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Huge weekend ahead for hoops, swimming, squash, skiing

LEWISTON, Maine -- Another huge weekend looms for several Bates athletic teams, including conference semifinals for both basketball teams, men's swimming conference championships, women's squash team nationals and the Eastern Skiing Championships.

On Saturday at 2 p.m., the Bates men's basketball team plays at top-seeded Williams in Chandler Gym in the semifinals of the NESCAC Men's Basketball Championship. Second-seeded Colby and No. 3 seed Middlebury face off in the other semifinal at 4 p.m. The winners will play for the conference title, and an automatic berth in the NCAA Championship, on Sunday at 12 noon at Williams. The Bobcats have won six of their past seven games, including last Saturday's 80-64 romp over Bowdoin in the conference quarterfinals. Read the preview for the NESCAC Men's Basketball Championship semifinals here.

Tickets for Saturday’s semifinals doubleheader will be on sale in the lobby of Williams' Lasell Gym (Spring St. entrance) Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.. Tickets will also be on sale on Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday’s tickets are good for both games on Saturday.

Fans may purchase tickets for Sunday's championship game at the advance sales on Thursday and Friday, but all sales are final. Tickets for the championship game will also be on sale Saturday afternoon at the conclusion of the semifinal games in the lobby of Chandler Gym.

The games at Williams can also be followed online via Live Webcast and Live Stats.

Women's basketball also fights to keep the postseason alive Saturday in the NESCAC Championship semifinals -- the No. 6 seed Bobcats play at No. 1 seed Amherst at 2 p.m. No. 5 seed Bowdoin plays No. 2 seed Colby in the other semifinal at 4 p.m. The winners face off on Sunday at 12 p.m. at Amherst's LeFrak Gymnasium. The Bobcats have won five of their past six games, including last Saturday's 70-63 upset win at No. 3 seed Williams. Amherst is a perfect 25-0 this season, but the Jeffs' closest game thus far was a 72-66 win at Bates on Feb. 5. Read the NESCAC Women's Basketball Championship semifinals preview here. Follow the game live via Live Stats or Live Webcast, both free of charge.

For the NESCAC Women's Championship final weekend, tickets will be $5 for adults and $2 for students. Children (six and under) will be admitted free of charge. Doors to LeFrak Gymnasium will open Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

Live Coverage:  Saturday’s semifinal games and Sunday's championship game will feature Live Statistics and a Live Webcast.

The women's squash team's season comes to a head Friday through Sunday in the College Squash Association Team Nationals, held at Yale University. The Bobcats are ranked 11th in the country and will play in the Kurtz (B Division) Cup bracket for teams ranked No. 9 through 16. Their first-round matchup will be against No. 14 Amherst on Friday at 4:30 p.m. All the latest results from the tournament will be posted here.

The climax of the season also arrives for the men's swimming and diving team, as the Bobcats compete in the NESCAC Men's Swimming and Diving Championships from Friday through Sunday at Williams. The Bobcats gear up to register their top performances at NESCACs, and last year team records were shattered in every day of the meet. The meet can be followed live online via Real-Time Meet Results and Live Webcast.

The Bates alpine and Nordic skiing teams travel to Middlebury this weekend for the final winter carnival of the year, which doubles as the  Eastern Intercollegiate Skiing Association Championships. The carnival has been postponed a day due to weather conditions at both the alpine and Nordic venues, so it is now scheduled to take place Saturday and Sunday. It will be the last chance for Bates skiers to enter the  mix for the upcoming NCAA Collegiate Skiing Championships in Steamboat, Colo.

Men's and women's track and field teams travel to Boston University this weekend for the all-divisions Open New Englands. The meet begins Friday at 3 p.m., and continues on Saturday at 10 a.m.

The lone action on the Bates campus this weekend comprises the official start of the spring season for the men's tennis team. On Saturday the Bobcats will play host to the University of Southern Maine at 10 a.m., followed by a 3 p.m. tilt against MIT. The matches are likely to be played inside Merrill Indoor Gymnasium.