INDIANAPOLIS – With conference tournaments beginning, the NCAA released its final batch of region rankings Wednesday afternoon as Carson-Newman holds onto the top spot in the Southeast Region, having been No. 1 for each of the three weeks it has been released.
The selection committee uses these rankings as a guideline to make up the NCAA Tournament field. The top eight teams in the region make the NCAA Tournament with three automatic bids going to the winners of the conference tournaments from the South Atlantic Conference, Conference Carolinas and the Peach Belt Conference.
For the No. 1 team in the region, that school gets to host the Southeast Region tournament over the second weekend of March with three wins needed to advance to the National Quarterfinals in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Lady Eagles suffered their second loss of the year at Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday night before rebounding on Saturday to defeat 21st-ranked Wingate to capture the program's sixth SAC title.
Based on the performance indicator that aggregates strength of schedule, quality wins and record of the last 10 games of the season, C-N's 17.179 is nearly a point higher than No. 2 Wingate's 16.407. It assigns numerical values to game results depending on the site and quality of opponent.
The top two teams in the region are the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the SAC Tournament as the Lady Eagles draw Lenoir-Rhyne on Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Wingate plays Newberry at the same time.
C-N is 7-2 against the top 10 teams in the region while Wingate holds a 5-3 mark in such contests. The team in third in the region is North Georgia who is 5-3 against the top 10 plays UNC Pembroke Wednesday at 6 p.m.
After falling to North Georgia last Wednesday, Lander moves down to the fourth spot Clayton State in the Peach Belt Quarterfinals.
Despite losing to 8-20 North Greenville in the opening round of the Conference Carolinas Tournament, Limestone holds in the No. 5 spot.
Columbus State moved from ninth to sixth. Anderson and Flagler are jockeying for the final at-large spot in the field with a Conference Carolinas automatic qualifier to take the eight seed.
Barton dropped to ninth after falling to a 12-17 Mount Olive unit last week but will play Erskine in the Conference Carolinas semifinals Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
Lincoln Memorial put itself into the conversation after beating C-N last week and is 10th in the final edition before the field is unveiled.
The selection show is scheduled for Sunday evening, March 4, at 10 p.m. that can be found on NCAA.com with links posted on the @NCAADII page.
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