Defending champ St. Norbert headlines men’s D-III national title bracket

The field of 11 teams for the 2012 NCAA Division III men’s championship was announced Sunday evening.

Eight conferences have been awarded automatic bids: ECAC East (Norwich), ECAC Northeast (Wentworth), MASCAC (Plymouth State), MCHA (Milwaukee School of Engineering), MIAC (Gustavus Adolphus), NESCAC (Amherst), NCHA (St. Norbert) and SUNYAC (Plattsburgh).

The remaining three teams (Elmira, Oswego, St. Thomas) were selected as at-large teams.

The championship playoff format involves three first-round games and four quarterfinal games that are played on the campuses of the participating schools. The four quarterfinal winners advance to Lake Placid, N.Y., at Herb Brooks Arena for the semifinals and championship game, which will be conducted March 16-17.

The winner of Wentworth-Plymouth State will play defending champion Norwich in the quarterfinals. Other first-round games include St. Norbert against St. Thomas and Gustavus Adolphus battling MSOE, with the winners playing each other.

Two other quarterfinals already set are Oswego and Elmira and Amherst versus Plattsburgh.