Let’s take a look at the February games that matter most as we head to the 2019 DII men’s basketball championship tournament.
2019 BRACKET: Everything you need to know about the DII tournament
Missouri Southern at Northwest Missouri State, Feb. 2: The Lions have had a roller-coaster season, finding themselves in and out of the top 25. They also handed the Bearcats two of their four losses last season, including one time when Northwest Missouri State was the No. 1 team in the land. The Bearcats are playing like the best team in the country. If the Lions can repeat that 2018 magic, they make their tournament case a whole lot stronger.
Queens (NC) at Lincoln Memorial, Feb. 2: Another huge game to kick off the month has huge implications for the Railsplitters. Despite going through a bit of change in 2018-19, Lincoln Memorial is still in the hunt sitting at 14-4. It lost 90-62 last time out against Queens and needs to show it can handle the SAC leaders in Tennessee.
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— NCAA Division II (@NCAADII) January 29, 2019
Nova Southeastern vs. Florida Southern, Feb. 2: This is a huge game for the Mocs who also have to contend with a road trip to Boca Raton, Florida for a matchup against Lynn 14 days later. The Mocs have been up and down the rankings and the top of the SSC standings this season. They now sit in fourth place in the conference, but two signature wins against these nationally-ranked teams will go a long way come tournament time. They’ll certainly have eyes on the Feb. 20 matchup between Nova Southeastern and Lynn which could decide the SSC regular season.
Slippery Rock at Indiana (Pa.), Feb. 6: The Crimson Hawks have one loss this season and it is at the hands of The Rock. That win has fueled Slippery Rock, and after starting the season at 2-5, it has won 12 in a row. If The Rock can sweep IUP, they can make a strong claim at the PSAC.
Francis Marion at USC Aiken, Feb. 6: It’s Round 2 between these PBC heavyweights. The Patriots handed the Pacers their lone loss of the season on Jan. 9, and USC Aiken hopes to even the score on its home court. The Pacers can’t afford to lose this one, with another tremendous game against No. 21 UNC Pembroke on Feb. 20.
Ashland at Ferris State, Feb. 7: The old guard of the GLIAC against the new guard. The Bulldogs won the 2018 national championship and took a little while to mesh to start their title defense. Ashland has been on fire since day one, currently 18-1. This is a big game as it is between the North and South Division leaders, but a win by Ferris State splits the season series and puts its name right back in the tournament conversation.
Bellarmine, Indianapolis, Feb. 9 and 21: The leaders of the GLVC still face off twice this season, marking two big tests for undefeated, No. 1 Bellarmine. The Knights go on the road on Feb. 9 and then host the Greyhounds on Feb. 21, where they hope their record-setting home winning streak (currently at 67) is still going strong.
Chaminade at Point Loma, Feb. 16: If you had this game penciled in as a top 20 matchup in October, congratulations, you are a DII basketball genius. Lo and behold, here we are, in a huge PacWest matchup. Point Loma is undefeated in PacWest play, but the Silverswords have already dropped four games. This is as much a must-win as any remaining on Chaminade’s schedule.
— NCAA Division II (@NCAADII) January 30, 2019
Daemen at St. Thomas Aquinas, Feb. 22: Another big-time rematch, the Wildcats took down the Spartans in a thrilling overtime game on Jan. 25 to jump into the top 25. This game will likely decide the regular season and could make for one of the best stories of the DII basketball season if Daemen can keep this momentum rolling.
Other games to watch: Fairmont State at West Liberty, Feb. 2; West Texas A&M at Texas A&M-Commerce, Feb. 23; St. Martin’s at Northwest Nazarene, Feb. 28.