Sunday, March 6, 2011
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AMERICUS - The Georgia Southwestern men's basketball team got together Sunday night on campus to watch the NCAA Division II Tournament selection show, hoping they'd have reason to celebrate when the selections were announced.
The Hurricanes will be making their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament when the Southeast Regional begins this weekend at Augusta State University. The bid comes on the heels of a bunch of firsts for the program since joining Division II in 2006-07, including its first Peach Belt Conference title, and first awards for Player of the Year (Phillip Brown) and Coach of the Year (Mike Leeder).
The third-seeded Hurricanes (20-8) will face sixth-seeded University of Montevallo (18-10) on Saturday. Game times have not yet been announced.
Southwestern is familiar with UM, having played the Falcons twice during the regular season in Peach Belt Conference play. GSW won 65-55 at Montevallo on Jan. 8 and defeated UM in Americus, 68-55, on Feb. 5.
This will be the first regional appearance by any team sport at GSW since the university joined NCAA Division II in 2006-07. Hurricane golfer Craig Gibson earned an invite to the regional golf tournament last spring.
The GSW/Montevallo winner will play the winner of second-seeded Lincoln Memorial (27-2) and seventh-seeded Anderson (S.C.) (18-11) in one Sunday semifinal.
In the other half of the regional bracket, No. 5-ranked and top-seeded Augusta State (28-3) will play eighth-seeded UNC Pembroke (18-11) in one quarterfinal, while fourth-seeded Queens University (20-7) will face No. 5 Limestone (23-6).
The regional championship game will be played Tuesday evening. The regional champion will advance to the Elite Eight, which will be held in Springfield, Mass., March 23-24, and 26.