Despite a quarterfinal loss in last week's CIAA tournament, the Bowie State men's basketball team last night was awarded the top seed and home-court advantage in the NCAA Division II tournament's South Atlantic regional for the first time in school history. The eight-team regional will be played Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday in Bowie's 4,000-seat A.C. Jordan Arena.
The Bulldogs (24-4) will play eighth-seeded Tusculum (18-10) of Greeneville, Tenn., in the first round Saturday. The game will be played at 6 or 8:30 p.m.; the time will be set by Bowie officials today.
It is the third straight NCAA tournament appearance and third in program history for Bowie State, which likely will lose its No. 1 national ranking when the final poll is released tomorrow.
"As bad as I wanted to win the CIAA championship, this was my real goal, to bring this NCAA Division II regional championship to Bowie," Bulldogs Coach Luke D'Alessio said. "We deserved to get this number one seed, and we deserved to host it."
Tusculum won yesterday's South Atlantic Conference tournament final to earn its first NCAA berth. The regional also includes second-seeded Virginia Union, the CIAA tournament champion, and Kennesaw State, the defending Division II champion and a possible second-round opponent for Bowie State.
Bulldogs starting center Attila Cosby, who logged just 18 minutes in a 61-59 loss to Fayetteville State on Thursday, continues to be hampered by a leg injury. D'Alessio said Cosby is questionable for Saturday's game.
-- Dan Steinberg