Division II

College Basketball

March 14, 2003|By Kent Baker

Division II

What: South Atlantic regional tournament

Site: Lumpkin Center, Columbus, Ga.

When: Today through Monday

2002 champion: Shaw

2003 favorites: Bowie State and Columbus State. These two have been trading the No. 1 ranking in the region practically all season. Bowie has the size and experience (10 seniors). Columbus, the Peach Belt Conference champion, is a more perimeter-oriented team but has the big advantage of the home court.

Dark horse: Virginia Union. A perennial power in the region and two-time national Division II titlist, Union is the only member of the eight-team field without 20 victories. But it may be playing for coach Dave Robbins, who will miss the tournament after heart surgery.

Player to watch: Tim Washington, Bowie State. The Bulldogs' All-American candidate averages 20 points and 9.1 rebounds and was the most valuable player of the team's Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship run.

Outlook: The tough CIAA is represented by four teams in a tournament that encompasses three conferences. Lenior-Rhyne, Bowie's first-round opponent and a member of the South Atlantic Conference, was 22-7. If both Bowie and Columbus prevail in the first round, they are probably looking at games with CIAA foes.

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