Prepare for the Final Four: An MIT Basketball Primer

by Jay London on March 15, 2012

in Alumni Life, Athletics, Campus Culture, Events, In the News, Student Life

Will Tashman '13 (Photo: Tom Gearty)

Update: The MIT men’s basketball team’s historic season came to an end on Friday night in a 71-56 loss to eventual champion University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. The Engineers, who finished the season 29-2, led 32-30 early in the second half but a 14-0 run by UWW gave the Warhawks a lead they would not relinquish.

Will Tashman ’13 had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Mitchell Kates ‘13 added 12 points, five rebounds and four assists. Congratulations to Coach Anderson and the entire program on the most successful men’s basketball season in Institute history.

For the first time in the program’s 112-year history, MIT is in the Final Four of the NCAA Division III tournament. One win away from the National Championship game, the Engineers ride a 13-game win streak into tomorrow’s showdown with the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, a Division III power playing in their fifth Final Four. Basketball fever has engulfed campus, and you can watch the game live.

Are you new to–or a few years removed from–the MIT basketball scene? Below are game and viewing information, plus a crib sheet on this year’s squad.

The game: MIT versus University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks, Friday, March 16, 8:00 p.m., Salem Civic Center, Salem, Va.

If MIT wins, they play the winner of Cabrini College and Illinois Wesleyan University in Division III National Championship game on Saturday evening, March 17.

How to watch:

Social media: Join the conversation at the MIT Engineers and MIT Alumni Association Facebook pages. Follow the Engineers and the Alumni Association on Twitter and use the hashtags #MITBasketball, #MarchMadness, and #FinalFour.

Noel Hollingsworth '12 (Photo: Tom Gearty)

The team: The 29-1 Engineers defeated Springfield College, 65-60, on Feb. 26, winning their second consecutive NEWMAC Conference Championship and third title in four years. The team set a record for wins and advanced to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, and Final Four for the first time.

Head Coach Larry Anderson was named the 2012 NEWMAC Coach of the Year. Three Engineers were selected to the All-Conference First Team: senior Noel Hollingsworth and juniors Mitchell Kates and Will Tashman.

Anderson told

“We always had a vision of where we wanted to take this program. We believed we could get to this point and it’s a big accomplishment to make it. We have been treating each game as if it was the national championship game, so our preparation really isn’t going to be any different. We will be ready to play.”

The storylines: Hollingsworth, the 2010 NEWMAC Player of the Year, is the Engineers leading scorer at 17.5 points per game. He exploded for 37 points and 12 rebounds against Farmingdale State in the tournament’s second round.

Kates was the 2012 NEWMAC Tournament MVP, averaging 21.5 points and 4.5 assists over two games. He led the conference in assists in 2011-2012 with 5.4 per game.

Defensive specialist Billy Bender ‘12, who is averaging 9.8 points and 5.5 rebounds, fractured an orbital bone in the first round win over Skidmore and has not played since.

Mitchell Kates '13 (Photo: Tom Gearty)

Sixth man Daniel McCue ’12 started the last three games in Bender’s place. McCue, who did not play from 2008 to 2010 because of hip injuries that required five surgeries, had eight points in the third round win over Franklin & Marshall.

Guard Jamie Karraker, the Engineers’ leading three-point shooter, hit seven threes in the third round win over Staten Island and nailed five threes against Franklin & Marshall.

Tashman is the NEWMAC’s leading rebounder at 9.5 per game. He had 15 rebounds against Skidmore, 16 against Farmingdale State, and 13 against Staten Island.

Trivia: Did you know that Engineers associate head coach Kevin Byrne played professionally in England and Ireland, assistant coach Billy Johnson ’10 played professionally in Costa Rica and Iceland, and assistant coach Paul Grant was drafted by the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves, and played for Minnesota, the Milwaukee Bucks, and Utah Jazz?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous March 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I love it!


S Barr '81 March 16, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Thanks of this article.

I was at the Skidmore game, where Bender was punched in the face by an opposing player. Sorry, Billy, that you are out. Down a starting forward, and the geeks continue to roll. Congratulations to the entire team.


Belinda De La Libertad March 16, 2012 at 5:32 pm



Katy March 16, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Is your son interested in basketball? MIT students do a lot of studying but they also have fun with sports, music, and lots of other things.

MIT is competing in Division III Final Four at 8pm EST (5pm our time?) tonight.

NCAA.COM is live streaming the game

The championship is tomorrow night.


Tom A. Thliveris, MIT, Course VIA, '55 March 16, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Go engineers! I knew MIT had it in them….Great to know, we are adding more than Crew and Riflery honors!


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