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Panthers to face LaGrange in NCAA first-round game Friday in Atlanta

Panthers to face LaGrange in NCAA first-round game Friday in Atlanta

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team will travel to Atlanta, Ga., this weekend for the first and second rounds of the 2016 NCAA Championship, facing LaGrange College at 5:30 p.m. EST.

The Panthers won the 2016 Southern Athletic Association Championship this past weekend and earned the league's automatic post-season bid. It will be BSC's second NCAA appearance, having earned an at-large bid in 2012.

BSC went 22-6 this season after an unsteady start at 1-5, including an unprecedented 14-0 in SAA play. Heading into this weekend, the Panthers are riding an 18-game win streak dating back to Jan. 3.

Senior forward Alex Avery leads the Panthers in scoring at 13.6 points per game, as well as rebounding with a league-leading 10.8 per game. Avery also leads the team and the SAA in assists with 103 on the year. He was voted SAA Player of the Year, and BSC's Chris Graves was voted Coach of the Year.

The LaGrange Panthers are making their third straight trip to the NCAA post-season after receiving an at-large bid this season. LC is 20-8 heading into the weekend, and already defeated BSC 88-80 in overtime on Dec. 2 in LaGrange, Ga.

No. 25 Emory and Covenant will face off on Friday at 7:30 p.m. EST, and the two winners will meet on Saturday at 7 p.m. EST.