Feb. 25, 2005
Cullowhee, N.C. -
With one day of competition remaining in this year's Southern Conference regular season, the races are tight as ever on both the men and women's side in determining the seeding for the 2005 Kyocera Southern Conference Basketball Championships.
In the men's bracket, the top two seeds have been locked up. Chattanooga (10-5) will represent the North Division as the top seed and the 15-0 Davidson Wildcats from the South. The Citadel will also be the sixth seed in the South regardless of the outcome of Saturday's contests. The other nine seeds are still up for grabs.
In the North, Appalachian State is vying for the second seed along with UNC Greensboro. The Mountaineers will visit Elon, while UNCG travels to Western Carolina. Appalachian can claim the second seed with a win over the Phoenix or a loss by UNCG. If ASU loses and UNCG wins to force a tie at 9-7, then the Spartans take the second spot because of their regular season sweep of Appalachian.
A win by Appalachian and a loss by Chattanooga would give each team a share of the North Division championship, but the Mocs would maintain the top seed by virtue of a split with UNCG while ASU lost twice to the Spartans.
In the race for the final three seeds in the North, Elon and East Tennessee State are currently tied at 4-11. If the two remain tied following Saturday's games, then Elon would get the higher seed because the Phoenix split their season series with UTC while the Bucs dropped two to the Mocs.
In the event that Western Carolina can force a three-way tie with Elon and ETSU at 4-12, the first tiebreaker criteria is to examine how each of the three teams did against each other. ETSU would claim the four seed because they will be 3-1 against Western and Elon. The Catamounts would be the five seed with a 2-2 record and Elon would be the sixth seed after going 1-3 against ETSU and WCU.
If the Catamounts finish as the fifth seed, they will play Wednesday evening at 6:00 pm against the number four seed from the South Division. If they wind up sixth, they will play in the 2:30 game on Wednesday afternoon, battling the third seed from the South.
The race for the second seed and a first round bye in the South boils down to Georgia Southern (9-6) and the College of Charleston (9-6). The Cougars control their own destiny. If they win at home against The Citadel on Saturday, CofC will be the second seed in the South. If CofC and GSU both finish 10-6, the Cougars win the tiebreaker by virtue of Charleston's sweep of The Citadel while the Eagles split with the Bulldogs.
Georgia Southern could also fall into a tie for the third seed if the Eagles lose at home on Saturday to East Tennessee State and Furman (8-7) wins its season finale at Chattanooga. The Paladins and Eagles would finish tied at 9-7 but Georgia Southern would finish third because the Eagles split their season series with CofC while the Paladins were swept by the Cougars.
A Furman loss at Chattanooga would leave the Paladins at 8-8. If Wofford wins at Davidson on Saturday to also finish 8-8, Wofford would take the fourth seed because of the win over the Wildcats.
In the women's bracket, six of the 11 seeds for the upcoming tournament have been set. The remaining five slots remain in a log jam, with numerous scenarios yet to be played out.
The Chattanooga Lady Mocs (18-1) have again locked up the top seed for this year's women's tournament. Their record is blemished only by a loss at Georgia Southern earlier this season UTC will have the first-round bye. By virtue of its 68-55 win over Furman last night, the Davidson Wildcats (14-6) will enter play as the second seed, relegating the Lady Paladins (12-7) to the third position.
On the flip side, the bottom three seeds have also been set. Appalachian State will begin competition as the ninth seed, followed by Elon and Wofford as the 10th and 11th seeds.
Western Carolina can still finish anywhere from fourth through eighth in the upcoming tournament. The Lady Catamounts concluded the regular season winning six of their last eight, including the five-game win streak through mid-February.
The Lady Cats can still earn a first-round bye in the tournament by finishing either fourth or fifth in the SoCon standings. If not, the possibilities still remain that they could play in any one of the three first-round match-ups on Wednesday, March 2.
Games that Western will be watching closely this weekend include East Tennessee State visiting Georgia Southern at Noon; Chattanooga visiting the College of Charleston at 2:00 pm; and UNC Greensboro hosting the Wofford Terriers with a 3:00 pm tip.
Be sure to check back to www.CatamountSports.com or www.SoConSports.com for the latest details surrounding the Southern Conference tournament.