The Pi-Rate Ratings

February 11, 2014

College Basketball–Conference Tournaments Primer

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , — piratings @ 2:51 pm

We normally kick off our NCAA Men’s Basketball coverage with a breakdown of the Bracketbuster games, but the Bracketbuster weekend is no more.  So, we have chosen today to begin putting our slant on bracketology.

 

We have tweaked our Bracketnomics’ formula, and when we get closer to Big Dance time, we will explain our changes as well as why we made changes.  There are numerous ratings’ formulas out there, including the major four factors, but those factors are not as reliable in NCAA Tournament play as they are in regular season play, so if you follow this type of rating, you will be barking up the wrong tree after March 10.

 

The first conference tournaments begin in just 20 days, so we will start by giving you a preview on each conference tournament.

 

Conference: America East

Site: SEFCU Arena, Guilderland, NY (Greater Albany)

Date: March 8-9, 15

Teams in Tournament: 8 (Massachusetts-Lowell Not Eligible)

Bracket Type: Standard (1-8/4-5/2-7/3-6)

 

Conference: American Athletic

Site: The Fed Ex Forum, Memphis, TN

Date: March 12-15

Teams in Tournament: 10

Bracket Type: Standard (7-10, 8-9, 1-7-10, 4-5 2-8-9, 3-6)

 

Conference: Atlantic 10

Site: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

Date: March 12-16

Teams in Tournament: 13

Bracket Type: Standard (12-13, 5-12-13, 6-11, 7-10, 8-9, 1-8-9, 4-5-12-13, 2-7-10, 3-6-11)

 

Conference: Atlantic Coast

Site: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC

Date: March 12-16

Teams in Tournament: 15

Bracket Type: 15 to 12 to 8 (10-15, 11-14, 12-13, 5-12-13, 6-11-14, 7-10-15, 8-9, 1-8-9, 4-5-12-13, 2-7-10-15, 3-6-11-14)

 

Conference: Atlantic Sun

Site: All Games Played at home floor of higher seed

Date: March 4, 6, & 9

Teams in Tournament: 8 (Northern Kentucky Not Eligible)

Bracket Type: Standard (8@1, 7@2, 6@3, 5@4)

 

Conference: Big 12

Site: Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO

Date: March 12-15

Teams in Tournament: 10

Bracket Type: Standard (7-10, 8-9, 1-8-9, 4-5, 2-7-10, 3-6)

 

Conference: Big East

Site: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Date: March 12-15

Teams in Tournament: 10

Bracket Type: Standard (7-10, 8-9, 1-8-9, 4-5, 2-7-10, 3-6)

 

Conference: Big Sky

Site: At Home Floor of Regular Season Champion

Date: March 14-16

Teams in Tournament: 7

Bracket Type: Re-Seeded After Each Round (2-7, 3-6, 4-5, 1-bye and plays lowest seeded 1st round winner)

 

Conference: Big South

Site: HTC Center, Conway, SC (Coastal Carolina)

Date: March 5, 7-9

Teams in Tournament: 12

Bracket Type: Standard Divisional (3N-6S, 4N-5S, 3S-6N, 4S-5N, 1N-4S-5N, 2S-3N-6S, 1S-4N-5S, 2N-3S-6N)

 

Conference: Big Ten

Site: Banker’s Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

Date: March 13-16

Teams in Tournament: 12

Bracket Type: Standard (5-12, 6-11, 7-10, 8-9, 1-8-9, 4-5-12, 2-7-10, 3-6-11)

 

Conference: Big West

Site: Honda Center, Anaheim, CA

Date: March 13-15

Teams in Tournament: 8

Bracket Type: Standard (1-8, 4-5, 2-7, 3-6)

 

Conference: Colonial Athletic

Site: Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, MD

Date: March 7-10

Teams in Tournament: 9

Bracket Type: Standard (8-9, 1-8-9, 4-5, 2-7, 3-6)

 

Conference: Conference USA

Site: Don Haskins Center, El Paso, TX

Date: March 11-15

Teams in Tournament: 15 (Florida Int’l Not eligible)

Bracket Type: 15 to 12 to 8 (10-15, 11-14, 12-13, 5-12-13, 6-11-14, 7-10-15, 8-9, 1-8-9, 4-5-12-13, 2-7-10-15, 3-6-11-14)

 

Conference: Horizon League

Site: First Round at Higher Seed, Quarterfinals and Semifinals at #1 Seed, Championship at Higher Seed

Date: March 4, 7, 8, & 11

Teams in Tournament: 9

Bracket Type: 9 to 6 to 4 (4-9, 5-8, 6-7, 3-6-7, 4-9-5-8, 1-4-9-5-8, 2-3-6-7)

 

Conference: Ivy League

Site: No Tournament—Regular Season Champion Receives Automatic Bid

Date: If Two Teams Are Tied, the Playoff would be held March 10 or 11

Teams in Tournament: N/A

Bracket Type: N/A

 

Conference: Metro Atlantic Athletic

Site: Mass Mutual Center, Springfield, MA

Date: March 6, 8-10

Teams in Tournament: 11

Bracket Type: Standard (6-11, 7-10, 8-9, 1-8-9, 4-5, 2-7-10, 3-6-11)

 

Conference: Mid-American

Site: First Round at Higher Seed, Rest at Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH)

Date: March 10, 12-15

Teams in Tournament: 12 (teams seeded 1-12 regardless of which division they are in)

Bracket Type: Standard (5-12, 6-11, 7-10, 8-9, 1-8-9, 4-5-12, 2-7-10, 3-6-11)

 

Conference: Mid-Eastern Athletic

Site: Norfolk Scope, Norfolk, VA

Date: March 10-13

Teams in Tournament: 13

Bracket Type: Standard (4-13, 5-12, 6-11, 7-10, 8-9, 1-8-9, 4-13-5-12, 2-7-10, 3-6-11)

 

Conference: Missouri Valley (Arch Madness)

Site: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO

Date: March 6-9

Teams in Tournament: 10

Bracket Type: Standard (7-10, 8-9, 1-8-9, 4-5, 2-7-10, 3-6)

 

