Savannah State men's basketball
Photo: Savannah State Athletics

It is March, which means it’s time to do some dancing as we enter the NCAA basketball tournament season.

The NCAA tournament is always exciting because it is the peak of intense competition with some of the most emotional outcomes in sports.

Kicking off this exciting time is the NCAA Division II basketball tournament with the bracket having been revealed Monday.

Of the 128 teams selected to the big dance for the men and women respectively, seven come from HBCUs.

Here we will be breaking down what teams are playing, who they are facing, and when they play.

Women

No. 8 Lincoln (PA) vs. No. 1 Glenville State

The CIAA champion Lincoln (PA) Lions make it into the Division II tournament as the eighth seed in the Atlantic region opening up against the host number one seed Glenville State Pioneers.

This will be Lincoln’s first-ever tournament appearance following a regular season in which it finished the regular season 19-7 overall and 12-4 in the conference.

The Lions went on to claim the CIAA championship defeating Elizabeth City State 67-52 in the tournament final.

Their opponent, Glenville State, was spectacular in the regular season finishing a perfect 27-0 including 22-0 in conference play.

In the Mountain East Conference tournament, Glenville State fell short in the championship game losing to the University of Charleston.

These two teams will face each other Friday, March 11 at 5:00 p.m. and can be seen on https://mountaineast.tv/glenville/.

No. 8 Savannah State vs. No. 1 Union (TN)

The Savannah State Tigers enter the DII tournament as the eight seed in the South region opening against the host number one seed Union (TN) Bulldogs.

Savannah State is playing in their first tournament since they returned to the Division II ranks in 2019.

They finished the regular season 25-1 with a 14-1 record against SIAC opponents. They advanced to the SIAC championship game where they fell short against Benedict.

Union went 23-2 during the season with a perfect 18-0 record against Gulf South conference opposition.

They won their second straight conference tournament defeating Lee University 58-44 in the final.

This game will also be played on March 11 at 5:00 p.m. and can be listened to at https://uuathletics.com/watch/?Live=737&type=Live.

No. 6 Benedict vs. No. 3 Lee

SIAC tournament champion Benedict enters the NCAA tournament as the sixth seed in the South Region against No. 3 seed Lee Flames.

The Tigers appear in the DII tournament for the first time since 2017 after recording a 20-7 record in the regular season and 12-3 in the conference.

The Tigers won their second SIAC title in a row defeating Savannah State 71-69.

Lee went 22-6 in the regular season and 15-5 in the Gulf South Conference. Lee lost to Union in the conference tournament final.

The game will be played on March 11 at 1:00 p.m. and can be listened to at http://mix104.info/listen-live-mix-104-1/#.

Also read: Report: Mo Williams to be named next Jackson State head coach

Men

No. 8 Fayetteville State vs. No. 1 Indiana (PA)

The CIAA champion Fayetteville State Broncos will be the No. 8 seed in the Atlantic region facing off against the host number one seed Indiana (PA) Crimson Hawks.

Fayetteville State was 18-8 in the regular season going 13-3 in CIAA play. The Broncos capped off the CIAA tournament by defeating Virginia Union 65-62 their first conference title since 1973.

This will just be Fayetteville State’s second tournament appearance their first coming in the same year as their last CIAA title win.

Indiana (PA) went 29-2 in the regular season with a 20-2 record against Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) opponents.

The team then raced through the PSAC tournament claiming its third straight championship beating Millersville 63-52.

This game will be played on Saturday, March 12 at a time that has not been announced.

No. 8 Savannah State vs. No. 1 Nova Southeastern

The SIAC champion Savannah State Tigers will be the No. 8 seed in the South region facing the host number one seed Nova Southeastern Sharks.

Savannah State had a less than spectacular regular season finishing 11-13 with an 8-9 conference record. They are the only team in the tournament that had a record below .500 in the regular season.

Entering the SIAC tournament as the third seed in the East division, the Tigers weaved their way through higher-ranked opponents Tuskegee and Morehouse on their way to knocking off Benedict 76-62 in the championship game.

They face a Nova Southeastern team that is the only team that comes into the tournament with an unbeaten record at 28-0.

The Sharks mowed their way through the Sunshine State Conference tournament culminating in a 98-85 win over Barry in the final.

These two teams will play on March 12 at 5:00 p.m.

No. 7 West Virginia State vs. No. 2 Cal U (PA)

The West Virginia State Yellow Jackets receive the seventh seed in the Atlantic region matching up with second seed Cal U (PA) Vulcans.

West Virginia State went 23-6 overall record in the regular season and an 18-4 record against Mountain East conference opponents.

As the second overall seed in the Mountain East conference tournament, the Yellow Jackets were one-and-done losing to Alderson Broaddus in the quarterfinals.

WVSU will look to get their redemption in the NCAA tournament against a California University of Pennsylvania team that had a 20-8 regular season record and 15-7 against PSAC teams.

They made it to the semifinals of the PSAC conference tournament before being upended by the eventual champion Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

No. 5 Miles vs. No. 4 Union (TN)

The Miles Golden Bears will be the fifth seed in the South region going up against fourth-seeded Union (TN) Bulldogs.

Miles heads into the DII tournament following a 23-3 regular season going 17-1 in conference.

They had a disappointing exit in the SIAC tournament losing 66-49 to Benedict, a team that controversially did not receive an invite, in the semifinals.

Union (TN) had a 21-7 regular season record including a 15-5 record against Gulf South opponents.

The Bulldogs made it to the final of the Gulf South tournament but lost 86-72 to Alabama-Huntsville.

This game will be played on March 12 at 6:30 p.m.



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