A loud roar went up in the packed Jaguar Student Activities Center ballroom late Sunday night.
During the NCAA selection show displayed on a big screen, Augusta State received the No. 1 seed in the South Atlantic Regional and will play host to the first three rounds of the Division II Tournament.
The 17th-ranked Jaguars will play Elizabeth City State (16-15) in the first round at 6 p.m. Saturday.
"It's an honor and a privilege. It's a testament to the year we've had," Metress said about his team gaining the regional.
Augusta State (23-6) will hold its first regional in school history. The eight-team tournament will start Saturday with four games. The semifinals will be held Sunday. The regional championship will be held Tuesday.
The regional winner will advance to the Elite Eight, March 21-24, in Springfield, Mass.
"I told our guys," Metress said, "we're focusing on one-game winning streaks."
The Jaguars won 14 games in a row en route to the Peach Belt Conference regular season title. After losing to rival Clayton State in the Peach Belt Conference semifinals, Augusta State has lost three of its past four. But you couldn't tell in that ballroom filled with fans of the program.
"There are probably more people here today than my first game three years ago," Metress said.
The Jaguars - who will place a "Believe" banner signed by their supporters in their locker room - are making their first trip to the Division II Tournament since 2002, and they're seeking their second postseason victory.
The regional is comprised of five at-large teams and winners of the CIAA, Peach Belt and South Atlantic Conference tournaments.
Lander, Wingate, Virginia Union, Clayton State, Armstrong Atlantic State and Catawba are the other teams in the regional.
Reach Chris Gay at (706) 823-3645 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
south atlantic regional What: First three rounds of the Division II Tournament Where: Christenberry Fieldhouse When: Saturday (quarterfinals), Sunday (semifinals), Tuesday, March 13 (championship game) Teams: Augusta State (No. 1 seed), Virginia Union (No. 2), Clayton State (No. 3), Armstrong Atlantic State (No. 4), Wingate (No. 5), Catawba (No. 6), Lander (No. 7), Elizabeth City State (No. 8) Note: The regional winner advances to the Elite Eight, March 21-24, in Springfield, Mass. ... Augusta State is 30-6 at home the past three seasons, including 10-1 at Christenberry Fieldhouse this season.