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Benedict women await fate, Miles ready to rumble

One SIAC teams faces uncertainty, the other scouts the field

Benedict women await fate, Miles ready to rumble

ATLANTA–The latest regional rankings for Division II basketball were released this week and the Benedict women still have hope for another shot at the postseason.

The Lady Tigers were ranked no. 8 in the south division this week after a shocking upset in the quarterfinals of last week’s SIAC Tournament. Benedict had gone unbeaten all year in conference play before laying an egg in Birmingham.

SOUTH
RankSchoolOverall DII RecordIn-Region Record
1Florida Southern24-321-2
2Union (Tennessee)23-223-2
3West Florida23-423-4
4Lee20-620-6
5Tampa20-717-7
6Eckerd20-818-7
7Nova Southeastern17-1016-8
8Benedict20-720-7
9Embry-Riddle (Florida)16-1015-8
10Delta State18-918-9

In theory, the top eight teams in the region make it to the postseason, but unranked automatic qualifiers could upset the apple cart. Especially for teams like Benedict who are barely inside the top eight.

For example, the West Florida women lost on Tuesday night in the first round of the Gulf South Conference tournament to West Georgia. Should West Georgia go on to win its conference tournament and the automatic qualifier, it would most likely cut Benedict out of the picture. The Sunshine State Conference begins on Wednesday night, which is the other tournament for SIAC fans to watch closely. Each school in the top ten of the women’s regional ranking is either from the Sunshine State Conference or the Gulf South, with the exception of Benedict.

How many Miles to travel?

Recently crowned SIAC Champion Miles College is ranked no. 10 in the men’s regional poll this week and will most likely pick up the no. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Either way the Golden Bears better pack shorts and sunscreen, Florida seems to be in the plans.

The top three teams in the region are from the Sunshine State Conference, whose conference tournament begins on Wednesday night. Valdosta State might have a shot if the Sunshine State tourney has multiple upsets, but I wouldn’t bet money on it.

SOUTH
RankSchoolOverall DII RecordIn-Region Record
1Nova Southeastern22-220-2
2Florida Southern21-717-6
3Lynn19-517-5
4Valdosta State22-522-5
5West Alabama19-619-6
6Eckerd17-916-8
7Alabama Huntsville21-619-6
8Barry14-1013-9
9Christian Brothers19-919-9
10Miles19-819-8

Either way, Miles will be on the road and they’ll be bringing along the nation’s top defense, giving up just a paltry 55.9 points per game. Notably, Nova Southeastern and Valdosta State have two of the top five scoring offenses in the country.

Nova Southeastern is averaging 99.3 points per game while Valdosta State scores 90.6 per game.

The guessing game will be over on Sunday night when the NCAA announces the field of 64 at 10:30 pm EST.

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