Conference: Mountain West

Site: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV

Date: March 12-15

Teams in Tournament: 11

Bracket Type: Standard (6-11, 7-10, 8-9, 1-8-9, 4-5, 2-7-10, 3-6-11)

 

Conference: Northeast

Site: All Games Played at Higher Seed

Date: March 5, 8, & 11

Teams in Tournament: 8

Bracket Type: Standard (8@1, 5@4, 7@2, 6@3)

 

Conference: Ohio Valley

Site: Municipal Auditorium (Nashville, TN)

Date: March 5-8

Teams in Tournament: 8

Bracket Type: 8 to 6 to 4 (5-8, 6-7, 4-5-8, 3-6-7, 1-4-5-8, 2-3-6-7)

 

Conference: Pac-12

Site: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, NV

Date: March 12-15

Teams in Tournament: 12

Bracket Type: Standard (5-12, 6-11, 7-10, 8-9, 1-8-9, 4-5-12, 2-7-10, 3-6-11)

 

Conference: Patriot League

Site: All Games Played at Higher Seed

Date: March 3, 5, 8, & 12

Teams in Tournament: 10

Bracket Type: Standard (10@7, 9@8, 8-9@1, 5@4 7-10@2, 6@3)

 

Conference: Southeastern

Site: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA

Date: March 12-16

Teams in Tournament: 14

Bracket Type: 14 to 12 to 8 (11-14, 12-13, 5-12-13, 6-11-14, 7-10, 8-9, 1-8-9, 4-5-12-13, 2-7-10, 3-6-11-14)

 

Conference: Southern

Site: U.S. Cellular Center, Asheville, NC

Date: March 7-10

Teams in Tournament: 11

Bracket Type: Standard (6-11, 7-10, 8-9, 1-8-9, 4-5, 2-7-10, 3-6-11)

 

Conference: Southland

Site: Leonard E. Merrell Center, Katy, TX (Greater Houston)

Date: March 12, 14-16

Teams in Tournament: 8 (Abilene Christian, Incarnate Word, & New Orleans Not Eligible)

Bracket Type: 8 to 6 to 4 (5-8, 6-7, 4-5-8, 3-6-7, 1-4-5-8, 2-3-6-7)

 

Conference: Southwestern Athletic

Site: Toyota Center, Houston, TX

Date: March 13-16

Teams in Tournament: 7 (UA-Pine Bluff, Grambling, & Mississippi Valley St. are ineligible)

Bracket Type: Standard (2-7, 3-6, 4-5, 1-4-5, 2-7-3-6)

 

Conference: Summit League

Site: Sioux Falls Arena, Sioux Falls, SD

Date: March 8-11

Teams in Tournament: 7 (Omaha Not Eligible)

Bracket Type: Standard (2-7, 3-6, 4-5, 1-4-5, 2-7-3-6)

 

Conference: Sun Belt

Site: Lakefront Arena (New Orleans, LA)

Date: March 13-16

Teams in Tournament: 8

Bracket Type: 8 to 6 to 4 (5-8, 6-7, 4-5-8, 3-6-7, 1-4-5-8, 2-3-6-7)

 

Conference: West Coast

Site: Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

Date: March 6, 8, 10-11

Teams in Tournament: 10

Bracket Type: Standard (7-10, 8-9, 1-8-9, 4-5, 2-7-10, 3-6)

 

Conference: Western Athletic

Site: Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

Date: March 13-15

Teams in Tournament: 8 (Grand Canyon not eligible)

Bracket Type: Standard (1-8, 4-5, 2-7, 3-6)

 

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March 11, 2012

NCAA College Basketball Tournaments — March 11 Update

Here is the up-to-date (as of Saturday Night, March 10) results of all conference tournaments as well as the pairings for today’s games.

 

America East

Preliminary Round

#9 Binghamton 73  #8 Md.-Balt. Co. 67

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Stony Brook 78  # 9 Binghamton 69

#4 Albany 63  #5 New Hampshire 45

#2 Vermont 50  #7 Maine 40

#6 Hartford 53  #3 Boston U 49 

 

Semifinals

#1 Stony Brook 57  #4 Albany 55

#2 Vermont 77  #6 Hartford 73 2OT

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Vermont 51  #1 Stony Brook 43

 

Automatic Bid – VERMONT 23-11

At-Large – None

Bubble – None

 

This is a one-bid league.  Vermont destroyed Stony Brook by 19 points during the regular season, and yesterday showed that the earlier game was not a fluke.

 

A C C

Opening Round

#8 Maryland 82  #9 Wake Forest 60

#5 North Carolina St. 78  #12 Boston College 57

#10 Virginia Tech 68  #7 Clemson 63

#6 Miami (FL) 54  #11 Georgia Tech 36

 

Quarterfinals

#1 North Carolina 85  #8 Maryland 69

#5 North Carolina St. 67  #4 Virginia 64

#2 Duke 60  #10 Virginia Tech 56

#3 Florida St. 82  #6 Miami (FL) 71

 

Semifinals

#1 North Carolina 69  #5 North Carolina St. 67

#3 Florida St. 62  #2 Duke 59  

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 North Carolina (29-4) vs. #3 Florida St. (23-9)

 

 

At-Large: North Carolina, Duke, Florida St., Virginia

Upper Bubble: North Carolina St.

Lower Bubble: Miami (FL)

 

North Carolina already has a number one seed to the NCAA Tournament, but the Tar Heels will play all out today.  UNC usually fares best in the Big Dance when they win the ACC Tournament.

