The Ashland University men's basketball team was ranked No. 5 in the third and final release of the NCAA Division II Midwest Region rankings which came out on Wednesday (March 6) afternoon.
The Eagles held steady at the No. 5 spot after earning a 70-63 home win over Wayne State last Thursday in the regular season finale. Ashland's loss to Grand Valley State in Tuesday's GLIAC Tournament quarterfinal is not factored into the rankings.
The top eight teams in the Midwest Region will qualify for the NCAA Tournament with automatic bids going to the tournament champions of the GLIAC, GLVC and G-MAC. The GLIAC's top seed, Davenport, is ineligible for the NCAA Tournament so should the Panthers advance to the GLIAC Tournament final, their opponent would earn the league's automatic bid.
The NCAA Tournament field will be announced on a selection show on NCAA.com Sunday (March 10) at 10:30 p.m.
Ashland (23-6) has beaten each team in the GLIAC at least once and also is the only team to have a win at Davenport. The Eagles swept the season series against defending Division II national champion Ferris State.
The Eagles entered this week ranked No. 21 in the nation in the NABC Division II coaches' poll and have been ranked as high as No. 6 this season.
Ashland last made the NCAA Tournament in 2016, ending a 25-year drought from the national postseason.
Other GLIAC teams in the regional rankings include Ferris State (No. 7) and Northern Michigan (No. 8). The top seed will play host to the NCAA Midwest Regional, which will take place March 16-19.
The full Midwest Region rankings follow.