INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The third-ranked Railsplitters (24-2) stood pat in the No. 1 spot in the most recent NCAA Division II Southeast Region rankings, which were released by region officials on Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 24. The No. 1 team in the final region rankings -- released at the conclusion of the conference tournaments on Sunday, March 6 -- earns hosting duties for the Southeast Regional Tournament.
Lincoln Memorial strengthened its stranglehold at the top of the Southeast Region rankings and clinched its fourth consecutive South Atlantic Conference regular season title and fifth in the past six seasons last Saturday, when the Railsplitters went into Charlotte, N.C. and pummeled the sixth-ranked Queens Royals 92-66. Queens entered that match-up firmly in the No. 2 spot in the Southeast Region poll and retained that position in the season's second region rankings.
Like last week, four of the Top 8 spots in this week's Southeast Region rankings are currently held down by South Atlantic Conference programs. Along with No. 1 Lincoln Memorial and No. 2 Queens, Wingate is No. 4 and Lenoir-Rhyne is No. 7. King is third in this week's rankings, while Columbus State and Montevallo are at No. 5 and No. 6. The last three spots in the rankings are held by No. 8 Georgia College, No. 9 Barton and No. 10 Young Harris.
The Railsplitters, who have a 20-0 SAC record entering this week's action, enter the final week of the regular season looking to make history once again. With two wins, Lincoln Memorial would become the first program in SAC history to run the table in league play and break their own record for the most SAC wins in the league's single-season history. The Railsplitters are currently riding a 14-game winning streak, which is the third-longest in the NCAA Division II. Lincoln Memorial's 92.3 winning percentage is tied for the second-best mark in the country behind only 26-1 Wheeling Jesuit.
Lincoln Memorial hosted the Southeast Regional Tournament in 2015 for the first time in program history. The Railsplitters are on the verge of making their sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
After Wednesday night's road game with Anderson in South Carolina, Lincoln Memorial will wrap up the regular season on Saturday against Catawba at 4 p.m. in Tex Turner Arena.
NCAA Division II Southeast Region rankings (February 24, 2016) 1. Lincoln Memorial 2. Queens (NC) 3. King (TN) 4. Wingate 5. Columbus St. 6. Montevallo 7. Lenoir-Rhyne 8. Georgia College 9. Barton 10. Young Harris
Note: The complete NCAA Division II region rankings can be found at www.NCAA.com.
Photo by Jamie H. Vaught