 

 

Atlantic Sun

Quarterfinals

#1 Belmont 76  #8 Jacksonville 62

#4 East Tennessee 68  #5 N. Florida 66

#2 Mercer 61  #7 Lipscomb 53

#6 Florida Gulf Coast 71  #3 S. Carolina Upstate 61

 

Semifinals

#1 Belmont 69  #4 East Tennessee 61

#6 Florida Gulf Coast 62 #2 Mercer 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Belmont 83  Florida Gulf Coast 69

 

Automatic Bid – BELMONT 27-7

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

Atlantic 10

1st Round

#8 Massachusetts 92  #9 Duquesne 83

#5 St. Joe’s 80  #12 Charlotte 64

#7 LaSalle 80  #10 Richmond 72

#6 Dayton 67  #11 George Washington 50

 

Quarterfinals

#8 Massachusetts 77  #1 Temple 71

#4 St. Bonaventure 71  #5 St. Joe’s 68

#2 St. Louis 78  #7 LaSalle 71

#3 Xavier 70  #6 Dayton 69

 

Semifinals

#4 St. Bonaventure 84  #8 Massachusetts 80

#3 Xavier 71  #2 St. Louis 64  

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#3 Xavier (21-11) vs. #4 St. Bonaventure (19-11)

 

At-Large: Temple, St. Louis

Upper Bubble:

Lower Bubble: Xavier

 

There will be one less bubble team getting an at-large bid thanks to the A-10.  Neither Xavier nor St. Bonaventure would have received a bid, so the winner becomes a bid-thief.

 

Big East

Opening Round

#9 Connecticut 81  #16 Dayton 67

#13 Pittsburgh 73  #12 St. John’s 59

#10 Seton Hall 79  #15 Providence 47

#14 Villanova 70  #11 Rutgers 49

 

2nd Round

#9 Connecticut 71  #8 West Virginia 67 OT

#5 Georgetown 64  #13 Pittsburgh 52

#7 Louisville 61 #10 Seton Hall 55

#6 South Florida 56  #14 Villanova 47

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Syracuse 58  #9 Connecticut 55

#4 Cincinnati 72  #5 Georgetown 70 2OT

#7 Louisville 84  #2 Marquette 71

#3 Notre Dame 57 #6 South Florida 52

 

Semifinals

#4 Cincinnati 71  #1 Syracuse 68  

#7 Louisville 64  #3 Notre Dame 50

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#7 Louisville 50  #4 Cincinnati 44

 

Automatic Bid – LOUISVILLE 26-9

At-Large Teams – Syracuse, Marquette, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Connecticut

Bubble – Seton Hall, South Florida

 

Big Sky

Quarterfinals

#3 Portland St. 75  #6 Montana St. 53

#4 Eastern Washington 81  #5 Idaho St. 75

 

Semifinals

#1 Montana 74  #4 Eastern Washington 66

#2 Weber St. 69 #3 Portland St. 63

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Montana 85 #2 Weber St. 66

 

Automatic Bid: MONTANA 25-6

At-Large: None

Bubble: None

 

This is a one-bid league, but both Montana and Weber State are talented enough to win an opening round game in the NCAA Tournament. With an RPI around 70, the Wildcats are probably not on the bubble.

 

Big South

Preliminary Round

#8 High Point 68  #9 Gardner-Webb 58

#7 VMI 55  #10 Radford 53

 

Quarterfinals

#1 UNC-Asheville 86  #8 High Point 61

#4 Charleston Sou. 88  #5 Liberty 74

#6 Winthrop 71  #3 Campbell 55

#7 VMI 85  #2 Coastal Carolina 68

 

Semifinals

#1 UNC-Asheville 91  #4 Charleston Sou. 64

#7 VMI 75  #6 Winthrop 55

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 UNC-Asheville  80  #7 VMI 64

 

Automatic Bid – UNC-ASHEVILLE 24-9

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

Big Ten

Opening Round

#8 Iowa 64  #9 Illinois 61

#5 Indiana 75  #12 Penn State 58

#10 Minnesota 75  #7 Northwestern 68

#6 Purdue 79  #11 Nebraska 61

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Michigan St. 92  #8 Iowa 75

#4 Wisconsin 79  #5 Indiana 71

#2 Michigan 73  #10 Minnesota 69

#3 Ohio St. 88  #6 Purdue 71

 

Semifinals

#1 Michigan St. 65 #4 Wisconsin 52

#3 Ohio St. 77  #2 Michigan 55  

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Michigan St. (26-7) vs. #3 Ohio St. (27-6)

 

At-Large: Ohio St., Michigan St., Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Purdue

Upper Bubble:

Lower Bubble: Northwestern

 

The two best teams in the league face off for the final conference championship.  All bids will be decided by the final horn.

 

Big 12

Opening Round

#9 Texas A&M 62  #8 Oklahoma 53

#7 Oklahoma St. 76  #10 Texas Tech 60

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Kansas 83  #9 Texas A&M 66

#4 Baylor 82  #5 Kansas St. 74

#2 Missouri 88  #7 Oklahoma St. 70

#3 Iowa St. 65  #6 Texas 71

 

Semifinals

#4 Baylor 81  #1 Kansas 72  

#2 Missouri 81  #6 Texas 67

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Missouri 90  #4 Baylor 75

 

Automatic Bid – MISSOURI 30-4

At-Large Teams – Kansas, Baylor, Iowa St., Kansas St.,

Bubble – Texas

 

Missouri has a decent shot at moving up to a number one seed, but not as much as if they had defeated Kansas instead of Baylor for the title.

 

Big West

Quarterfinals

#1 Long Beach St. 80  #8 UC-Davis 46

#4 Cal Poly SLO 66  #5 UC-Riverside 54

#7 UC-Irvine 65  #2 Cal State Fullerton 59

#3 U C S B 72  #6 Pacific 52

 

Semifinals

#1 Long Beach St. 68  #7 UC-Irvine 57

#3 U C S B 64  #4 Cal Poly SLO 52

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Long Beach St. 77  #3 U C S B 64

 

Automatic Bid – LONG BEACH ST. 25-8

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

Long Beach State deserves a number 12 seed.  The 49ers will be a dangerous opponent in the first two rounds.

 

Colonial Athletic

Opening Round

#9 UNC-Wilmington 70  #8 James Madison 59

#5 Delaware 72  #12 Towson St. 65

#6 Georgia St. 85  #11 Hofstra 50

#7 Northeastern 57  #10 William & Mary 49

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Drexel 59  #9 UNC-Wilmington 47

#4 Old Dominion 88  #5 Delaware 74

#3 George Mason 61  #6 Georgia St. 59

#2 Virginia Commonwealth 75  #10 William & Mary 65

 

Semifinals

#1 Drexel 68  #4 Old Dominion 51

#2 Virginia Commonwealth 74  #3 George Mason 64

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Virginia Commonwealth 59 #1 Drexel 56

 

Automatic Bid – VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH 28-6

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – Drexel

 

 

Drexel has a chance of earning an at-large bid, but their RPI is on the low side at 68.

