The Grinnell College men’s basketball team has its eye on the big prize when it plays this weekend in the four-team Midwest Conference Tournament at Lake Forest College.
That prize? A title, and the NCAA Division III National Tournament berth that comes along with it.
The Pioneers, 14-4 in the league and 18-4 in all games, are the second seed in the event and will play third-seeded St. Norbert College at 7:30 p.m. tonight. The Green Knights are 12-6 in the league and 15-8 overall.
The teams split this season, with Grinnell winning a 108-98 decision at home on Dec. 2 and St. Norbert posting a come-from-behind 97-96 victory on its home court on Feb. 4.
Griffin Lentsch ’13 led Grinnell in its December win with 25 points, while Marques Valdez ’13 added seven rebounds.
In the February game, Lentsch scored 32 points and Valdez grabbed five boards.
The winner will play either top-seeded Lake Forest College or fourth-seeded Carroll University at 3 p.m. Saturday. That winner gets the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA D-III Tournament. Grinnell has not played in that event since 2001.