February 26, 2013
The Southern Conference Basketball Championships are beginning to take shape.
With just two games remaining in the regular season, Elon (12-4) has wrapped up the North division title, and Davidson (15-1) has clinched the South and overall top seed. The College of Charleston (12-4) is a lock for the No. 3 seed and a first-round bye. After that, things get a little more complicated.
Samford (9-7) leads the group vying for the No. 4 seed and final first-round bye. Behind the Bulldogs, Appalachian State and Western Carolina (both 8-8) are still in contention, and Chattanooga (7-9) still has an outside shot with two wins this week.
Behind that group, Georgia Southern, UNC Greensboro and Wofford all are sitting at 6-10 and would be seeded eighth through 10th if the season ended today. The Citadel (4-12) and Furman (3-13) round out the standings and figure to be the bottom two seeds. Georgia Southern has been mathematically eliminated from contention for a bye, so the Eagles will open their SoCon tournament next Friday in Asheville, N.C.
Southern played its final two home games of the season last week. The Eagles dropped a tough one to Wofford Thursday night, giving the Terriers a season sweep of the Eagles, but they bounced back Saturday and enjoyed a 78-61 win over Furman on senior night. Georgia Southern honored seniors C.J. Reed and Cameron Baskerville before the game. The Eagles then hit the road to close out the regular season against UNC Greensboro Thursday and Davidson Saturday.
On the women’s side of things, Chattanooga (17-1) sits atop the standings with a chance to nail down the No. 1 seed this week with a game against second-place Davidson (15-2). Appalachian State (12-4) is third, and Elon (11-6) is firmly in the fourth spot.
The top five seeds get the first-round bye for the ladies, and that fifth spot is still up for grabs. Samford (9-9) and Charleston (8-9) are fighting for the right to take next Friday off. Furman (7-10) currently sits in seventh, while Western Carolina and Georgia Southern (5-12) are in a tie for the No. 8 spot. But No. 8 and No. 9 play each other on the first day of tournament action, so this tiebreaker really just would determine which team would get to wear its home jerseys in that matchup. UNC Greensboro (3-14) and Wofford (2-15) are 10th and 11th. (The Citadel does not field a women’s basketball team, which explains why the SoCon only has 11 on the women’s side.)
Georgia Southern was at Furman Monday night (final score not available as of press time) and will host UNC Greensboro Saturday, then close out the regular season on Monday at home against Elon. With one week of action left, things can certainly change. But for the most part, we have a pretty good idea of what the brackets will look like come next Friday in Asheville.
Mother Nature was apparently in no mood for Georgia Southern baseball this past weekend. The Eagles entered the weekend on a roll after taking two of three to open the year against UGA and then posting a midweek, extra-inning win over Florida in Gainesville.
However, Friday night’s series-opening game against Indiana only made it through two innings before it was suspended due to heavy fog. The Eagles were leading 5-0 at the time. The game was scheduled to resume on Saturday, but it rained all day, so the game finally got back underway Sunday morning. Southern won the first one 12-7 behind a barrage of long balls. The Hoosiers bounced back for game two with an 11-5 win. Game three of the series was not played.
Eagle baseball will host Georgia Tech for two games Tuesday and Wednesday this week before welcoming Xavier to J.I. Clements Stadium for a three-game set this weekend. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday’s game starts at 2:30 p.m., and Sunday’s series finale is set for 1:30 p.m. Hopefully the weather will cooperate this time.