Justin Pahl ’16 had 20 points and Sterling Nielsen ’15 had 16 as visiting St. Olaf defeated St. Thomas 63-53.
The win gives the Oles (22-5) the MIAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament, which will begin later this week. St. Olaf will play Central College in the first round.
The appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament will be the first for the Oles. St. Olaf made three appearances in the NCAA tournament in the early 1970s before the association split into three divisions.
The title is the first basketball championship of any kind since the St. Olaf men shared the MIAC regular season title in 1988-89.