Top-Ranked LMU To Host NCAA Southeast Regional; Railsplitters Open Tournament Play Against King
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The No. 1 nationally-ranked and South Atlantic Conference regular-season and tournament champion Lincoln Memorial University men's basketball team has been selected to host the 2018 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional at Tex Turner Arena March 10-13, it was announced during the live NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Championship selection show on Sunday night, March 4.
The Railsplitters (30-1) are set to host the Southeast Regional - comprising the first three rounds of the NCAA Tournament - for the third time in the past four seasons and the first time since the 2016 team made a run to the national championship game. It marks Lincoln Memorial's eighth straight bid to the NCAA Tournament. Winners of back-to-back Southeast Region titles, the Railsplitters will face the eight-seeded King Tornado (19-10) in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, March 10 at Tex Turner Arena. LMU and King will be meeting for the second time this season, as the Railsplitters blasted the Tornado 94-60 way back on November 11 in the SAC vs. Conference Carolinas Challenge. It will be the second NCAA Tournament clash between the Railsplitters and Tornado, as Lincoln Memorial earned the first NCAA tourney win in program history with a 67-60 win over King back in 2012. King earned its spot in the NCAA Tournament by claiming the Conference Carolinas regular-season title with a 14-4 league mark. The Tornado ended the regular season on a six-game winning streak before they were upset by Belmont Abbey in the opening round of the Conference Carolinas Tournament. Lincoln Memorial heads into the NCAA Tournament looking every bit the part of the No. 1 team in the country. Since suffering their lone loss of the season to defending national champions Northwest Missouri State on December 19, the Railsplitters have reeled off 19 consecutive wins. Lincoln Memorial ran the table in South Atlantic Conference play to become just the second team in league history to accomplish that feat and the only team in Division II men's hoops to do so this season. That pushed the Railsplitters to their sixth straight SAC regular-season title. The Railsplitters captured their fourth SAC tournament title since 2011 with a 77-75 win over No. 5 nationally ranked Queens on Sunday at Timmons Arena. Prior to that, Lincoln Memorial smashed Anderson 90-62 in the quarterfinals and Wingate 76-46 in the semifinals. LMU enters the NCAA Tournament leading the country in both field-goal percentage offense and defense as well as scoring margin. During its current 19-game winning streak, the Railsplitters have won all but two by at least 10 points. The Railsplitters are currently 7-0 against teams in the Southeast Regional field, including a 3-0 mark against Queens. The four quarterfinal games of the Southeast Regional will take place on Saturday, March 10, while the two semifinals showdowns are set to be played on the night of Sunday, March 11. The 2018 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional championship game, which decides who will advance to the Elite Eight in Sioux Falls, S.D., will be played at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13. All seven Southeast Regional games will be hosted in Harrogate at Tex Turner Arena. In addition to Lincoln Memorial's match-up against King, six-seeded Francis Marion will face three-seeded UNC Pembroke, seven-seeded Lees-McRae will take on two-seeded Queens, and five-seeded Carson-Newman will square off against four-seeded Clayton State. Lincoln Memorial will be looking to win its third straight Southeast Region title. The Railsplitters have made back-to-back appearances in the national semifinals and advanced to at least the second round of the NCAA Tournament every year since 2012. The winner of the Southeast Regional advances to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight, which is being held at Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D. March 20-24.
2018 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional schedule Saturday, March 10 Game 1 - No. 6 Francis Marion vs. No. 3 UNC Pembroke (Noon) Game 2 - No. 7 Lees-McRae vs. No. 2 Queens (2:30 pm) Game 3 - No. 8 King vs. No. 1 Lincoln Memorial (5:30 pm) Game 4 - No. 5 Carson-Newman vs. No. 4 Clayton State (8:00 pm) Sunday, March 11 Game 5 - Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 (5 pm) Game 6 - Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 (7:30 pm) Tuesday, March 13 Southeast Regional Championship - Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6 (7 pm)