, 12 p.m.

Men
Central vs. Ramapo, 2 p.m.
Carroll vs. Pacific Lutheran, 4 p.m.
Whitman vs. UW-Stevens Point, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 30
Women
Hamline vs. UC Santa Cruz, 10 a.m.
UW-Stout vs. Occidental, 12 p.m.

Men
Wartburg vs. Augsburg, 2 p.m.
Pacific Lutheran vs. Central, 4 p.m.
Ohio Wesleyan vs. Whitman, 6 p.m.