Monday, May 29, 2017

Stage set for exciting C-I

A flurry of activity in the last week of the regular season left ties at the top of both the men’s and women’s Northern Divisions.

For the men, defending champion Virginia State (22-6, 14-2 CIAA) and Virginia Union (21-5, 13-3) both finished with 8-2 N. Div. records. The teams split wins in the regular season but VUU had a greater point differential in its win and gets the top seed.

VUU is eighth and VSU ninth in the NCAA Atlantic Region rankings going into the tournament. Only eight teams will make the field for NCAA Div. II regional field.

In the women’s North, Virginia State (19-7, 11-5 CIAA), 2016 titlist Virginia Union (22-3, 13-3) and Chowan (17-9, 10-6) finished 7-3 in division play to tie for the top spot. VUU swept VSU but was swept by Chowan giving the No. 1 seed to the Lady Hawks. VUU is second.

In last week’s national poll, VSU was eighth and second in the Atlantic Region.

There were also ties for second between Livingstone and Winston-Salem State in the men’s South Division and for second in the women’s South between Livngstone, WSSU and Shaw. Livingstone emerged from the tie-breakers with the second seed for both men and women in the South.

The top three men’s seeds in both divisions received byes into Thursday’s quarterfinal round. The fourth-seeds for the men – Bowie State from the North and Fayetteville State from the South – played on Wednesday evening (March 22, 6:40 and 8:50 p.m.) against the winners of Tuesday’s two opening round games between fifth and sixth seeds from both divisions.

For the ladies, the top two seeds from both divisions – Chowan and VUU in the North and Johnson C. Smith and Livingstone in the South – got byes into Wednesday’s women’s quarterfinal round.

The four opening round women’s games involving the third through six seeds began Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Bojangles Coliseum.

The four men’s quarterfinal games open play Thursday at the downtown Spectrum Arena, formerly known as the Time Warner Cable Arena, home of the Charlotte Hornets.

The women’s semifinal round will be staged on Friday at 1 and 3 p.m. with the men’s semis at 7 and 9 p.m. The women’s final is Saturday at 4 p.m. followed by the 7 p.m. men’s title game.

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