By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (February 18, 2015) — Tarleton State is No. 1 in the South Central Region.
The inaugural 2015 NCAA Division II regional rankings were released Wednesday afternoon, with Tarleton edging Metropolitan State College-Denver, Colorado School of Mines and Angelo State for the No. 1 spot. The top team in the final regional rankings will host the regional tournament, meaning home court advantage for the opening three rounds of the Division II playoffs.
Of course, a lot of basketball stands between the inaugural poll and the final one, which will come out on March 8. Tarleton must focus on today’s test at West Texas A&M – tip off is 7:30 p.m. at the First United Bank Center in Canyon – and also has a tough home date against Texas A&M-Commerce among its remaining regular season games.
The Texans last hosted the South Central Region Championship in 2008, falling in the regional final to Central Oklahoma. Tarleton also hosted regionals in 2003 and 2004, and won regionals at Texas A&M-Commerce in 2005 and at Southwest Baptist (Mo.) in 2006.
The Texans are 22-2 overall and 9-2 in Lone Star Conference play. They defeated Angelo State 72-68 last Wednesday, knocking the Rams down to fourth in the first regional rankings.
The Tarleton women are eighth in the first poll, and the top eight in the final poll advance to the regional, barring an unranked team winning the LSC, Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference or Heartland Conference tournaments for an automatic bid.
The TexAnns are 14-8 overall and 7-6 in LSC play. They visit WTAMU at 5:30 p.m. today.
Here are the complete first polls: