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Men's Basketball Finishes Third in Final Statewide Coaches' Poll

Feb. 25, 2014 - Eastern Florida's men's basketball team, which earlier won its second consecutive Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference title, achieved another milestone on Tuesday with a third-place ranking in the season's final state coaches' poll.

The ranking is the highest in recent memory for the Titans who finished fourth in the final 2012-2013 poll.

Eastern Florida finished this regular season with its second consecutive 24-6 overall record and its second straight 10-2 mark in the conference, three games higher than second-place Miami Dade College which finished at 7-5.

Miami Dade was seventh in the final poll while conference foe Broward College was 10th.

By virtue of its conference championship Eastern Florida is making its second straight NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA postseason tournament appearance next week. The Titans play Suncoast Conference runner-up Polk State College in the first round at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the College of Central Florida in Ocala.

"The ranking is great news for us," said Eastern Florida head coach Jeremy Shulman. "At the same time it's a lot to live up to heading into the heated atmosphere that is the state tournament.

"The guys have worked hard to get to where we are today but their jobs certainly aren't complete. We'll enjoy the ranking for today and then get back to work."

Chipola College (22-5) is ranked No. 1 in the poll followed by Daytona State College (24-5). Chipola defeated Eastern Florida 99-93 in the Florida JUCO Shootout in December. The Titans split with Daytona State, losing 65-57 at Daytona Beach in the season's second game but winning 78-70 on Jan. 11 in Melbourne.

Chipola and Daytona State also qualified for the state tournament along with Miami Dade, Pensacola State and St. Petersburg College. Defending national champion College of Central Florida meets Santa Fe College tonight to determine the final state tournament participant.

Eastern Florida also was one of five teams receiving votes but not ranked in the NJCAA Division I National Poll that ranks the nation’s top 25 teams. Eastern Florida received 19 votes.