INDIANAPOLIS, IN - The 14th-ranked Railsplitters were tagged second in the initial NCAA Division II Southeast Region men's basketball poll, which was unveiled by region officials on Wednesday afternoon. The final region poll - released at the completion of the South Atlantic Conference Championship - determines the eight participants in the Southeast Regional with the No.1 seed serving as the host site for that event.
With four games remaining in the regular-season schedule, Lincoln Memorial University (20-2, 16-2 SAC) has a stranglehold on the top spot in the conference standings. The Railsplitters are three games ahead of Anderson and Carson-Newman, the region's fifth- and ninth-ranked squads, and a win in Wednesday's home contest versus Brevard would clinch at least a share of the program's third SAC regular-season title in four years. The Railsplitters have earned the Southeast Region's No.2 seed in two of the last three years.
The Railsplitters claimed their fifth-consecutive 20-win season with a dominant 84-49 win over the Tusculum College Pioneers on Monday at Tex Turner Arena. Two days prior to that, Lincoln Memorial became the first visitor to Lenoir-Rhyne's Shuford Gymnasium to defeat the Bears in over a year. The Railsplitters' 20-2 mark was built during a 13-game winning streak that ran from November 30 to February 1.
Lincoln Memorial is in elite national company in several key offensive and defensive statistics. The Railsplitters lead all of the NCAA Division II in rebounding margin with a plus-15.7 disparity on the glass. Additionally, Lincoln Memorial is seventh in field-goal percentage (51.5 percent) while ranking 10th in field-goal percentage defense (39.4 percent). With that, the Railsplitters are seventh in the nation in scoring margin, outscoring their opponents by an average of 15.8 points per.
The Railsplitters look to clinch at least a share of the South Atlantic Conference regular-season title on Wednesday night, hosting the Brevard College Tornados for a league bout. Lincoln Memorial and Brevard are slated for an 8 p.m. tip at Tex Turner Arena.
NCAA Division II Southeast Region
Men's Basketball poll
1. South Carolina Aiken
2. Lincoln Memorial
4. GRU Augusta
5. Anderson (S.C.)
6. Georgia Southwestern
7. Mount Olive