Russellville, AR (ATU) – The Arkansas Tech men's basketball team made history on Sunday evening when the two-time Gulf South Conference champion Wonder Boys were awarded a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division II Basketball Tournament that begins later this week.
Along with securing the No. 1 seed, Tech, who is ranked No. 2 in the latest NABC/Division II Coaches' Poll, will also host the eight-team Men's South Regional at Tucker Coliseum. It will mark just the second time in school history that Tech has qualified for the NCAA D-II Tournament and the first time it was rewarded with a chance to host as the No. 1 seed.
Last season, Tech won the GSC Tournament and advanced to the second round of the NCAA South Regional in Lakeland, Fla., where they fell 95-92 in overtime to Florida Southern.
"This is exciting for our basketball team. We get the chance to host the regionals in our own gym and sleep in our own beds," Wonder Boys Head Coach Mark Downey said. "This event will do nothing but benefit the Arkansas Tech campus and the Russellville community."
Tech (29-1 overall) will open the 2010 NCAA D-II Tournament against No. 8 seed Tuskegee (20-10), the SIAC Tournament champions, in one quarterfinal on Saturday, March 13. The Tech/Tuskegee winner will face the winner of the No. 4 seed Valdosta State (25-4), the No. 7 ranked team in the latest NABC/Division II Coaches' Poll and No. 5 seed Clark-Atlanta (24-6) will tangle in one semifinal on Sunday, March 14.
The other side of the bracket has No. 2 seed Rollins (25-5), the Sunshine State Conference champions, facing No. 7 seed Alabama-Huntsville (23-6), who lost 64-63 to Tech in the finals of the GSC Tournament on Sunday, while No. 3 seed Florida Southern (25-4) faces No. 6 seed Barry (19-11) in the other quarterfinal. Those two teams met in the semifinals of the SSC Tournament and Barry picked up a 79-61 victory.
Game times for Friday's first round games will be announced on Monday.
The NCAA South Regional Tournament schedule has been adjusted so Tech can host both the women's and men's regionals. The women's first round games will be played on Friday, March 12, while the regional semifinals are slated for Sunday, March 14 and the regional championship game will be played on Tuesday, March 14. The winner of the South Regional advances to the Men's Elite Eight in Springfield, Mass.