INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — For the third consecutive season the Lincoln Memorial University men’s basketball team has earned a bid to the field of 64 for the NCAA Tournament. The 11th-ranked Railsplitters are the No. 2 seed for the 2013 NCAA Southeast Regional Tournament, which will be held in Aiken, S.C., starting on Saturday with the quarterfinals.
Lincoln Memorial garnered one of the 41 at-large bids for the NCAA Tournament after compiling a 24-5 mark through Sunday’s South Atlantic Conference Tournament Championship. The Railsplitters won the SAC regular-season title but fell short in the tournament, as the third-seeded Wingate Bulldogs earned a 69-53 victory in the championship game to snap LMU’s eight-game winning streak.
Prior to Sunday, the Railsplitters had been the top-ranked team in the southeast region poll for two straight weeks. By virtue of Lincoln Memorial’s loss in the championship game and USC Aiken’s Peach Belt Conference tournament championship, the Pacers jumped the Railsplitters to take over the top spot. By taking over command of the No. 1 seed, USC Aiken (22-7) assumes hosting duties for the NCAA Southeast Regional.
The two-seeded Railsplitters are set to square off with UNC Pembroke, who grabbed the seven-seed after posting a 22-9 mark through Sunday’s conference championship action. UNC Pembroke finished second in the east division of the Peach Belt with a 14-5 league mark. The Railsplitters and Braves have only one previous meeting between the two programs, as Lincoln Memorial swiped a 64-52 victory over Pembroke back on Decc. 29, 2006.
As for the remainder of the quarterfinal contests, top-billed USC Aiken is set to square off against Belmont Abbey (22-9), who earned an automatic bid after capturing the Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship on Saturday. The four-five matchup will pit SAC champion Wingate (21-8) against Limestone (21-8), who earned one of the regions’ at-large bids from Conference Carolinas. The final matchup will be No. 3 Barton (21-7) and No. 6 Montevallo (20-9). Peach Belt foe Montevallo grabbed an at-large bid after falling in the tournament championship on Sunday. They are the defending Southeast Region champs.