BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Mid-South Conference officials released the 2021 MSC Men's Basketball Tournament bracket on Saturday following the conclusion of the conference’s regular season. Cumberland men's basketball has finished in the eighth seed after posting an 8-11 Mid-South Conference record and will host Life on Tuesday for a chance to go to the quarterfinals.
The 2021 tournament bracket features four opening-round games at on-campus sites with the winners of those games joining the top-four seeds in Bowling Green for the remainder of the tournament.
Opening-round games are slated for Tuesday, Feb. 23 at the higher-seeded team in the matchups. The quarterfinals are scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 28, with the semifinals and finals to follow on Monday and Tuesday, respectively at Bowling Green Arena.
Regular-season champion Shawnee State (Ohio) is the tournament's top seed after posting an 18-1 conference record with a .947 winning percentage. The Bears earn one of the conference's two automatic bids into the national tournament by claiming the regular-season crown.
Second-seeded Georgetown (Ky.) (12-6 in the MSC, .667 winning percentage), third-seeded Thomas More (Ky.) (12-8, .600), and fourth-seeded Cumberlands (Ky.) (11-8, .579) each earn a bye into the tournament's quarterfinals.
Cumberlands and Martin Methodist (Tenn.) (11-8, .579) tied for fourth in the MSC standings with identical conference records. Cumberlands received the higher seed based on the conference's tiebreaker of having wins during the regular season over the higher-seeded team in the tournament. Cumberlands and Martin Methodist split two games during the regular season.
The opening round games feature fifth-seeded Martin Methodist hosting No. 12-seed Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (3-14, .176); sixth-seed Freed-Hardeman hosting to No. 11-seed Bethel (Tenn.) (3-11, .214); seventh-seeded Pikeville (Ky.) (9-10, .474) playing host to No. 10-seed Campbellsville (Ky.) (7-14, .333); and eighth-seeded Cumberland (Tenn.) (8-11, .421) hosting ninth-seeded Life (Ga.) (5-10, .333).
Life and Campbellsville posted identical winning percentages during the season. Life earned the higher seed based on sweeping the season series from Campbellsville.
The four opening-round winners advance to the quarterfinals where they will be placed into the quarterfinals based on their seeds -- the lowest remaining seed faces Shawnee State, the next lowest remaining seed plays Georgetown, the third-lowest remaining seed faces Thomas More, and the highest remaining seed plays Cumberlands.
Quarterfinal action tips off at Noon CT on Sunday.
The tournament champion receives one of the conference’s two automatic bids into the NAIA National Tournament. If Shawnee State wins the tournament, the tournament's runner-up receives the second automatic bid.