SUNDAY, MARCH 02, 2003
Dolphins To Face Top-Seeded Merer In First Round of A-Sun Tourney

March 2, 2003

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville University Dolphins will open up the 2003 Atlantic Sun Men's Basketball Championship on Thursday, March 6 against top-seeded Mercer in the second game of the afternoon session, which is scheduled to start at about 2:15 p.m. at the GSU Sports Arena in Atlanta. The eighth-seeded Dolphins (13-15, 8-8 A-Sun) finished the regular season tied for seventh overall in the league along with Georgia State (13-14, 8-8), but finished fourth in the A-Sun South Division. Top-seeded Mercer (22-5, 14-2) and #3 Troy State (23-5, 14-2) shared the regular-season championship in the South, while #2 Belmont (17-11, 12-4) captured the North Division Championship.

JU leads the all-time series with Mercer, 20-8, but the Bears, which won a school-record 22 games and have won 11 straight, swept the season series with the Dolphins for the first time since 1981. Mercer slipped by JU, 71-68, on Jan. 6 in Jacksonville and then won, 73-63, on Feb. 27 in Macon. The Bears posted the nation's top turnaround this season after finishing 6-23 a year ago. Mercer head coach Mark Slonaker was an assistant under JU head coach Hugh Durham at Georgia from 1989-95 and was the team captain as a player for the Bulldogs during Durham's first season in Athens. The winner of the JU-Mercer game will play the winner of #4 Jacksonville State vs. #5 UCF on Friday at 6 p.m.

All of JU's A-Sun tournament games can be heard live on ESPN 1460 AM, 15 minutes prior to tip-off with The Dolphin Pregame Show. The Atlantic Sun Championship Game will be live on ESPN2 on Saturday, March 8, at 12 p.m., with Dave Revsine and Bob Wenzel on the call.

2003 A-Sun Men's Basketball Championship
Hosted by: Georgia State, Atlanta, Ga.
Date: March 6-8, 2003
Format: Single Elimination, Top Eight Teams Qualify
Ticket Info: GSU Ticket Office- 404/651-3166
Tournament Booklet- $50.00
Individual Session Tickets- $15.00
2003 A-Sun Championship Schedule

Thursday, March 6 (all times Eastern) First Session Game 1 - #4 Jacksonville State vs. #5 UCF, 12:00 p.m. Game 2 - #1 Mercer vs. #8 Jacksonville, 2:00 p.m. (30 minutes after conclusion of game 1)

Second Session Game 3 - #2 Belmont vs. #7 Georgia State, 6:00 p.m. Game 4 - #3 Troy State vs. #6 Samford, 8:00 p.m. (30 minutes after conclusion of game 3)

Friday, March 7 Game 5 - 6:00 p.m. Game 6 - 8:00 p.m. (30 minutes after conclusion of game 5)

Saturday, March 8 Championship - 12:00 (ESPN 2)