A night after defeating Clark Atlanta to win its first Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship, Claflin's men's basketball team learned it would face a rematch in the first round of the NCAA Division II tournament.
Claflin, which defeated Clark Atlanta 69-61 Saturday night in Birmingham, Ala., will meet the SIAC foe again.
Claflin earned the No. 3 seed in the South Region. Clark is the No. 6 seed.
The regional round of the single-elimination tournament will run Saturday-Tuesday, March 10-13, 2018.
Joining Claflin and Clark Atlanta in the South Regional, are No. 1 seed and host Morehouse College, No. 2 seed West Florida, No. 4 seed Eckerd, No. 5 seed Valdosta State, No. 7 Barry, and No. 8 Florida Southern. West Florida and Valdosta play in the Gulf South Conference while Florida Southern, Barry and Eckerd are members of the Sunshine State Conference.
"We are grateful and blessed to have three teams in the region representing the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC),” head coach Ricky Jackson said. "As far as the matchup against Clark Atlanta, we are looking forward to it. Both teams are familiar with each other and I’m sure it will turn out to be another barn burner.”
Claflin, which received the SIAC automatic bid after defeating Clark Atlanta Saturday in the championship game, will enter with a 26-5 overall record, while Clark Atlanta comes in with a 24-5 overall record.
This will be the fourth time the teams meet. Both teams won on their home court during the regular season with Claflin taking the rubber game to capture the championship.
If Claflin wins its opening game, the Panthers will face the winner of the West Florida/Barry game in the second round.