Sunday, March 8, 2009

Bulldogs in; Lady Bulldogs denied NCAA bid

The NCAA released its Division II men's and women's basketball tournament pairings Sunday night and the announcement was greeted with joy and sorrow at Barton College.

The Bulldogs, who won the Conference Carolinas tournament crown Saturday night, are back in the NCAA tournament as the No. 5 seed in the Southeast Regional while the Lady Bulldogs, regular-season queens of Conference Carolinas, were shut out for the second straight season.

The Barton men open against No. 4 seed Georgia College and State University at Augusta (Ga.) State University on Saturday. Tip-off times have yet to be determined.

As I pointed out down the page earlier today, the Barton women's hopes of making the NCAA Division II tournament rested with the results of the Peach Belt Conference tournament. Unfortunately for the Lady Bulldogs, Lander University, unranked in the Southeast Region, completed its upset run by spilling USC-Aiken in the championship game to get the PBC's automatic bid.

That was bad news for the Lady Bulldogs, who were ranked No. 7, going into the conference tournaments. But with Anderson University knocking off Barton on the way to the Conference Carolinas tourney crown and Lander winning, that meant two automatic bids went to unranked teams. So it came down to Barton (22-6) and Carson-Newman (19-10), the fourth-place team in South Atlantic Conference which also lost in the conference tournament semifinals.

I'd love to see Carson-Newman play because I might then be able to understand how it could have been invited ahead of Barton, which got no respect at all as the regular-season champion.

Yes, I know, Barton could have avoided this gross wrongdoing by not losing in the semifinals but it's a travesty that a team with 10 losses and a fourth-place finish could get the bid ahead of the Lady Bulldogs.

The Div. II women's brackets can be viewed here and the men's brackets can be seen here.

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