The Samford men, the number four seed in the SoCon's north division, open tournament play at 6 p.m. EST Friday against rival Furman University, the number five seed in the south division. The winner of that game will face the number one seed, Davidson College, in a 6 p.m. game on Saturday.
Samford enters the tournament with an 11-18 overall record and 8-10 in SoCon play. Samford defeated Furman 55-49 on Feb. 18 in their only meeting during the regular season. Furman ended the regular season 14-15 overall and 8-10 in the conference.
All games in the SoCon men's tournament will be played in U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Asheville. The championship game at 9 p.m. on Monday will be televised live on ESPN2.
The Samford women, the defending SoCon tournament champions, play Elon University in a Saturday afternoon quarterfinal game. Samford is the number four seed, and Elon is seeded fifth in the 11-team tournament. The game currently is scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. EST tipoff but could be moved to 4 p.m. EST, pending the outcome of the University of North Carolina-Asheville's play in the Big South Conference tournament. UNC-A is hosting the first and second days of the women's SoCon women's tournament at Kimmel Arena on the UNC-A campus. As the highest seed team in the Big South tournament, UNC-A would host the championship game on Saturday if they continue winning. If that happens, the SoCon will adjust starting times for women's tournament games on Saturday.
Samford and Elon split their regular season games, with the home team winning each. Elon beat Samford 69-44 on Dec. 5, and Samford returned the favor 67-53 in Birmingham on Jan. 28. Samford finished 17-12 on the season, and Elon was 16-13 overall. Both teams finished with identical 12-8 conference records, but Samford is the higher seed based on the conference tie-breaker system.
The semifinals and finals of the women's tournament will move to U.S. Cellular Arena.
All Samford tournament games will be broadcast on WVSU-FM, including live streaming via the Internet, with Mike Grace, the "voice of the Bulldogs," calling the play-by-play. Brad Radice, Samford's director of media relations, will be blogging daily from the tournament at www.samford.edu. Samford's sports information staff will provide regular news coverage of the tournament at www.samfordsports.com.
The Southern Conference tournament is the oldest continuously played college basketball championship in the U.S., dating to 1921.