 

Conference USA

Opening Round

#5 U A B 72  #12 Tulane 64

#8 U T E P 67 #9 Houston 62 OT

#10 East Carolina 68  #7 Rice 66 

#6 Marshall 74  #11 S M U 56

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Memphis 65  #8 U T E P 47

#4 Central Florida 51  #5 U A B 43

#2 Southern Mississippi 81  #10 East Carolina 78

#6 Marshall 105  #3 Tulsa 100  3 OT

 

Semifinals

#1 Memphis 83  #4 Central Florida 52

#6 Marshall 73  #2 Southern Mississippi 62

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Memphis 83  #6 Marshall 57

 

Automatic Bid – MEMPHIS 26-8

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – Southern Miss

 

Memphis’s blowout win over Marshall definitely kept the Thundering Herd out of any discussion.  Southern Miss is not a high bubble team.  The Golden Eagles could be disappointed around 7 PM EDT today.

 

Horizon League

Opening Round

#4 Milwaukee 68  #9 Illinois-Chi. 55

#5 Butler 70  #8 Wright St. 52

#3 Detroit 80  #10 Loyola (Chi) 71

#6 Youngstown 77  #7 Green Bay 60

 

Quarterfinals

#5 Butler 71 #4 Milwaukee 49

#3 Detroit 93 #6 Youngstown St. 76

 

Semifinals

#1 Valparaiso 65  #5 Butler 46

#3 Detroit 63  #2 Cleveland St. 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#3 Detroit 70  #1 Valparaiso 50

 

Automatic Bid – DETROIT 22-13

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

This is a one-bid league.  Neither Valpo, Cleveland State nor Butler will  earn at-large bids.

 

M A A C

Preliminary Round

#8 Marist 64 #9 St. Peter’s 57

#7 Niagara 80 #10 Canisius 70

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Iona 87  #8 Marist 63

#4 Fairfield 65  #5 Rider 63

#2 Loyola (MD) 86  #7 Niagara 73

#6 Siena 84  #3 Manhattan 82

 

Semifinals

#4 Fairfield 85  #1 Iona 75

#2 Loyola (MD) 70  #6 Siena 60

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Loyola (MD) 48  #4 Fairfield 44

 

Automatic Bid – LOYOLA (MD) 24-8

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

This is a one-bid league.  Iona played their way out of the Big Dance and into the NIT.

 

M A C

Opening Round

#12 Northern Illinois 55  #5 Eastern Michigan 52  

#8 Western Michigan 69  #9 Ball St. 63

#7 Toledo 60  #10 (Miami (O) 53

#11 Central Michigan 54  #6 Bowling Green 53  

 

2nd Round

#8 Western Michigan 71  #12 Northern Illinois 54

#7 Toledo 75  #11 Central Michigan 72

 

Quarterfinals

#4 Kent St. 76  #8 Western Michigan 72

#3 Ohio 65  #7 Toledo 57

 

Semifinals

#1 Akron 78  #4 Kent St. 74

#3 Ohio 77  #2  Buffalo 74

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#3 Ohio 64  #1 Akron 63

 

Automatic Bid – OHIO 26-7

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – Akron

 

Akron fell to #58 in the RPI, so the Zips have a chance to get an at-large bid.

 

M E A C

Opening Round

#8 Hampton 69 #9 Morgan St. 65

#5 North Carolina Central 60 #12 Md. Eastern Shore 43

#4 Bethune-Cookman 62 #13 South Carolina St. 53

#11 Florida A& M 74  #6 Coppin St. 72

#10 Howard 51  #7 North Carolina A&T 50

 

Quarterfinals

#8 Hampton 59  #1 Savannah St. 46

#4 Bethune-Cookman 60  #5 North Carolina Central 59

#2 Norfolk St. 71 #7 Howard 61

#11 Florida A&M 65  #3 Delaware St. 55  

 

Semfinals

#4 Bethune-Cookman 81  #8 Hampton 72

#2 Norfolk St. 58  #11 Florida A&M 46

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Norfolk St. 73  #4 Bethune-Cookman 70

 

Automatic Bid – NORFOLK ST. 25-9

At-Large – None

Bubble – None

 

Norfolk State makes its first trip to the NCAA Tournament, and the Spartans have a chance to avoid the first round in Dayton.

 

Missouri Valley

Opening Round

#8 Indiana St. 66  #9 Southern Illinois 51

#7 Drake 65  #10 Bradley 49

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Wichita St. 72 #8 Indiana St. 48

#4 Illinois St. 54 #5 Northern Iowa 42

#2 Creighton 68 vs. #7 Drake 61

#3 Evansville 72 vs. #6 Missouri St. 64

 

Semifinals

#4 Illinois St. 65  #1 Wichita St. 64

#2 Creighton 99  #3 Evansville 71

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Creighton 83  #4 Illinois St. 79 OT

 

Automatic Bid – CREIGHTON 27-5

At-Large – Wichita St. 27-5

Bubble – None

 

Mountain West

Quarterfinals

#1 San Diego St. 65  #8 Boise St. 62

#4 Colorado St. 81  #5 T C U 60

#2 New Mexico 79  #7 Air Force 64

#3 U N L V 56  #6 Wyoming 48

 

Semifinals

#1 San Diego St. 79  #4 Colorado St. 69

#2 New Mexico 72  #3 U N L V 67

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 New Mexico 68  #1 San Diego St. 59

 

Automatic Bid – NEW MEXICO 27-6

At-Large – San Diego St., U N L V

Bubble – Colorado St.

 

Anything other than four bids would be disappointing and even ridiculous.  Colorado State’s RPI is #24, and the Rams are tournament-worthy.

