By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on March 5, 2007 2:52 PM
Mount Olive advanced to NCAA postseason play for the fourth consecutive year as the Trojans earned the No. 6 seed in the East Regional of the 2007 NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Championship. Mount Olive takes on No. 3 seed Millersville (Pa.) Saturday in the first round at Wilson. Top-seeded Barton plays host to the regional for the second year in a row.
Mount Olive and Millersville face each other in the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years. The Trojans defeated Millersville 86-78 in the first round of the 2005 East Regional.
First round winners advance to the semifinals Sunday. The championship game takes place Tuesday evening.
Mount Olive (23-7) entered this weekend's Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference Tournament ranked No. 7 in the final regular season East Region Poll. The Trojans defeated regionally eighth-ranked Queens Friday in the semifinal to reach the championship for the fourth straight year, but fell to Barton in Saturday's title game.
Millersville (26-4) won the automatic berth from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
Mount Olive made its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance in 2004, falling to Alderson-Broaddus (W. Va.) in the first round. In 2005, the Trojans followed their win over Millersville with wins over Indiana (Pa.) and Salem International (W. Va.) to claim the East Regional championship and advance to the Elite Eight for the first time in school history. Mount Olive fell to Bryant (R.I.) in the national quarterfinal round.
Last year, Mount Olive rallied from a 16-point second half deficit to defeat Shippensburg (Pa.) in the tournament's only first-round matchup of nationally-ranked teams. The Trojans fell to eventual regional champion Barton in the semifinals.
The Mount Olive/Millersville winner advances to face the winner of No. 2 seed West Liberty State and No. 7 seed California (Pa.). The other half of the bracket features a pair of first-round match-ups between conference foes. No. 4 Alderson-Broaddus takes on No. 5 West Virginia State in a rematch of Saturday's West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship game, won by West Virginia State. Barton faces No. 8 Queens in a battle of CVAC foes.
Game times for the East Regional are expected to be announced today.
The East Regional champion joins the other seven regional champions in the NCAA II Elite Eight March 21-24 at Springfield, Mass. Winona State (Minn.) is the defending national champion.
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