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Paris Junior College (18-6 overall, 11-3 in conference) hosts San Jacinto College (21-4, 12-2) at 7 p.m. today in a men’s basketball game that is important to both teams as far as seeding rights for the Region XIV tournament on March 4-8.
San Jacinto, which is ranked No. 28 nationally, brings a 11-game winning streak into the game.
The Ravens haven’t lost since a 83-78 setback to Navarro on Jan. 4 in Corsicana. Their only other conference loss was 73-56 to Trinity Valley in their conference opener in Athens on Nov. 26.
A win tonight by San Jacinto would just about wrap up the No. 1 seed from the South Zone. The Ravens would move a full two games ahead of Lamar State-Port Arthur (21-5, 11-4), against whom San Jac went 2-0 this season.
The San Jacinto-Paris game is an inter-zone game that was scheduled to have been played on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 7, but was postponed because of icy travel conditions in Northeast Texas.
Paris needs a win to keep alive its prospects of capturing the No. 1 seed in the North Zone.
The Dragons moved into second place in the North by beating No. 5 Kilgore (21-4, 12-4) on Saturday, sweeping the two-game series with the Rangers.
PJC is a game and a half behind Trinity Valley, which is 23-3 overall and 13-2 in conference.
It’s a tall order, but the Dragons can pull into a tie with the Cardinals by beating San Jacinto tonight, Tyler (12-11, 5-10) on Wednesday and Trinity Valley on Saturday.
That would leave Paris, San Jacinto and Trinity Valley all with three losses, and the Dragons would have the tie-breaker over San Jac and Trinity Valley for tournament seeding purposes.
On the other hand, a loss to San Jacinto would drop the Dragons two full games behind Trinity Valley with four games left to play.
The two teams in each zone with the best league record gat first-round byes in a 12-team field.
Lee College has a chance to get the second bye in the South Zone, especially since its four remaining conference games include games against both San Jacinto and Lamar State.
Teams in Region XIV must play 19 conference games — a double-round robin against the six other teams in the same zone, plus single games against each of the seven teams in the other zone.
Here are the remaining schedule for the teams still in contention for one of the four tournament byes:
By Charles Richards, eParisExtra