SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The Southeast Region champion and 15th-ranked Railsplitters (29-5) will be the No. 3 seed for the upcoming NCAA Division II Elite Eight and will face sixth-seeded Chico State (26-7) in the national quarterfinals at 9:30 p.m. eastern time on Wednesday night at Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Lincoln Memorial captured its second consecutive Southeast Region championship on Tuesday night with a thrilling 82-68 win over No. 6 Queens at the Levine Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Railsplitters will be looking to make their second straight run to the NCAA Division II National Championship game. LMU finished as the 2016 national runner-up after losing to Augustana, whose campus is located just a few miles from Stanford Pentagon.
The Railsplitters have never faced Chico State, who took down the West Region’s top-three seeds – Western Washington, Hawaii Pacific and UC San Diego – over a four-day period to earn its second trip to the Elite Eight of the past four seasons.
The Wildcats caught fire as the region’s six-seed after losing four of their final 10 regular-season games and bowing out of the California Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament in the semifinal round.
A quick glance at the Wildcats reveals that they are a dominant defensive unit that is ranked ninth in the nation in points allowed per game with 64.8 and 42nd in field-goal percentage defense by holding opponents to 42.2 percent shooting.
Chico State has piled up the 13th-most blocks in the nation with 146 and averages 4.4 per game. Offensively, the Wildcats average 75.7 points per game on a respectable 46 percent shooting. Four different players are scoring at least 12 points per game, led by 13 points apiece from Isaiah Ellis and Corey Silverstrom.
The winner of the Lincoln Memorial/Chico State matchup advances to the national semifinal to play the winner of No. 2 Northwest Missouri State and No. 7 St. Thomas Aquinas on Thursday.