Peach Belt Announces Men’s Basketball Tournament Bracket
AUGUSTA, GA – The Peach Belt Conference has announced the 2014 men’s basketball tournament bracket from the league office in Augusta, Ga. The top four teams in the east and west division will convene on Columbus, Ga., starting this Friday, March 7, with four quarterfinal games. The semifinals will be held on Saturday, March 8, with the championship game on Sunday, March 9, at 4:30 pm. The tournament is presented by Jani-King.
Friday’s first quarterfinal game will feature the top-seeded team in the west: the Montevallo Falcons. UM claims the top spot in the division for the third straight year and have played in the last two championship games, winning the title in 2012. The Falcons finished the regular season with a 15-4 league mark after beating Young Harris 74-66 on Saturday on the road. UM has won four of five heading into Columbus and will face Francis Marion, the #4 seed in the east.
FMU returns to tournament play for the first time since 2011. The Patriots may be playing their best ball at the end of the season as they have won four in a row including an 88-74 win over Lander in Saturday’s regular-season finale. FMU and Montevallo met back on Jan. 18 with the Falcons taking the win 88-64.
Friday’s second quarterfinal features Georgia Regents University, the #2 seed in the east, taking on North Georgia, the #3 seed in the west. Georgia Regents has been nationally-ranked twice this season and are looking for their third tournament title in the last six years. The Jaguars defeated Flagler 88-77 in Saturday’s finale and have won five of seven heading into Columbus. The Jags have also beaten North Georgia in their only matchup this year; a 97-71 win in Augusta.
North Georgia reached the PBC tournament semifinals for the second time in school history in 2013. The Nighthawks fell in their season finale on Saturday to Georgia Southwestern, but have won five of their last eight heading to the tournament.
The 5:00 pm quarterfinal game matches #2 west seed Georgia Southwestern against east #3 Lander. GSW makes their second consecutive tournament appearance, third in the last four years, and have their highest seed since capturing the top seed in 2011. The Hurricanes beat North Georgia in Saturday’s finale to 11-8 in conference play, 19-9 overall.
Lander finished the regular-season with an 11-8 league record in the tough east division. The Bearcats, 2007 tournament champions, return to tournament play after a one-year absence and won six in a row and nine of 10 during the season, including a 62-58 win over GSW on Jan. 30.
Friday’s last quarterfinal brings host Columbus State, the #4 seed in the west, against USC Aiken, the top seed the east. Ranked #8 in the nation, USCA is the defending PBC tournament champion and won their third-straight PBC regular-season championship with a win over UNC Pembroke on Saturday. The Pacers made their first-ever NCAA Elite Eight appearance last season and are the top-ranked team in the latest NCAA regional poll. The Pacers beat the Cougars 82-70 on Jan. 4 in Aiken.
Columbus State makes their return to the PBC Tournament. The last time CSU played in the league tournament on their home floor was in 2012 where they advanced to the championship game and reached the NCAA Tournament. The Cougars are 10-5 on their home court this season and come in with a win over Clayton State in Saturday’s regular-season finale.
Every game of the PBC Tournament will be covered with live stats and a live video feed through UStream, the official streaming partner of the Peach Belt Conference. The league will also provide a stream of every post-game press conference. Links to all the live coverage along with ticket information can be found on the official tournament website here. A PDF bracket can be found here.