The Columbus State men’s basketball team did something this season for the first time in a decade — win a Peach Belt Conference championship.
Saturday night, the Cougars will try to accomplish another feat they have not done in a decade — win a NCAA Division II tournament game.
CSU (21-7), the No. 5 seed in the Southeast Regional, takes on No. 4 seed Queens (24-6) at 8 p.m.
The eight-team regional is being hosted by Lincoln Memorial in Harrogate, Tenn.
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“This is what we have been working for all season,” CSU coach Robert Moore said. “We have to come ready to play and be sharp in all aspects of the game if we want our season to continue.”
CSU beat USC Upstate in the first round in 2006, then lost to Bowie State.
The Cougars have been back to the NCAA tournament only twice since then, losing in the first round in 2012 and again last season.
The Cougars have never won a regional. They lost in 1996 to Alabama A&M and in 2000 to Georgia College.
Columbus State won the Peach Belt Conference regular-season championship. The Cougars lost to Augusta in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
CSU has four players averaging in double figures: Cam Baker (20.5), Brent Jackson (16.6), Brentine Taylor (11.7) and JaCori Payne (10.2).
DeMarcus McVay leads in rebounding with 6.9 per game.
Queens, which is located in Charlotte, N.C., enters the game, having lost four of five.
The Royals finished second in the regular season to Lincoln Memorial in the South Atlantic Conference. They lost to Wingate in the semifinals of the SAC tournament.
Rob Lewis, a senior guard, leads Queens in scoring at 18.2 points per game. Forward Sean Morgan added 17.4 points per game.
This is Queens’ ninth trip to the NCAA tournament, but the first since 2011. The Royals have made one trip to the Elite 8 in 2001.
This could a high-scoring game. Queens averages 87 points a game, while CSU is just behind it at 86.
NCAA SOUTHEAST REGIONAL
at Lincoln Memorial, Harrogate, Tenn.
Wingate vs. Montevallo, noon
King vs. Lenoir-Rhyne, 2:30 p.m.
Lincoln Memorial vs. Lander, 5:30 p.m.
Columbus State vs. Queens, 8 p.m.
Wingate/Montevallo vs. King/Lenoir-Rhyne, 5:30 p.m.
Lincoln Memorial/Lander vs. Columbus State/Queens, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday’s winners, 7 p.m.