A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
SIAC Releases 2010 Brackets
The Clark Atlanta Panthers take the top seed in the men’s pool after finishing with an overall record of 22-5 (19-5 in conference play).
The Panthers are led by leading scorer Najee Lane (13.0 ppg) and sharp shooter David Brown, who leads the team in 3 point field goals made.
Lane, who was a preseason All-SIAC selection, is the only returning starter from last year’s team. The Panthers, who have a bye in the opening round, will be looking to win their first SIAC tournament title since 1965.
Other teams receiving a bye in the men’s bracket include the Tuskegee Golden Tigers, Claflin Panthers, and the Benedict Tigers.
In the women’s field the Fort Valley State Lady Wildcats take the top seed with an impressive record of 26-1 (21-1 in conference play). The Lady Wildcats, who finished the regular season with 11 straight wins, currently rank No. 1 in the NCAA South region and number eight in the nation according to the USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll.
They are led by preseason conference player of the year Takesha Riggs, who leads the SIAC in steals (3.2/game), ranks third in assist (3.8/game), and sixth in scoring (15.5 ppg) as well as preseason All-SIAC selection Kendra Evans.
As the top seed the Lady Wildcats will receive a bye in the opening round along with the Kentucky State Lady Thorobrettes, Benedict Lady Tigers, Tuskegee Lady Golden Tigers and LeMoyne-Owen Lady Magicians.
The 77th SIAC Basketball Tournament takes place beginning Tuesday through Saturday in Atlanta, at Frank L. Forbes arena, located on the campus of Morehouse College.
In addition to the games, this year’s tournament will feature additional events throughout the week including a college fair, cheerleading/dance competition, and a post-game concert featuring recording artists Travis Porter on Friday night.
Additional events include a sports business symposium featuring sports columnist William C. Rhoden and others as well as a live simulcast with V103′s Greg Street and DJ Infamous during Saturday’s championship games.
SIAC Previews (Tuesday’s openers)
9 a.m. – No. 8 Stillman vs. No. 9 Paine (season series tied 1-1): The Lady Tigers have won 2 straight heading into tournament play led by Alicia Young, who leads the team in scoring. Paine will be led by Areyal Leadette, the team’s leader in scoring (10.5 ppg) and rebounding (8.5 rpg). Winner will face top seed Fort Valley State in the quarterfinal round.
11 a.m. – No. 7 Albany State vs. No. 10 Claflin (season series tied 1-1): The Lady Panthers will look to upset the Lady Rams behind the SIAC’s third leading scorer Ashley Sorrell-Gibson (15.5 ppg) and second leading rebounder Lashaundra Barron (9.0 rpg). Albany State comes in as one of the better defensive teams in the conference (4th in scoring defense). Winner will face No. 2 seed Kentucky State in quarterfinal round.
1 p.m. – No. 6 Lane vs. No. 11 Clark Atlanta (season series tied 1-1): The Lady Panthers will look to draw inspiration from playing in their own backyard in an effort to make their second consecutive appearance in the tournament championship game. SIAC leading scorer Veronica Jackson (19.7 ppg), who scored 25 points in the last meeting against CAU, has put up big numbers all year and should be a legit candidate for conference player of the year. Winner will face No. 3 seed Benedict in the quarterfinal round.
3 p.m. – No. 8 LeMoyne-Owen vs. No. 9 Kentucky State (season series tied 1-1): The Magicians feature three of the top 20 scorers in the SIAC in LaDarius Johnson (4th, 16.2 ppg), Maurice Mickens (9th, 13.8 ppg), and Taurean Moy (17th, 13.0 ppg). Kentucky State, winners of three straight, look to carry that momentum into postseason play. Winner will face top seed Clark Atlanta in the quarterfinal round.
5 p.m. – No. 5 Stillman vs. No. 12 Morehouse (KSU leads season series 2-0): This will be a battle of the conference’s top two scorers in Lajay Sears (Stillman) and Jelani Figures (Morehouse). The Maroon Tigers hope that playing on their home floor will help in their efforts to pull off an upset. Winner will face No. 4 seed Claflin in the quarterfinal round.
7 p.m. – No. 6 Lane vs. No. 11 Fort Valley State (LC leads season series 2-0): The Dragons come in looking to make a second consecutive appearance in the championship game. Fort Valley State will be looking for an upset bid behind sharp shooters Randy Graham and Jeremy Sledge. Winner will face No. 3 seed Tuskegee in the quarterfinal round.
9 p.m. – No. 7 Albany State vs. No. 10 Paine (ASU leads season series 2-0): Geno Green, one of the top scorers in the conference, will look to lead the Lions to their first victory over the Rams this season. Albany State, behind Coach Chris Cameron, will look to make some noise playing in their home state.
Winner will face No. 2 seed Benedict in the quarterfinal round.