Division II Tournament Roundup: Three Is The Magic Number for HBCU men’s and women’s schools

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Committee has announced the field of 64 teams for the 2017 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship and three HBCUs have received bids.

Virginia Union University and CIAA Champion Bowie State University have both received at-large bids in the Atlantic Regional. SIAC Champion Clark Atlanta University is headed to Huntsville as the No. 8 seed in the South Regional.

VUU is seeded No. 7 in the Atlantic Region while BSU is seeded No. 8. Virginia Union will face No. 2 Shippensburg in the first round of the Atlantic Regional in Fairmont, W.V.  Bowie State will take on top-seeded Fairmont State on the FSU campus at a time to be determined. Other teams in the Atlantic Regional are #3 seed and Mountain East Tournament Titleist West Liberty, #4 Indiana (Pa.), #5 Kutztown and #6 Wheeling Jesuit

CAU will face regional top seed Alabama-Huntsville out of the Gulf South Conference in the South Regional in Huntsville.  The Panthers are riding a seven-game winning streak under first-year head coach Darrell Walker. In addition to Clark Atlanta, other teams in the South Regional include #2 seed Valdosta State, #3 Delta State, #4 Barry, #5 Eckerd, #6 Christian Brothers and #7, Rollins.

First-round games will be played March 11, semifinal games March 12 and the regional championship will be played March 13, except in the West Region.  The Division II men’s championship game will be played Saturday, March 25th in Sioux Falls, S.D. at the Sanford Pentagon.

WOMEN

After hosting the Atlantic Regional and making it all the way to the Elite Eight in 2016, the Virginia Union University (23-4) women are a No. 3 seed, and will face No. 6 Wheeling Jesuit in the first round.

California (Pa.) is the Atlantic Region host this year.

Johnson C. Smith, the 2017 CIAA Champions, will be making the program’s first appearance in the NCAA Atlantic Regional Tournament since 2012.

JCSU has earned the No. 7 seed in the upcoming tournament and will take on No.2 seed Indiana (Pa.) (IUP) at Hamer Hall on the campus of California University in California Pa. IUP won the PSAC title earlier on Sunday with an 84-79 win over California. Despite the loss, California will host the Atlantic Regional and gained the top-seed.

The Benedict College women’s basketball team, champions of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, earned the third seed in the NCAA Division II women’s South Region Tournament and will take on Valdosta State.

The Lady Tigers, 21-7, are making their fourth-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. They will take on Valdosta State, tournament champions of the Gulf South Conference (GSC) on Friday. The Lady Blazers, 22-9, beat top-seed West Florida in overtime on Sunday for the GSC title and the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The South Region Tournament will be played in St. Petersburg, Fla., on the campus of Eckerd University. Eckerd (26-4) is the top seed and will take on the No. 8 seed Lee University (20-10). The winner between Benedict and Valdosta State will take on the winner between No. 2 seed West Florida (25-6) and No. 7 seed Nova Southeastern (17-11). The Eckerd vs. Lee winner will meet the winner between No. 4 Florida Southern (20-9) and No. 5 Rollins (20-7).

The quarterfinals will be played on Friday, March 10. The semifinals are Saturday, March 11 and the championship game is Monday, March 13.

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