Eastern Florida State Falls 69-59 In Region VIII Finals To St. Petersburg College
By Michael Parsons, Eastern Florida State College Sports // March 12, 2017
titans hope to secure at-large bid to NJCAA Tourney
OCALA, FLORIDA – The Eastern Florida State College men’s basketball team struggled in the second half, losing to St. Petersburg 69-59 in the Region VIII Men’s Basketball Championship game at the College of Central Florida Saturday night.
The Titans held a 40-32 lead at halftime, but struggled from the floor in the second half, scoring a season-low 19 points.
Kareem Brewton, Ahmed Ali and Shaq Carter were named to the all-tournament team and Brewton was also named to the all-state team after the game.
Ali finished with 17 points in the final and Austin Awad had 12 points.
Eastern Florida State College will hope to get an at-large bid to the NJCAA Division I National Championship Tournament on Sunday evening.
The resume is certainly strong enough to receive an at large bid to Hutchinson.
The Titans finished 28-5 overall, won their fifth straight conference title and twice defeated Northwest Florida College, who were the top ranked team in the state and the third ranked team overall in the NJCAA Division I poll.
The second victory over the top ranked Raiders came in Friday night’s conference tournament semifinal.
If star power is important to promoting a tournament and it is, the Titans have that part of the resume covered as well.
Head coach Jeremy Shulman is the Southern Conference Coach of the Year, sophomore sensation Kareem Brewton, who was second in NJCAA Region 8 in scoring, averaging 20.9 points per game while shooting 50.3 percent from the floor, was conference player of the year.
Brewton is being recruited by dozens of schools including Ohio State, Illinois, Memphis and Gonzaga.
Including Brewton, six Titans players were named to all-conference teams.
Brewton, Ahmed Ali and Joan Duran were all named to the first team while Austin Awad, Shaq Carter and Eli Abaev were named to the second team.
The resume is there, the only question should be who will the Titans face when the NJCAA DI Mens’ Basketball Championship kicks off on March 20 in Hutchinson, Kansas.
— NJCAA (@NJCAA) March 11, 2017
You can follow along during the selection process tonight at 6:30 p.m.
The Titans will find out their fate tonight at 6:30 when the participating teams are announced.
They will find out tomorrow where they end up in the bracket.
This year marks the 70th NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship – known as The Tournament.
NJCAA Division I men’s basketball is comprised of 16 districts across the country and the champion of each district receives an automatic bid to The Tournament, which is a 24-team, single-elimination championship.
There are 16 Region and District Championships for DI Men’s Basketball which were completed yesterday.
In addition to the 16 district champions, four (4) at-large teams and four (4) zone qualifiers advance to The Tournament.
At-large selections will be made by the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee tonight.
‘Zone qualifiers’ come from four grouped districts (predetermined by the committee) and rotate among the 16 districts each season.
For the 2017 tournament the four ‘zone qualifiers’ will come from Districts 2, 7, 10 and 14, which presents the one issue EFSC faces, they play in District 8.
The Titans therefore must secure one of the four at large bids.
Once the 24 team field is set, the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee seeds the field to complete the bracket with the top eight seeds receiving byes to the second round.
The fully seeded bracket will be released by the NJCAA tomorrow.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE EASTERN FLORIDA SPORTS