NAC Challenge Game to determine seeding for conference tournament
Athletics - posted on 2/16/2009
This Saturday, Feb. 21, following the conclusion of regular season play, the Lakeland men's and women's basketball teams will play in the inaugural Northern Athletics Conference Challenge Games.
The Challenge Games were adopted when the NAC decided to split into North and South Divisions for conference play. The first-place team from the North will compete against the top team from the South, the second-place team from the North will take on the second-place squad from the South, and on down the line. Results of the games between the top four teams in each division will be used to determine seeding for the upcoming NAC Tournament. For example, the winner of the game between division champions will be the top seed, and the loser will be the No. 2 seed. The second-place teams in each division are playing for the No. 3 and 4 seeds, etc.
The home teams on Saturday will be determined by where the two teams' regular season match-up was played. For example, the Lakeland women's team, which will take third
in the NAC North Division, will take on the third-place team in the South, MSOE. Because the two teams met in Milwaukee back on Jan. 24, the challenge game will be played at Lakeland. The Muskies defeated the Raiders, 64-56. The winner of Saturday's game will be the No. 5 seed in the NAC Tournament.
Women's coach Teri Johnson admitted there are mixed feelings from coaches around the conference about the Challenge Games, but noted the uniqueness of the game compared to other leagues around the country.
"From our perspective, the focus is to beat Concordia (Wis.) on Wednesday and then get the fifth seed in the tournament," Johnson said. "Whoever we get matched up with, it is important to end the season and enter the tournament on a positive note."
The women's tournament field is not quite set. Benedictine, Alverno and Dominican are fighting for fourth place in the South. Concordia, Wis. (North), and Wisconsin Lutheran (South) have clinched their respective division titles.
The Lakeland men's team, which has clinched fifth place in the North, will take on Concordia Chicago from the South
Division in River Forest, Ill. The Muskies took down the Cougars, 84-79, at home back on Dec. 13, 2008.
The game will end the season for the Muskies, as the fifth- and sixth-place teams from each division are left out of tournament play.
Men's coach Aaron Aanonsen is optimistic about the game, citing the effects and implications it can have for the conference tournament.
"The NAC Challenge game is kind of interesting, and I think it's very unique to our conference," Aanonsen said. "It seems kind of exciting that we have the opportunity to play against someone from the South that's right at our level."
The field for the men's tournament is set. Edgewood has clinched first place in the North, while Benedictine has wrapped up at least a share of the title in the South.
The winner of the league tournament receives an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Share This Story Help
Lakeland offers links to several popular social bookmarking services. These links help you share stories with other people or create bookmarks for future reference. The services are free, but they require a personal account. Click for more information on social bookmarking
<< Return to News