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Eastern Florida Men Can Win Conference Title on Saturday by Beating Miami Dade

Feb. 13, 2014 - The title is there for the taking.

Eastern Florida's men's basketball team can win its second straight Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference championship on Saturday by defeating visiting Miami Dade College.

The last time an Eastern Florida (then known as Brevard Community College) team won back-to-back conference titles was in 1980 under the late Kirk Stewart.

Tip off is at 4 p.m. in the Melbourne Campus gym where Eastern Florida has won 30 consecutive home games. Admission for the Sophomore Night game is free.

Eastern Florida is 8-2 in the conference with two games remaining. It holds a tiebreaker over second-place Broward College (6-3), having beaten the Seahawks twice this season.

Miami Dade is 5-4 having split two games with Eastern Florida. Eastern Florida has beaten fourth-place Palm Beach State (4-6) three times - including Wednesday's 79-75 dramatic comeback victory in Lake Worth – and last-place Indian River State (1-9) twice in three meetings.

Conference teams play each other three times each to determine the first- and second-place teams that advance to the FCSAA/NJCAA Region 8 postseason tournament.

So an Eastern Florida victory over Miami Dade would move the Titans to 9-2, eliminating the Sharks and Broward from the race for first place and leaving them to fight for second.

Eastern Florida beat Miami Dade 86-72 in Melbourne on Jan. 18 in a game that was much closer until a second-half Titans run and then lost to the Sharks 67-60 in Kendall on Feb. 9.

To that end Eastern Florida head coach Jeremy Shulman is stressing preparation and process to his team while not ignoring the fact the championship is within reach.

"Saturday is an exciting opportunity for us," Shulman said. "You can't ask for much better than this: An opportunity to win a conference championship on your home floor on Sophomore Night. We have to be prepared going against an outstanding Miami Dade team."

Eastern Florida is 22-6 overall for its third straight 20-win season under Shulman who has won 87 games.

Eastern Florida won the conference title last season by defeating Broward College in Melbourne on the final day.