Charlotte, N.C. - The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) has released the official 71st Men's Basketball Tournament bracket. The 2016 CIAA Basketball Tournament will be held from Tuesday, February 23rd – Saturday, February 27th at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina. Men's competition is scheduled to begin at 6:40 p.m. EST Tuesday evening.
Tournament pairings are based on the highest divisional winning percentage. In the event of a tie, the tiebreaker rule begins with head-to-head competition results followed by head-to-head point differential. If a tie situation remains, the highest conference winning percentage will be utilized.
"This is the most exciting time of CIAA basketball. We have great pairings, great parity, and you never know who is going to be crowned champion. The twenty-two game schedule will definitely be the highlight of this year's tournament experience as the legacy continues."
Virginia State University (VSU) earned the North's No. 1 seed with an 8-2 record while the Southern Division was clinched by the 7-3 Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU). The No. 2 seeds were Virginia Union University (VUU), who finished 7-3 in the North and Saint Augustine's University (SAU), who completed a 6-4 divisional season in the South.
Bowie State University (BSU) came in at No. 3 in the North, after winning a tiebreaker with Chowan University (CU). Both were 5-5 in the division and tied in head-to-head contests, the tiebreaker was determined by the point differentials of BSU's 78-62 victory on February 13, a 16-point advantage, in contrast to the Hawks' 70-61 victory on February 16, a 9-point advantage. Shaw University (SU) secured the South's No. 3 seed followed by Livingstone College (LC) at No. 4, who took a three-way tiebreaker over Fayetteville State University (FSU) and Winston-Salem State University (WSSU).
Livingstone, Fayetteville State (South No. 5), and Winston-Salem State (South No. 6) all held 4-6 records at the conclusion of regular season play. After a second three-way tie in head-to-head contest records, the seeding order was determined by head-to-head point differentials. Between Livingstone and FSU, a 13-point advantage was earned by the Blue Bears in their 97-84 victory on February 10 as opposed to the 6-point margin (84-78) tallied by the Broncos on January 20. Between WSSU and FSU, a 17-point advantage was earned by the Broncos in their 67-50 victory on February 13 as opposed to the 2-point margin (66-65) tallied by the Rams on January 25. Winston-Salem State and Livingstone achieved a 2-point differential over one another, resulting in yet another tie. Taking conference records into account, Livingstone topped WSSU with their 7-9 record (.438%) over the Rams' 5-11 (.313%) finish.
Lincoln University of Pennsylvania (LUPA) and Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) rounded out the North seeds at No. 5 and 6, respectively.
The men's competition will begin at 6:40 p.m. on Tuesday with a contest between Lincoln (Pa.) and Winston-Salem State. Immediately following at 8:50 p.m., Fayetteville State will meet Elizabeth City State.
Wednesday's bracket schedule will highlight Chowan awaiting the winner between FSU/ECSU for a 6:40 p.m. tip-off. That evening, at 8:50 p.m., Livingstone will battle the winner of the LUPA/WSSU contest.
Men's quarterfinals will tipoff at 1:00 p.m. between SAU and BSU. Virginia State will await the winner of the Chowan and FSU/ECSU game at 3:00 p.m. Johnson C. Smith will take on the winner of the Livingstone versus LUPA/WSSU contest at 7:00 p.m. At 9:00 p.m., Virginia Union and Shaw will take their turn on the court. Quarterfinals are broadcast live on the ASPiRE Network and streamed via CampusInsiders.com.
Friday, February 26th will feature the men's semi-final basketball games at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. The Men's Championship Game is slated to begin at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday and will broadcast live on ESPN3 and tape-delayed for a 10:00 p.m. broadcast on ESPNU.