The second season has arrived for the Williams College basketball teams. Within the next eight days, coaches Mike Maker and Pat Manning will know if their teams will be playing for an NCAA Division III national championship.
In order to get to the NCAA Tournament, one has to win the NESCAC Tournament championship. Both Williams teams will try to take that first step Saturday at Chandler Gym, as the Ephs host a NESCAC quarterfinal doubleheader.
The second-seeded Williams men will host No. 7 Bates in the 2 p.m. opener. Sixth-seeded Wesleyan makes its third visit here to play the No. 3 Ephs in the nightcap.
The winners advance to the semifinals, which will be held next Saturday at the home of the highest surviving seed. The Williams men will host if the Ephs win and if top-seeded Amherst loses to No. 8 Colby. The women would need to win if top-seed Tufts and No. 2 Amherst both lose.
The women actually finished in a three-way tie for the regular-season NESCAC crown with Tufts and Amherst, but the Jumbos of head coach Carla Berube won the right to host by a random drawing.
Every other tiebreaking procedure failed to put one of the three teams on top.