AUGUSTA, GA – With the 2019 regular season complete, the Peach Belt Conference has announced the bracket for the men's tennis tournament. The event begins this Friday, April 19, at the Dr. Eddie Floyd Florence Tennis Center in Florence, S.C., and will be hosted by Francis Marion. It will be the seventh straight PBC Tournament held at the center.
Columbus State will begin their first postseason following their National Championship in 2018. Currently ranked #2 in the nation, the Cougars are 20-2 overall on the year and were unbeaten in conference play for the second year in a row. CSU is the two-time defending PBC Tournament champion and will be looking for their fourth overall title this weekend.
Flagler, Lander and USC Aiken each finished the regular season with a 7-2 conference record. The three teams all split their head-to-head meetings with USC Aiken defeating Lander, Lander defeating Flagler and Flagler defeating USC Aiken. The three teams all fell to top-seeded Columbus State and beat everyone else in the league. That exhausted all components of the PBC tiebreaker policy, leaving the three to square off in a coin flip, which was conducted by the league office on Tuesday morning.
As a result of the coin flip, USC Aiken is the #2 seed with Flagler at #3 and Lander at #4.
USC Aiken's tie for second in the conference standings is their best finish in PBC history and they are the second seed for the first time ever. Ranked #8 in the nation, the Pacers are 14-2 overall heading to Florence and riding a three-match winning streak.
Flagler is the third seed for the second straight tournament and were tied for second in the standings for the first time since 2011. Flagler is 6-1 in their last seven matches with only one loss since March 23. Ranked #3 in the nation, Flagler reached the tournament semifinals for the second time in three years in 2018.
Lander finished among the top two in the PBC standings for the seventh time in the last nine years. The Bearcats played in the tournament championship match last year, reaching the final for the second time in four years. Ranked #7 in the nation, Lander enters the PBC Tournament with a 16-4 overall record, 7-2 in league play.
North Georgia is the #5 seed, their fourth top-five seed in the last five years. 15-6 overall on the year and 5-4 in league play, the Nighthawks have been nationally-ranked in the last four ITA polls and currently sit at #11 in the nation.
Georgia College is the #6 seed and will face Flagler in the first round after finishing their regular season against the Saints on Sunday. The Bobcats are 11-7 on the year and ranked #24 in the nation. GC has reached the PBC semifinals for the last five years in a row.
Augusta is the #7 seed while host Francis Marion is at #8. The Jaguars enter the tournament ranked #39 in the nation with Francis Marion ranked #31. Augusta will meet rival USC Aiken in the quarterfinal. The two teams have not met at the PBC Tournament since 2008. Francis Marion defeated GSW in their regular-season finale on Sunday and enter with a 10-9 overall record.
The PBC Tennis tournament website can be found here.