TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 19, 2016) – It all comes down to this.
The Panhandle Conference Championship and the league's No. 1 seed at the NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA State Basketball Tournament is on the line at 8:30 p.m. eastern Saturday evening when Tallahassee Community College's men's basketball team closes the regular season at Northwest Florida State College.
Any discussion about tie-breakers and co-championships won't be necessary. Both teams enter with identical 8-3 records in PC play meaning Saturday's showdown is a winner-take-all finale.
That won't be the case in Saturday's 6:30 p.m. women's game.
Tallahassee (4-7 PC) will step on the floor at The Arena with a one-game lead over Northwest Florida State (3-8) for the PC's third and final postseason berth. A win and the Eagles will march on to Ocala for its first state tournament appearance since 2010. Lose, and the teams will do it all over again on Tuesday night in Marianna in a one-game playoff.
Either way, one thing is guaranteed: Tallahassee's season will not end on Saturday night.
Once the Eagle women's immediate fate is determined on Saturday, the Tallahassee men will chase its first PC Championship since 2006, when it shared the title with Chipola College.
The Eagles haven't claimed an outright conference championship since 2001. To do so, they'll have to dethrone the defending conference, state and national champions. On the Raiders' home floor. In a building where Tallahassee hasn't won since 2011.
Tallahassee and Northwest Florida State split the first two meetings in 2016, with each winning on its home floor.
Northwest Florida State won 81-72 in Niceville on January 16. Tallahassee answered with a 90-85 triumph at home on February 2. That win that snapped a 13-game losing streak to the Raiders, pulled the Eagles into a first-place tie in the league standings and they've held or shared first place ever since.
Regardless of Saturday's outcome, both Tallahassee and Northwest Florida State have locked up postseason berths. For the Eagles, it will be their first trip since winning the state tournament in 2011.
Tallahassee vs. Northwest Florida State Women's Capsule
- Tipoff: 6:30 p.m.
- Broadcast Info: www.ecitv.com/nwfsc-pc16 (video)
- Records: Tallahassee (15-13, 4-7), Northwest Florida State (17-10, 3-8)
- Rankings: Tallahassee (Region 8 No. 6), Northwest Florida State (Region 8 No. 5, NJCAA RV)
- Head-to-Head: Northwest Florida State leads, 49-20
- In Niceville: Northwest Florida State leads, 26-6
- Current streak: Tallahassee has won one in a row (Northwest Florida State has won 20 of the last 24)
- This season: NWF State 70, TCC 64 (1/16/16); TCC 69, NWF State 63 (2/2/16)
Tallahassee vs. Northwest Florida State Men's Capsule
- Tipoff: 8:30 p.m.
- Broadcast Info: www.ecitv.com/nwfsc-pc16 (video); www.wtal1450.com (audio)
- Records: Tallahassee (19-10, 8-3), Northwest Florida State (22-5, 8-3)
- Rankings: Tallahassee (Region 8 No. 3, NJCAA RV), Northwest Florida State (Region 8 No. 2, NJCAA No. 16)
- Head-to-Head: Northwest Florida State leads, 38-37
- In Niceville: Northwest Florida State leads, 23-14
- Current streak: Tallahassee has won one in a row (Northwest Florida State has won 13 of the last 14)
- This season: NWF State 81, TCC 72 (1/16/16); TCC 90, NWF State 85 (2/2/16)