 

Northeast

Quarterfinals

#1 Long Island 80  #8 Sacred Heart 68

#5 Quinnipiac 80  #4 St. Francis (NY) 72

#3 Robert Morris 87  #6 Monmouth 68

#2 Wagner 87  #7 Central Conn. St. 77

 

Semifinals

#1 Long Island 78 #5 Quinnipiac 75

#3 Robert Morris 71  #2 Wagner 64

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Long Island 90  #3 Robert Morris 73

 

Automatic Bid: LONG ISLAND 25-8

At-Large: None

Bubble: None

 

Wagner’s slim chances for getting in as a wildcard team went bye-bye with their semifinal loss to RMU.

 

LIU enters the Big Dance winning 20 of their last 22 games.

 

Ohio Valley

Opening Round

#5 Southeast Missouri 75  #8 E. Kentucky 65

#7 Jacksonville St. 75  #6 Austin Peay 70

 

Quarterfinals

#4 Tennessee Tech 77 #5 Southeast Missouri 73

#3 Morehead St. 68  #7 Jacksonville St. 54

 

Semifinals

#1 Murray St. 78  #4 Tennessee Tech 58

#2 Tennessee St. 59 #3 Morehead St. 52

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Murray St. 54  #2 Tennessee St. 52

 

Automatic Bid – MURRAY ST. 30-1

At-Large – None

Bubble – None

 

Murray State should receive a #4 or #5 seed, a #6 at worst.

 

Pac-12

Opening Round

#9 Oregon St. 69  #8 Washington St. 64

#5 U C L A 55  #12 U S C 40

#7 Stanford 85  #10 Arizona St. 65

#6 Colorado 53  #11 Utah 41

 

Quarterfinals

#9 Oregon State 86  #1 Washington 84

#4 Arizona 66  #5 U C L A 58

#2 California 77  #7 Stanford 71

#6 Colorado 63  #3 Oregon 62  

 

Semifinals

#4 Arizona 72  #9 Oregon St. 61

#6 Colorado 70  #2 California 59

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#6 Colorado 53  #4 Arizona 51

 

Automatic Bid – COLORADO 23-11

At-Large – None

Bubble – California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona

 

Colorado is the only sure bid in this league.  However, we believe that no ‘Big Six” conference will receive just one bid.  Politics must be considered, even if “they” claim that all at-large teams are considered as independents.  Look for at least one from the bubble above to make the Dance.

 

Patriot League

Quarterfinals

#1 Bucknell 87  #8 Navy 63

#5 Lafayette 84  #4 Holy Cross 76

#2 Lehigh 70 #7 Colgate 57

#3 American 57  #6 Army 40

 

Semifinals

#1 Bucknell 79 #5 Lafayette 52

#2 Lehigh 85 #3 American 66

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Lehigh 82  #1 Bucknell 77  

 

Automatic Bid: LEHIGH 26-7

At-Large: None

Bubble: None

 

The Mountain Hawks search for the first NCAA Tournament win in their fifth trip to the Big Dance, and they have the one-two punch in C J McCollum and Gabe Knutson.  Lehigh lost at Michigan State by just nine points earlier in the year, and they enter the NCAA Tournament having won eight games in a row and 12 of 13.

 

Southern

Opening Round

#5N Appalachian St. 93  #4S College of Charleston 81

#3N Western Carolina 68  #6S Citadel 56

#5S Furman 75  #4N Samford 66

#3S Georgia Southern 76  #6N Chattanooga 70

 

Quarterfinals

#1N UNC-Greensboro 65  #5N Appalachian St. 55

#3N Western Carolina 82 #2S Wofford 59

#1S Davidson 73  #5S Furman 54

#2N Elon 65  #3S Georgia Southern 58

 

Semifinals

#3N Western Carolina 82  #1N UNC-Greensboro 77

#1S Davidson 83  #2N Elon 67

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1S Davidson  93 #1N UNC-Greensboro 91

 

Automatic Bid – DAVIDSON 25-7

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

Davidson might not have earned a ticket as an at-large team.  Tell that to Kansas coach Bill Self, and he would say you were crazy.

 

S E C

Opening Round

#8 L S U 70  #9 Arkansas 54

#5 Alabama 63  #12 South Carolina 57

#7 Ole Miss 68  #10 Auburn 54

#11 Georgia 71  #6 Mississippi St. 61 

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Kentucky 60  #8 L S U 51

#4 Florida 66  #5 Alabama 63

#7 Ole Miss 77  #2 Tennessee 72 OT

#3 Vanderbilt 63  #11 Georgia 41

 

Semifinals

#1 Kentucky 74  #4 Florida 71

#3 Vanderbilt 65  #7 Ole Miss 53

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Kentucky (32-1) vs. #3 Vanderbilt (23-10)

 

At-Large: Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt

Upper Bubble: Alabama

Lower Bubble: Ole Miss, Mississippi St.

 

The two teams picked to finish one-two at the beginning of the year meet for the tournament championship.  Kentucky won two close games during the year.  The Wildcats are just one last second jump shot away from being undefeated and considered the best team since Bill Walton’s 1973 UCLA Bruins went 30-0.  Look for the Wildcats to turn Royal Street into Royal Blue Street around 2:30 PM today.

 

Southland

Quarterfinals

#1 UT-Arlington 96  #8 Nicholls St. 48

#4 McNeese St. 78  #5 TX-San Antonio 74 OT

#2 Stephen F Austin 68  #7 Sam Houston 46

#3 Lamar 76  #6 Northwestern State (LA) 69

 

Semifinals

#4 McNeese St. 92  #1 UT-Arlington 72  

#3 Lamar 55  #2 Stephen F Austin 44  

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#3 Lamar 70 #4 McNeese St. 49

 

Automatic Bid – LAMAR 23-11

At-Large – None

Bubble – None

 

Lamar probably has a date in Dayton in two or three days.

 

S W A C

Quarterfinals

#1 Mississippi Valley St. 63  #8 Jackson St. 60

#5 Arkansas-Pine Bluff 60  #4 Alabama St. 56  

#2 Texas Southern 75  #7 Alabama A&M 62

#6 Alcorn St. 103  #3 Prairie View 79

 

Semifinals

#1 Mississippi Valley St. 71  #5 Arkansas-Pine Bluff 64

#2 Texas Southern 60  #6 Alcorn St. 55

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Mississippi Valley St. 71  #2 Texas Southern 69

 

Automatic Bid – MISSISSIPPI VALLEY ST. 21-12

At-Large – None

Bubble – None

 

The Delta Devils began the season 1-11 but have gone 20-1 since.  Still, they most likely will be forced to play in Dayton.

