The Division II men's basketball regular season concludes this weekend. And it does it right, with a No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown from the South Atlantic Conference.
Queens (NC) heads to B. Frank "Tex" Turner Arena in Harrogate, Tenn. for a showdown with No. 1 Lincoln Memorial. The last time these two faced off in January was a battle of Top 10 teams, except that time, Queens was the No. 1 team in the land. That game went right down to the wire with Lincoln Memorial holding on to the one-point, 73-72 victory.
This time around, the Railsplitters are the top team in DII. Just what can you expect Saturday?
BREAKING: Doubleheader between Queens (N.C.) and Lincoln Memorial has been added to the #D2Basketball Showcase schedule! See it live on WatchESPN and the ESPN App on Feb. 24. #MakeItYours pic.twitter.com/7y4DuQcShn— NCAA Division II (@NCAADII) February 15, 2018
Tale of the tape
|Lincoln Memorial||Queens (NC)|
|Head coach: Josh Chertz (10th year; 2018: 26-1, 19-0 in SAC)||Head coach: Bart Lundy (10th year, 2018)|
|Points per game: 96.8 (No. 2 in DII)||Points per game: 84.8 (No. 30 in DII)|
|Points allowed per game: 68.5 (No. 35 in DII)||Points allowed per game: 68.6 (No. 36 in DII)|
|Rebounds per game: 43.4 (No. 4 in DII)||Rebounds per game: 39.8 (No. 28 in DII)|
|Assists per game: 20.4 (No. 3 in DII)||Assists per game: 17.8 (No. 18 in DII)|
|Field goal percentage: 54.9% (No. 1 in DII)||Field goal percentage: 50.7% (No. 5 in DII)|
|Field goal percentage against: 36.4% (No. 1 in DII)||Field goal percentage against: 41.0% (No. 17 in DII)|
Lincoln Memorial is led by the dangerous trio of Trevon Shaw, Emanuel Terry and Dorian Pinson. All three have found a spot on the Bevo Francis watchlist and are having spectacular seasons. Shaw is one of the most electric scorers in the game, putting up 18.3 per game and is able to hurt you on the drive or from beyond the arc. Terry is a tremendous presence in the paint. He's averaging 17.8 points, 10.5 rebounds and two blocks per game, while throwing down some memorable dunks along the way. Forward/guard Pinson stuffs the stat sheet as well, adding 14.6/9.2/4.5 nightly. Throw in guard Cornelius Taylor and his 14.5 points per game, and there are several ways the Railsplitters can beat you.
The Royals are equally deep, with four players contributing double-digit points on the season. Todd Withers is the star leading the team in points (14.0 per game) and rebounds (8.3 per game). Guard Mike Davis is a threat as well, scoring 13.1 points per game with 5.5 rebounds a night while point guard Ike Agusi chips in 11.4 points and a team-best 5.0 assists per game.
This game not only has big SAC implications, but could shake up the Top 25 depending on the outcome. This rivalry really kicked it up a notch last season, when Lincoln Memorial defeated the Royals 82-68 to advance to the national quarterfinals. Saturday's matchup is must-see TV.
What else to watch:
West Liberty vs. Wheeling Jesuit
West Liberty's offense has been second to none this season, scoring an astounding 107.3 points per game. The Hilltoppers' rival Cardinals held them to just 81 points the last time out. This is a Top 25 battle with plenty of superstars to watch. No. 5 West Liberty is led by All-American Dan Monteroso, while the Cardinals have double-double beast Haywood Highsmith in the paint. While the Hilltoppers have control of the MEC, this game is still important in the annals of the rivalry's history.
Texas-Permian Basin vs. Texas A&M-Commerce
UTPB is playing for the Lone Star Conference title. Texas A&M-Commerce is fighting to stay on the tournament bubble, currently the eight-ranked team in a stuffed South Central Region. Lone Star basketball is fun any day of the week, but with postseason implications on the line, it's taken to a whole new level.