Published in Sports on February 27, 2006 2:25 PM
Mount Olive is the No. 2 seed in the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference Men's Basketball Tournament for the third year in a row. The Trojans reached the championship game each of the last two years, but were beaten by top-seeded Pfeiffer both times.
Mount Olive finished in a tie for second in the CVAC standings in 2004 and in a tie for first in 2005. This year, the Trojans finished in sole possession of second place.
On the women's side, Mount Olive is the No. 6 seed in the CVAC Women's Basketball Tournament for the second consecutive year. The Trojans have advanced to the quarterfinal round in each of the last three years.
For the second year in a row, Mount Olive's first-round opponent is the same as its final regular season opponent. Last year, the Trojans finished the regular season against Limestone and then faced Limestone two days later in the tournament. Mount Olive concluded regular season play Saturday against Lees-McRae and will face Lees-McRae tonight for the second time in three days.
The Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference was founded in 1938 as the Old North Conference and was comprised solely of schools from North Carolina. Decades later, the name was changed to the Carolinas Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and was more commonly referred to as the Carolinas Conference. The conference was affiliated with the NAIA and the conference tournament champions earned automatic bids to the NAIA national championship.
Three independent NCAA Division II schools, including the first conference member from Virginia, were added and in 1995-96, the CVAC became an NCAA II conference. Tournament champions now ear automatic bids to the East Region tournament of the NCAA II Men's and Women's Basketball Championships.
The conference name remains the CVAC, even though the lone member from Virginia left the conference in 2003. But conference names do not have to be 100 percent accurate. After all, the Big 10 Conference has 11 members, the Northeast-10 has 15 members and the University of Denver is in the Sun Belt Conference.
Early round games are now played at the sites of the higher-seeded teams, but 1996 and 1997 CVAC Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments were played in their entirety at one site. High Point University served as the host for all four rounds of both the men's and women's tournaments. High Point, which left the conference in 1997 to move to Division I, won the 1996 women's tournament and won both the men's and women's tournaments in 1997.
Queens has the most men's tournament championships with three. Belmont Abbey and defending champion Pfeiffer are two-time champions. Belmont Abbey won five consecutive women's championships from 1998-2002. Anderson has won the last two championships.
Mount Olive has been eliminated by Barton in the women's quarterfinal in each of the past two years. The earliest Mount Olive and Barton could meet would be the semifinal round.
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