 

Summit League

Quarterfinals

#1 Oral Roberts 71  #8 I P F W 67

#4 Western Illinois 58  #5 North Dakota St. 53

#2 South Dakota St. 77  I U P U I 56

#6 Southern Utah 84  #3 Oakland 82

 

Semifinals

#4 Western Illinois 54  #1 Oral Roberts 53

#2 South Dakota St. 63  #6 Southern Utah 47

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 South Dakota St. 52  #4 Western Illinois 50

 

Automatic Bid – SOUTH DAKOTA ST. 27-7

At-Large Teams –None

Bubble – Oral Roberts

               

Had South Dakota St. and Oral Roberts advanced to the Championship Game, and Oral Roberts’ lost instead of losing to WIU in the semis, ORU would be on the at-large line and not the bubble.  With an RPI of 55, the Golden Eagles are in a precarious position. 

 

Sunbelt

Opening Round

#6 South Alabama 87  #11 Troy 81

#7 Western Kentucky 67 #10 Florida Int’l 63

#9 Arkansas St. 70 #8 Florida Atlantic 55

 

Quarterfinals

#9 Arkansas St. 64  #1 Middle Tennessee 61

#5 North Texas 65  #4 Louisiana-Lafayette 62

#7 Western Kentucky 68  #2 U A L R  63 

#3 Denver 61  #6 South Alabama 50

 

Semifinals

#5 North Texas 76  #9 Arkansas St. 72

#7 Western Kentucky 67  #3 Denver 63

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#7 Western Kentucky 74  #3 Denver 70

 

Automatic Bid –WESTERN KENTUCKY 15-18

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – Middle Tennessee

 

This is probably a one-bid league. The top two seeds lost in their first games in this unique tournament played in two separate gyms in the same building.  Middle Tennessee may still be on the bubble with an RPI of 65, but they are more than likely headed to the NIT.  Western Kentucky will be headed to the first round in Dayton.  However, their 15-18 record is very misleading.  The Hilltoppers were supposed to contend for the regular season championship; however, major dissension led to a poor start and a dismissal of head coach Ken McDonald.  Since Ray Harper assumed command, WKU has sported a 10-7 record, and a 7-4 finish.  This team cannot be overlooked in Dayton and could very well advance to the second round.

 

W A C

Quarterfinals

#1 Nevada 54  #8 San Jose St. 44

#5 Louisiana Tech 72  #4 Utah St. 70

#2 New Mexico St. 65  #7 Fresno St. 49

#6 Hawaii 72  #3 Idaho 70

 

Semifinals

#5 Louisiana Tech 78  #1 Nevada 73  

#2 New Mexico St. 92  #6 Hawaii 81

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 New Mexico St. 82  #5 Louisiana Tech 57

 

Automatic Bid – NEW MEXICO ST. 26-9

At-Large – None

Bubble – Nevada.

 

Nevada fell to #63 in the RPI, and the Wolfpack are on the cusp of falling off the bubble. 

 

West Coast

Opening Round

#8 Portland 74 #9 Santa Clara 70

 

2nd Round

#5 San Francisco 87  #8 Portland 66

#6 San Diego 76  #7 Pepperdine 54

 

Quarterfinals

#5 San Francisco 67  #4 Loyola Marymount 60

#3 B Y U 73 vs. #6 San Diego 68

 

Semifinals

#1 Saint Mary’s 83  #5 San Francisco 78

#2 Gonzaga 77  #3 B Y U 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Saint Mary’s 78  #2 Gonzaga 74 OT

 

Automatic Bid – SAINT MARY’S 26-5

At-Large Teams – Gonzaga

Bubble – B Y U

 

This has the look of a three-bid league, with the two behemoths and BYU all headed to the Big Dance.  Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga are now the true powers of the West.  If you remember UCLA versus USC or Oregon State in the 1970’s and 1980’s, this is what this rivalry has become.  Both teams could easily advance to the Elite 8.

 

March 10, 2012

NCAA College Basketball Conference Tournaments–March 10 Update

Here is the up-to-date (as of Friday Night, March 9) results of all conference tournaments as well as the pairings for today’s games.

 

America East

Preliminary Round

#9 Binghamton 73  #8 Md.-Balt. Co. 67

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Stony Brook 78  # 9 Binghamton 69

#4 Albany 63  #5 New Hampshire 45

#2 Vermont 50  #7 Maine 40

#6 Hartford 53  #3 Boston U 49 

 

Semifinals

#1 Stony Brook 57  #4 Albany 55

#2 Vermont 77  #6 Hartford 73 2OT

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Stony Brook (21-8) vs. Vermont (22-11)

 

This is a one-bid league.  Stony Brook has won 19 of its last 21 games, but one of those two losses was a 19-point humiliation at the hands of Vermont.  The Sea Wolves defeated the Catamounts at Stony Brook Arena earlier in the season, and that is where this game will be played Saturday afternoon.

 

A C C

Opening Round

#8 Maryland 82  #9 Wake Forest 60

#5 North Carolina St. 78  #12 Boston College 57

#10 Virginia Tech 68  #7 Clemson 63

#6 Miami (FL) 54  #11 Georgia Tech 36

 

Quarterfinals

#1 North Carolina 85  #8 Maryland 69

#5 North Carolina St. 67  #4 Virginia 64

#2 Duke 60  #10 Virginia Tech 56

#3 Florida St. 82  #6 Miami (FL) 71

 

Semifinals

#1 North Carolina (28-4) vs. #5 North Carolina St. (22-11)

#2 Duke (27-5) vs. #3 Florida St. (22-9)

 

At-Large: North Carolina, Duke, Florida St., Virginia

Upper Bubble: North Carolina St.

Lower Bubble: Miami (FL)

 

The North Carolina St.-Virginia game lived up to our predicted billing.  We believe the Wolf Pack have a better than 50-50 chance of getting into the Big Dance.

