ROCK HILL, S.C. - The Newberry College men's basketball team has earned the second seed in the 2009 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament, and will host seventh seeded Mars Hill College at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4, in Eleazer Arena. Official seedings and pairings were released this morning.
The seeding is the highest in program history and adds to the accomplishments of this historic season. Newberry (20-7 overall, 10-6 SAC) finished the regular season with 20 wins for the first time since 1981-82, which was the first season the team played in Eleazer Arena. This will be the first time Newberry has hosted postseason men's basketball play in Eleazer Arena, and only the second time NC has earned a top four seed in the tournament.
Newberry split the season series with Mars Hill, defeating the Lions by an 88-70 margin in Mars Hill on Jan. 7, while the Lions emerged from Eleazer Arena with a 74-66 victory on Feb. 4.
Newberry College, Tusculum College and Catawba College all tied for second place with 10-6 conference records. Newberry went 3-1 head-to-head against Tusculum and Catawba to clinch the second seed. Tusculum earned the third seed in a tiebreaker with Catawba. The two teams split during the regular season and each split with top-seed Lenoir-Rhyne. Tusculum had the edge by virtue of its regular-season victory over second-seed Newberry.
The Lenoir-Rhyne University men's basketball team, which won its eighth South Atlantic Conference championship, is the top seed for the 2009 Food Lion SAC Men's Basketball Tournament.
The Bears (12-4 SAC, 17-9) are the top seed for the second year in a row. The Bears won the conference title for the third time in four years. Lenoir-Rhyne will host eighth-seed Carson-Newman (4-12 SAC, 7-20) on Wednesday at 8 p.m.
Tusculum (10-6 SAC, 18-9) will host sixth-seed Wingate University at 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
Catawba (10-6 SAC, 18-9) will host fifth-seed Lincoln Memorial University at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
Wingate and Lincoln Memorial finished tied with 8-8 conference records. The two teams split during the regular season. Lincoln Memorial got the higher seed by virtue of its regular-season win over No. 1 Lenoir-Rhyne.
Quarterfinal winners advance to the tournament semifinals, which will be held at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, N.C. on Saturday.
Tickets for quarterfinal games are $6 for adults, $3 for children, students and college students with ID. Tickets for semifinal and championship rounds are $10 for adults and $5 for children, students and college students with ID.
The men's and women's winners of the tournament will earn automatic bids to the NCAA Division II playoffs.
Wednesday, March 4
Food Lion SAC Tournament, Quarterfinals, Home of Higher Seed
No. 8 Carson-Newman at No. 1 Lenoir-Rhyne, 8 p.m.
No. 7 Mars Hill at No. 2 Newberry, 8 p.m.
No. 6 Wingate at No. 3 Tusculum, 8 p.m.
No. 5 Lincoln Memorial at No. 4 Catawba, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 7
Food Lion SAC Tournament, Semifinals, CVCC Arena, Hickory, N.C.
Lenoir-Rhyne/Carson-Newman winner vs. Catawba/Lincoln Memorial winner, 6 p.m.
Newberry/Mars Hill winner vs. Tusculum/Wingate winner, 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 8
Food Lion SAC Tournament, Finals, CVCC Arena, Hickory, N.C.
Championship, 4 p.m.