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Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball to Play Wingate at Noon on Saturday in NCAA II Regional

AUGUSTA, SC -- Catawba will face off against Wingate in the opening game of the 2008 NCAA II Men’s Basketball South Atlantic Region Tournament on Saturday at noon at the Christenberry Arena on the campus of Augusta State University.  The two South Atlantic Conference foes split their two regular season meetings this season.  Catawba won 74-73 in Salisbury, while the Bulldogs took a 106-75 win at Wingate. 

Tickets for the regional will be $10 per session (2 games).  Augusta State hopes to have online purchasing available by Wednesday.  You can check on more regional info through the regional website at www.aug.edu/athletics/sports/mbasketball/08ncaa.

Wingate (23-6) is the third-seed and won the regional as a four-seed last season.  Catawba (19-11) is seeded sixth after claiming the SAC’s automatic bid with its tournament title.  The other match-up in the opening session has second-seed and host Augusta State playing #7-seed J.C. Smith at approximately 2:30 p.m.  The Jaguars (22-6) were knocked out of the Peach Belt Conference in the quarterfinals by eventual champion Clayton State.  J.C. Smith (21-9), who Catawba split with this season, earned the automatic bid by winning the CIAA Tournament. 

In the night session, top-seeded USC Aiken (27-3) will have a rematch with Clayton State (17-14) at 6 p.m.  The two battled to triple overtime in the PBC Tournament final before Clayton State pulled out an 89-97 win to grab the automatic bid.  Catawba fell to Clayton State in last season’s regional which was also held at ASU.

The final game of the opening round will begin around 8:30 and will feature fourth-seeded Virginia Union (22-7), coached by Catawba Hall of Famer Dave Robbins, and fifth-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne (22-6).  Both teams received at-large bids after losing in their conference tournament semifinals.

Semifinal action will take place on Sunday with the first session winners facing off at 5 p.m., while Saturday’s night session winners will play at 7:30 p.m.  The Championship game will tip-off at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18.


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