Wednesday, February 9, 2011

MSU men move to No. 1 in region rankings

Two road victories last weekend not only strengthened the Minnesota State men's basketball team's chances of winning the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championship, they also put the Mavericks in position to host the NCAA tournament's Central Region.

Minnesota State (19-2) moved into the No. 1 spot in the region rankings, which were released Wednesday.

Fort Lewis, which had been ranked No. 1, lost twice last weekend and slipped to No. 2, followed by Metro State, Colorado School of Mines, Mary, Augustana, New Mexico Highlands and Winona State.

The Mavericks host St. Cloud State on Friday (8 p.m.)and Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday (6 p.m.. The regular season ends with road games at Minnesota Duluth, Bemidji State and Southwest Minnesota State.

The Mavericks have a two-game over Mary in the conference and could clinch the Northern Sun title with two wins this weekend and two losses by Mary. If the Mavericks win four of the five remaining games, they will be the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament.

However, the big prize is hosting the region tournament. Minnesota State hosted that event last season but lost in the semifinals, but the No. 1 seed has been very successful in the last 10 seasons.

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