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FAU, likely to make NCAAs, enters Sun Belt tourney as conference champions!

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FAU, likely to make NCAAs, enters Sun Belt tourney as conference champions!

FAU, likely to make NCAAs, enters Sun Belt tourney as conference champions!
By Marcus Nelson Special to the Palm Beach Post


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. Florida Atlantic won its first Sun Belt Conference regular-season championship on Saturday, but the Owls don't want to stop there.

"When I took the job we talked about winning games and going to Omaha (site of the College World Series), but the first thing we had to do was this," FAU coach John McCormack said after leading the Owls to a Sun Belt title in just his second year."We had to make sure we take care of business in the Sun Belt."

FAU will try and finish that business this week. By winning the regular-season championship, the Owls will be the No. 1 seed in the double-elimination Sun Belt Tournament, which begins Wednesday in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

The Owls open by facing No. 8 seed Western Kentucky at 1:30 p.m.

The winner of the tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals, however FAU likely has already earned a trip to the post-season by winning the regular-season title of the Sun Belt, which has the No. 6 RPI in the nation.

Most projections have the Owls, which have the No. 33 RPI in the country, making the 64-team field when the field is announced on Monday, regardless of what happens this week in the conference tournament.

The Owls, who won two Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season championships (1999 and 2003), haven't made a regional appearance since 2005, when it made its sixth appearance during a seven year period.

Noteworthy: McCormack was named the Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year, the league announced Tuesday. Outfielder-reliever Andy Mee, a Palm Beach Gardens graduate, and first baseman Dan Scheffler, a transfer from Palm Beach State College, were named to the All-Sun Belt Conference team.

* Sun Belt Champions & New Orleans Bowl Champions-2007
* Motor City Bowl/Little Ceasers Pizza Bowl Champions-2008
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