Four North Carolina schools are among the 64 teams selected Sunday to play in the NCAA Division II men’s basketball tournament.
Queens, Belmont Abbey and Fayetteville State all received automatic bids for winning their respective conference tournaments while UNC Pembroke, which was upset in the championship game of the Carolinas Conference tournament, made it into the bracket as an at-large selection.
Queens (28-3) beat Carson-Newman on Sunday to win the South Atlantic Conference to earn the No. 2 seed in its eight-team Southeastern region pod. The Royals will play its opening game against No. 7 Columbus (Ga.) State in Augusta, Ga., on Saturday.
Belmont Abbey, which upset heavily favored UNCP in the Carolinas Conference title game on Sunday, is the No. 8 seed in the same pod. The Crusaders (22-9) will take on top-seeded Augusta College on Saturday.
UNCP, ranked ninth in the nation with a 26-3 record, drew the No. 3 seed in the pod and will play sixth-seeded Flagler in the first round.
CIAA champion Fayetteville State (21-8) is the No. 8 seed in the Atlantic region pod and is matched against top-seeded and host Indiana (Pa.) in Saturday’s opening game.
Second-round games are set for Sunday at the same sites with the winners of the eight pods advancing to the Elite Eight in Evansville, Ind., on March 22. The national championship game is scheduled for March 26.
On the women’s side, three state teams made the NCAA Tournament bracket.
Wingate (24-5) is the No. 4 seed in the Southeast pod and is matched against No. 5 seed Carson-Newman. Barton (28-1) is the sixth seed with an opening round game against third-seeded Georgia Southwestern while seventh-seeded Catawba (23-6) will play second-seeded Lander
The games will be played on Friday in Dahlonega, Ga., at the home of top-seeded North Georgia.