Not only is the East side of the SSAC loaded with top-ranked men and women's teams, the conference added a western division this past year and teams from Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama will be battling for the championships.
Both Lee teams drew No. 1 seeds and also were rewarded with first-round byes. The Lady Flames (24-5) will be pitted against the winner of William Carey and Emmanuel on Thursday at 1 p.m. The action takes place at Darlington School.
Should Lee, which earned a 11th spot in this week's NAIA poll, win the opening round contest, it would move to a Friday 2 p.m. start at The Forum. Coach Marty Rowe's team is likely headed for another showdown with Shorter University (24-6). Belhaven, Miss. (23-7) drew the No. 1 seed in the West, while Loyola, La. (18-11) is the No. 2 seed. Lee and Belhaven have already received automatic bids to the NAIA National Tournament in Jackson, Tenn.
The Flames (22-7) drew the No. 1 seed in the East, while William Carey is No. 1 from the West. Lee will swing into action on Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. at The Forum. Coach Tommy Brown's team, ranked 14th in the latest NAIA poll, will be pitted against the winner of Brewton-Parker and Loyola. A win would put the Flames up against a rugged assignment on Friday at 4 p.m. when they would be facing the winner of the Southern Poly and Mobile battle.
The championship rounds are slated for The Forum on Saturday. The women's action is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start and the men will follow at 7:30 p.m.