 

North Carolina knocked off the Wolf Pack by 19 and by 12 during the regular season.  Duke and Florida State split during conference play, with the Seminoles winning in Durham and the Blue Devils winning in Tallahassee.

 

Atlantic Sun

Quarterfinals

#1 Belmont 76  #8 Jacksonville 62

#4 East Tennessee 68  #5 N. Florida 66

#2 Mercer 61  #7 Lipscomb 53

#6 Florida Gulf Coast 71  #3 S. Carolina Upstate 61

 

Semifinals

#1 Belmont 69  #4 East Tennessee 61

#6 Florida Gulf Coast 62 #2 Mercer 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Belmont 83  Florida Gulf Coast 69

 

Automatic Bid – BELMONT 27-7

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

Atlantic 10

1st Round

#8 Massachusetts 92  #9 Duquesne 83

#5 St. Joe’s 80  #12 Charlotte 64

#7 LaSalle 80  #10 Richmond 72

#6 Dayton 67  #11 George Washington 50

 

Quarterfinals

#8 Massachusetts 77  #1 Temple 71

#4 St. Bonaventure 71  #5 St. Joe’s 68

#2 St. Louis 78  #7 LaSalle 71

#3 Xavier 70  #6 Dayton 69

 

Semifinals

#4 St. Bonaventure (18-11) vs. #8 Massachusetts (22-10)

#2 St. Louis (25-6) vs. #3 Xavier (20-11)

 

At-Large: Temple, St. Louis

Upper Bubble:

Lower Bubble: Xavier, St. Joe’s, and Dayton

 

As we told you a couple days ago, the eight quarterfinal teams were not that far apart talent-wise.  All four games were close, exciting contests, and the number one seed was sent home by the number eight seed.  Temple and St. Louis are sure locks for bids, and if one of the other three remaining semifinalist win the tournament, there will be one less at-large bid going to the bubble.

 

Big East

Opening Round

#9 Connecticut 81  #16 Dayton 67

#13 Pittsburgh 73  #12 St. John’s 59

#10 Seton Hall 79  #15 Providence 47

#14 Villanova 70  #11 Rutgers 49

 

2nd Round

#9 Connecticut 71  #8 West Virginia 67 OT

#5 Georgetown 64  #13 Pittsburgh 52

#7 Louisville 61 #10 Seton Hall 55

#6 South Florida 56  #14 Villanova 47

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Syracuse 58  #9 Connecticut 55

#4 Cincinnati 72  #5 Georgetown 70 2OT

#7 Louisville 84  #2 Marquette 71

#3 Notre Dame 57 #6 South Florida 52

 

Semifinals

#4 Cincinnati 71  #1 Syracuse 68  

#7 Louisville 64  #3 Notre Dame 50

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#4 Cincinnati (24-9) vs. #7 Louisville (25-9)

 

At-Large: Syracuse, Marquette, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Louisville, Cincinnati

Upper Bubble: West Virginia, Seton Hall, Connecticut

Lower Bubble: South Florida

 

This is definitely one championship game to watch.  Both teams are playing their best ball of the year, and this rivalry goes back a very long way through multiple conferences.

 

Big Sky

Quarterfinals

#3 Portland St. 75  #6 Montana St. 53

#4 Eastern Washington 81  #5 Idaho St. 75

 

Semifinals

#1 Montana 74  #4 Eastern Washington 66

#2 Weber St. 69 #3 Portland St. 63

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Montana 85 #2 Weber St. 66

 

Automatic Bid: MONTANA 25-6

At-Large: None

Bubble: None

 

This is a one-bid league, but both Montana and Weber State are talented enough to win an opening round game in the NCAA Tournament. With an RPI around 70, the Wildcats are probably not on the bubble.

 

Big South

Preliminary Round

#8 High Point 68  #9 Gardner-Webb 58

#7 VMI 55  #10 Radford 53

 

Quarterfinals

#1 UNC-Asheville 86  #8 High Point 61

#4 Charleston Sou. 88  #5 Liberty 74

#6 Winthrop 71  #3 Campbell 55

#7 VMI 85  #2 Coastal Carolina 68

 

Semifinals

#1 UNC-Asheville 91  #4 Charleston Sou. 64

#7 VMI 75  #6 Winthrop 55

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 UNC-Asheville  80  #7 VMI 64

 

Automatic Bid – UNC-ASHEVILLE 24-9

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

Big Ten

Opening Round

#8 Iowa 64  #9 Illinois 61

#5 Indiana 75  #12 Penn State 58

#10 Minnesota 75  #7 Northwestern 68

#6 Purdue 79  #11 Nebraska 61

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Michigan St. 92  #8 Iowa 75

#4 Wisconsin 79  #5 Indiana 71

#2 Michigan 73  #10 Minnesota 69

#3 Ohio St. 88  #6 Purdue 71

 

Semifinals

#1 Michigan St. (25-7) vs. #4 Wisconsin (24-8)

#2 Michigan (24-8) vs. #3 Ohio St. (26-6)

 

At-Large: Ohio St., Michigan St., Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Purdue

Upper Bubble:

Lower Bubble: Northwestern

 

The folks in Indianapolis can claim their final four is as good as the Big East’s.  They might be wrong, because this one could be better!

 

The top four seeds advanced, and this is definitely the toast of the tournaments.  Any of these four could cut down the nets Sunday.  The cherry on top is that yesterday’s games were high-scoring shootouts reminiscent of the old run and gun days of Big Ten days of yore.

 

Big 12

Opening Round

#9 Texas A&M 62  #8 Oklahoma 53

#7 Oklahoma St. 76  #10 Texas Tech 60

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Kansas 83  #9 Texas A&M 66

#4 Baylor 82  #5 Kansas St. 74

#2 Missouri 88  #7 Oklahoma St. 70

#3 Iowa St. 65  #6 Texas 71

 

Semifinals

#4 Baylor 81  #1 Kansas 72  

#2 Missouri 81  #6 Texas 67

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Missouri (29-4) vs. #4 Baylor (27-6)

 

At-Large: Kansas, Missouri, Iowa St., Baylor, Kansas St.

