Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bulldogs' backs are to the wall

Despite a big win Saturday against Mount Olive and an opening-round triumph against Belmont Abbey, the NCAA Division II national champions are on the ropes.

The Barton College men's basketball dropped out of the NCAA Div. East Region rankings this week, leaving the Bulldogs no choice but to win the Conference Carolinas Tournament to get back in the Div. II tournament. Barton, the league's No. 4 seed, is at No. 1 Mount Olive on Thursday night in the tourney semifinals.

I can't foresee a situation whereby the Bulldogs could get one of the five at-large berths allotted the East Regional tournament. Not when three Conference Carolinas teams (No. 5 Mount Olive, No. 9 Pfeiffer and No. 10 Queens) are ahead of them.

Alderson-Broaddus, which lost to Barton in the 2006 East Regional in Wilson Gym and to West Virginia State here in 2007, is the East's No. 1-ranked team. Other teams from the 2007 East Regional in the top 10 are California (Pa.) at No. 3, Mount Olive, Millersville (Pa.) at No. 6 and West Liberty (W.Va.) State at No. 8.

I stand corrected in my earlier posting that Barton hasn't cracked the women's East Region top 10 rankings.Apparently my post came before the poll had been updated. The Lady Bulldogs are indeed No. 10 in this week's poll, putting them in good position to earn a regional berth if they can reach the conference tournament final. While Conference Carolinas has typically received less respect than the other East conferences in women's basketball, I'd be surprised if the only CC team to get a bid is Anderson. If Barton loses the tourney championship to Anderson, I can't see anyway the Lady Bulldogs wouldn't get a bid, but you never know.

NCAA Division II East Region men's basketball poll

NCAA Division II East Region women's basketball poll

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