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West Liberty Men, Women Qualify For NCAA Basketball Tournament

Updated: Monday, March 10 2014, 12:08 AM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – If the No. 3-ranked West Liberty University men’s basketball team is to win an unprecedented fourth straight NCAA Division II Atlantic Region championship, the Hilltoppers will have to do it on the road.

 The No. 1 seed and hosting rights for this week’s Atlantic Region Tournament was awarded to Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference champion East Stroudsburg, Pa. (28-1) on Sunday.

 The Hilltoppers (26-3), who had been ranked No. 1 in the region throughout the year, were forced to settle for the No. 2 seed after being upset, 63-60, by Charleston in Sunday’s MEC Tournament championship game in Charleston.

 The NCAA’s official announcement came late Sunday night via a live webcast introducing the entire 64-team NCAA Division II championship tournament field.

 West Liberty, which has averaged more than 30 wins a season over the past five years, had been selected as a regional host in each of the past four seasons and is unbeaten (11-0) in NCAA regional play at the ASRC.

 Coach Jim Crutchfield and his Hilltoppers will be facing a familiar foe when Atlantic Regional quarterfinal play tips off on Saturday in East Stroudsburg. Fellow MEC member Glenville State (18-10) will provide the opposition for West Liberty as the No. 7 seed after losing to Charleston in Saturday’s MEC semifinals.

 Charleston (21-8), the first MEC Tournament champion, is the No. 4 seed and will take on No. 5 seed Gannon, Pa. (19-9) out of the PSAC.

 As the No. 1 seed, host East Stroudsburg will play No. 8 seed Livingstone, N.C. (21-7), an automatic qualifier as the CIAA Tournament champion. The other quarterfinal sends No. 3 seed Indiana, Pa. (23-4), a perennial Atlantic Region power, against No. 6 seed West Chester, Pa. (20-9).

 Tipoff times for all regional tournament games will be announced on Monday.

NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball
Atlantic Region Tournament

Saturday, March 15
Regional Quarterfinals
(at East Stroudsburg, Pa.)

No. 1 East Stroudsburg, Pa. (28-1) vs. No. 8 Livingstone, N.C. (21-7), tba
No. 4 Charleston (21-8) vs. No. 5 Gannon, Pa. (19-9), tba
No. 3 Indiana, Pa. (23-4) vs. No. 6 West Chester, Pa. (20-9), tba
No. 2 WEST LIBERTY (26-3) vs. No. 7 Glenville State (18-10), tba

Sunday, March 16
Regional Semifinals

East Stroudsburg/Livingstone winner vs. Charleston/Gannon winner, tba
Indiana/West Chester winner vs. West Liberty/Glenville State winner, tba

Tuesday, March 18

Regional Championship
Sunday’s winners, tba

Meanwhile, the West Liberty University women’s basketball team has received an at-large bid as the No. 8 seed in this week’s NCAA Division II Atlantic Region tournament.

Coach Lynn Ullom’s Hilltoppers (20-10) will take on No. 1 seed and Atlantic Region tournament host Glenville State (28-3) on Friday in the quarterfinals of the regional event.

 A strong finish was the key to West Liberty’s post-season bid as the Lady Hilltoppers won 12 of their last 14 games. They finished second in the Mountain East Conference standings before advancing to the semifinals of the inaugural MEC Tournament in Charleston.

 This is the 12th NCAA Tournament bid for West Liberty under Ullom, the winningest women’s basketball coach in West Virginia history.

 Three MEC teams earned regional tournament berths. In addition to West Liberty and the host Pioneers, MEC Tournament runner-up Charleston (21-8) earned the No. 7 seed and will meet No. 2 seed Edinboro (27-3), the PSAC Tournament champion, in another Friday quarterfinal.

 In the two other quarterfinal matchups, No. 3 seed Gannon, Pa. (27-3) will play No. 6 seed Shaw, N.C. (21-8), the CIAA Tournament champion. Bloomsburg, Pa. (24-4) is the No. 4 seed and will play No. 5 seed Virginia State (25-2).

 Tipoff times for all Atlantic Region tournament games will be announced on Monday.
NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball
Atlantic Region Tournament

Friday, March 14
Regional Quarterfinals
(at Glenville, W.Va.)

No. 1 Glenville State (28-3) vs. No. 8 WEST LIBERTY (20-10), tba
No. 4 Bloomsburg, Pa. (24-4) vs. No. 5 Virginia State (25-2), tba
No. 3 Gannon, Pa. (27-3) vs. No. 6 Shaw, N.C. (21-8), tba
No. 2 Edinboro, Pa. (24-5) vs. No. 7 Charleston (21-8), tba

Saturday, March 15
Regional Semifinals
(at Glenville, W.Va.)

Glenville/West Liberty winner vs. Bloomsburg/Virginia State winner, tba
Gannon/Shaw winner vs. Edinboro/Charleston winner, tba

Monday, March 17
Regional Championship
(at Glenville, W.Va.)

Saturday’s winners, tba

West Liberty Men, Women Qualify For NCAA Basketball Tournament

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