INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- The 11th-ranked Railsplitters retained the top spot in the NCAA Division II Southeast Region Poll after capping the regular season with the South Atlantic Conference crown following a pair of victories this past week. The Division II region rankings were unveiled late Wednesday afternoon by officials with the NCAA.
Lincoln Memorial University (22-4, 15-3 SAC) moved into the No. 1 spot in the southeast region last Wednesday, and held serve by extending their winning streak to six to conclude the regular season schedule. The 'Splitters defeated the Wingate Bulldogs, 63-60, on Wednesday in Wingate, North Carolina to lock down at least a share of the SAC regular season title and sealed an outright championship with a commanding 82-65 triumph over the Catawba Indians on Saturday in Tex Turner Arena.
If the Railsplitters remain No. 1 in the final southeast region rankings, set to be revealed at the conclusion of the 2013 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Championship, Tex Turner Arena will house the NCAA Division II Southeast Region Tournament, slated to be held March 16-19.
Along with the news regarding the Railsplitters retaining the top spot in the region, four Railsplitters were selected to the All-SAC teams, which were released by the league office on Wednesday morning. Headlining that group, Vincent Bailey and Jake Troyli grabbed first team distinctions. Lorenza Ross was named to the All-SAC Second Team, while Tim Pierce was tabbed as a SAC All-Freshman Team honoree. The Railsplitters were also named team statistical champions in three different categories, as they led the South Atlantic Conference in field goal percentage (49.3%), field goal percentage defense (39.9%) and rebounding offense (40.0).
The Railsplitters come to realize this No. 1 southeast region ranking in the midst of one of the most prolific runs in the history of the region, as Lincoln Memorial has compiled a 95-22 record over the past four seasons with four-consecutive 20-win seasons to their credit. Lincoln Memorial also extended their current South Atlantic Conference record streak to 41-consecutive weeks ranked in the NABC/Division II Coaches Poll on Tuesday afternoon, as they moved to No. 11 in the country.
The remainder of the southeast region rankings were mostly unchanged, as Peach Belt Conference foe South Carolina-Aiken (18-7) stayed put at No. 2, while Conference Carolinas was represented in the third spot by Barton (20-6). No. 4 UNC Pembroke (18-8) and No. 5 Limestone (19-7) rounded out the top five. King (19-7), Wingate (18-8), Montevallo (17-8), Anderson (18-8) and Belmont Abbey (16-9) locked down the six through ten spots in the rankings. The Railsplitters hold a 4-1 mark against teams currently ranked in the southeast region poll this season.
The top-seeded Railsplitters are set to host the No. 8 Tusculum College Pioneers on Wednesday evening in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Championship. That game is scheduled to tip at 7 p.m. in Tex Turner Arena with the winner advancing to the semifinal round, slated for Saturday, March 9th in Greenville, South Carolina and Furman University's Timmons Arena.