OK, so here's how I see the Barton College women's basketball team's chances to reach the NCAA Division II tournament. The Lady Bulldogs need to root, root, root like crazy for USC-Aiken in Sunday's Peach Belt Conference tournament championship against Lander University.
You see, the Lady Bulldogs are currently ranked No. 7 in the Southeast Region, which consists of Barton's Conference Carolinas, the Peach Belt and the South Atlantic Conference. USC-Aiken is ranked No. 3 in the region and the SAC final pits No. 1 (and likely regional host) Lenoir-Rhyne against No. 4 Tusculum College. No. 2 Clayton State and No. 3 Francis Marion both lost in the PBC semis today.
The only way Lander is getting in (or should get in, considering it is 19-10) is by winning the PBC title Sunday and getting the automatic bid. If that happens, Conference Carolinas will probably only get the automatic bid — the winner of Sunday's tournament final between host Mount Olive and Anderson, which beat Barton in Friday night's semis.
Carson-Newman, which is ranked No. 6 in the Southeast Region, also lost in the semifinals of the SAC tourney, as did No. 8 Wingate. If Mount Olive, currently ranked No. 10, defeats Anderson, I like Barton's chances to get an at-large bid and bump Wingate out of the regional.
But that's only if Lander loses to USC-Aiken and the seeding committee doesn't completely disrespect Conference Carolinas by allotting just the automatic bid.
We will find out Sunday night at 9 p.m.