LUT WILLIAMS BCSP Editor
Tournament time is here!.
It all got started this week in Baltimore when the CIAA tipped off its Basketball Tournaments at the downtown Royal Farms Arena.
It is the 76th men’s tournament since it all began back in 1946 in Washington, D. C. The ladies will be playing in their 47th tournament which began in 1975.
Fayetteville State (18-8), by virtue of its 13-3 record in conference play is the top men’s seed. Lin- coln (19-7) claimed the women’s top seed with a 12-4 CIAA record.
The top four seeds in the men’s and women’s brackets received byes into Wednesday and Thurs- day’s quarterfinal rounds.
On the men’s side, Virginia Union (21-6, 13- 3) is the second seed followed by Winston-Salem State (18-5, 12-3) and Lincoln (18-9, 11-5).
For the women, Elizabeth City State (19-6, 11-5) is seeded second followed by Bowie State (12-11, 10-6) and Johnson C. Smith (15-9, 10-6).
Play began Tuesday with four women’s open- ing round games (10 a.m., 12:10 p.m., 2:20 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.). Two men’s opening round games Tues- day evening (6:40 p.m. and 8:50 p.m.) closed out the day’s play.
Two men’s opening round games tipped early Wednesday (10 a.m., 12:10 p.m.) followed by two women’s quarterfinal games involving the top two seeds at 2:20 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Two men’s quar- terfinal games involving top seeds Fayetteville State (6:40 p.m.) and Virginia Union (8:50 p.m.) closed out Wednesday’s games.
Early on Thursday, the women complete their quarterfinal match ups at 12 and 2 p.m. The men complete their quarters at 6 and 8 p.m.
The women’s semifinals go off at 12 and 2 p.m. on Friday with the men’s semis to follow at 6 and 8 p.m.
The women’s championship is set for Saturday at 1 p.m. The men’s title game is at 4 p.m.
All 22 games will be broadcast exclusively on ESPN+ (https://plus.espn.com/) with the champi- onship games also being shown on ESPNU. Radio coverage of all the games will be provided by Heri- tage Sports Radio Network (HSRN).
The only CIAA men’s team in the top ten in the NCAA Div. II regional rankings released last week was Virginia Union. The 21-6 Panthers were ranked tenth in the Atlantic Region.
The only women’s team ranked was 19-7 Lin- coln at No. 10 in the Atlantic Region.
The SIAC has another week of regular season play before its tournament tips next week (Feb. 28 to March 5) in Rock Hill, S. C.
Fred Watson’s Golden Bears of Miles (22-3) have now won 16 straight games after victories on the road this week over Kentucky State (77-74) and Central State (61-37). They have assured them- selves of a top seed in the tournament. They closed out the regular season Tuesday at LeMoyne-Owen.
Watson’s troops won their first six games of the season and then lost three straight before its current win streak. The losses were to Georgia College (71- 66), Columbus State (62-51) and Benedict (68-67).
Miles (22-3, 16-1), who has a five-game lead over Tuskegee (14-11, 10-6) in the SIAC West, is currently sixth in the NCAA Div. II South Region.
In the SIAC East, Morehouse got its second win over Benedict, 88-76 on the road Saturday, to take over first place. The Maroon Tigers (18-6, 13-2), win- ners of 15 straight, had beaten the Tigers in Atlanta, 86-79 on Jan. 15.
Morehouse, in its first year under head coach Douglas Whittler after the untimely death of former coach Grady Brewer, is tenth in the Div. II South Region.
Cedric Baker’s Lady Tigers of Savannah State (11-1) stretched their winning streak to ten games with wins this past week over Clark Atlanta (97-81) and Tuskegee (79-73). The only loss for the Lady Tigers (24-1, 13-1) this season was a 74-65 decision to Benedict on Jan. 22.
Tuskegee is sixth, Benedict is seventh and Sa- vannah State is eighth in the women’s D2 South Region rankings from a week ago.
Texas Southern (11-4) took over first place in the men’s race after getting wins over UAPB (70-68) and MVSU (79-59) while Southern (10-4) fell to Grambling 61-57 Saturday. Alcorn State (10-4) is tied with Southern after beating Jackson State Satur- day, 61-60.
JSU kept its unbeaten record in the women’s race (14-0) with a 65-44 win Saturday over Alcorn State.
JSU is on the road this weekend at TSU and PVA&M. Alcorn plays the same two on the road. Southern hosts B-CU and FAMU. Alabama A&M and Alabama State meet Saturday in Huntsville, Al.
There was a little shake-up on the women’s side of the MEAC race as Howard (9-2) took over first place after Norfolk State (8-3) fell at Morgan State (51-48 Monday. The Lady Bison got wins over MSU (81-63) and CSU (70-67). MSU and CSU are now tied for second with Norfolk State at 8-3.
The top three men’s teams also split wins over the weekend. Norfolk State (9-2) suffered their second conference loss Monday at Morgan State (85- 74) after beating Coppin State Saturday (89-59). NC Central (7-3) beat DelState in overtime (84-79) Saturday but fell at home to UMES Monday (79-66). Howard defeated MSU Saturday in Cleveland at the NBA All-Star game venue (68-66) and then fell at home to Coppin State Monday (86-82).