Upper Bubble: Texas

Lower Bubble: None

 

Missouri has a lot to play for today.  A win over Baylor more than likely moves the Tigers to a number one seed.  However, Baylor will be tough to defeat three times in one season.  MU beat BU by 15 and by one during the regular season.

 

Big West

Quarterfinals

#1 Long Beach St. 80  #8 UC-Davis 46

#4 Cal Poly SLO 66  #5 UC-Riverside 54

#7 UC-Irvine 65  #2 Cal State Fullerton 59

#3 U C S B 72  #6 Pacific 52

 

Semifinals

#1 Long Beach St. (23-8) vs. #7 UC-Irvine (12-19)

#3 U C S B (19-9) vs. #4 Cal Poly SLO (18-15)

 

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: Long Beach St.

Lower Bubble: None

 

Long Beach State could possibly earn an at-large bid if they lose today or tomorrow, but the 49ers should have minimal competition in the semifinals and not much more in the finals.

 

Colonial Athletic

Opening Round

#9 UNC-Wilmington 70  #8 James Madison 59

#5 Delaware 72  #12 Towson St. 65

#6 Georgia St. 85  #11 Hofstra 50

#7 Northeastern 57  #10 William & Mary 49

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Drexel 59  #9 UNC-Wilmington 47

#4 Old Dominion 88  #5 Delaware 74

#3 George Mason 61  #6 Georgia St. 59

#2 Virginia Commonwealth 75  #10 William & Mary 65

 

Semifinals

#1 Drexel 68  #4 Old Dominion 51

#2 Virginia Commonwealth 74  #3 George Mason 64

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Virginia Commonwealth 59 #1 Drexel 56

 

Automatic Bid – VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH 28-6

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – Drexel

 

 

Drexel has a chance of earning an at-large bid, but their RPI is on the low side at 68.

 

Conference USA

Opening Round

#5 U A B 72  #12 Tulane 64

#8 U T E P 67 #9 Houston 62 OT

#10 East Carolina 68  #7 Rice 66 

#6 Marshall 74  #11 S M U 56

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Memphis 65  #8 U T E P 47

#4 Central Florida 51  #5 U A B 43

#2 Southern Mississippi 81  #10 East Carolina 78

#6 Marshall 105  #3 Tulsa 100  3 OT

 

Semifinals

#1 Memphis 83  #4 Central Florida 52

#6 Marshall 73  #2 Southern Mississippi 62

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Memphis (25-8) vs. #6 Marshall (21-12)

 

At-Large: Memphis

Upper Bubble: None

Lower Bubble: Southern Miss

 

 

Central Florida will be placed in the lower bubble with a win today against the top seed in the conference tournament.  Should Central Florida and Marshall meet in tomorrow’s championship game, the bubble will burst for somebody else.

 

Horizon League

Opening Round

#4 Milwaukee 68  #9 Illinois-Chi. 55

#5 Butler 70  #8 Wright St. 52

#3 Detroit 80  #10 Loyola (Chi) 71

#6 Youngstown 77  #7 Green Bay 60

 

Quarterfinals

#5 Butler 71 #4 Milwaukee 49

#3 Detroit 93 #6 Youngstown St. 76

 

Semifinals

#1 Valparaiso 65  #5 Butler 46

#3 Detroit 63  #2 Cleveland St. 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#3 Detroit 70  #1 Valparaiso 50

 

Automatic Bid – DETROIT 22-13

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

This is a one-bid league.  Neither Valpo, Cleveland State nor Butler will  earn at-large bids.

 

M A A C

Preliminary Round

#8 Marist 64 #9 St. Peter’s 57

#7 Niagara 80 #10 Canisius 70

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Iona 87  #8 Marist 63

#4 Fairfield 65  #5 Rider 63

#2 Loyola (MD) 86  #7 Niagara 73

#6 Siena 84  #3 Manhattan 82

 

Semifinals

#4 Fairfield 85  #1 Iona 75

#2 Loyola (MD) 70  #6 Siena 60

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Loyola (MD) 48  #4 Fairfield 44

 

Automatic Bid – LOYOLA (MD) 24-8

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

This is a one-bid league.  Iona played their way out of the Big Dance and into the NIT.

 

M A C

Opening Round

#12 Northern Illinois 55  #5 Eastern Michigan 52  

#8 Western Michigan 69  #9 Ball St. 63

#7 Toledo 60  #10 (Miami (O) 53

#11 Central Michigan 54  #6 Bowling Green 53  

 

2nd Round

#8 Western Michigan 71  #12 Northern Illinois 54

#7 Toledo 75  #11 Central Michigan 72

 

Quarterfinals

#4 Kent St. 76  #8 Western Michigan 72

#3 Ohio 65  #7 Toledo 57

 

Semifinals

#1 Akron 78  #4 Kent St. 74

#3 Ohio 77  #2  Buffalo 74

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Akron (22-10) vs. #3 Ohio (25-7)

 

Akron is now #52 in the RPI and Ohio is #60.  The loser of this game will fall a few spots, but they should have a small chance of getting in as one of the last four in.  That small chance is close to a slim and none chance.

 

M E A C

Opening Round

#8 Hampton 69 #9 Morgan St. 65

#5 North Carolina Central 60 #12 Md. Eastern Shore 43

#4 Bethune-Cookman 62 #13 South Carolina St. 53

#11 Florida A& M 74  #6 Coppin St. 72

#10 Howard 51  #7 North Carolina A&T 50

 

Quarterfinals

#8 Hampton 59  #1 Savannah St. 46

#4 Bethune-Cookman 60  #5 North Carolina Central 59

#2 Norfolk St. 71 #7 Howard 61

#11 Florida A&M 65  #3 Delaware St. 55  

 

Semfinals

#4 Bethune-Cookman 81  #8 Hampton 72

#2 Norfolk St. 58  #11 Florida A&M 46

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Norfolk St. (24-9) vs. #4 Bethune-Cookman (18-16)

 

This is a one-bid league.  With Savannah State suffering an early exit, only Norfolk State can possibly avoid a trip to Dayton for the first round.

 

Missouri Valley

Opening Round

#8 Indiana St. 66  #9 Southern Illinois 51

#7 Drake 65  #10 Bradley 49

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Wichita St. 72 #8 Indiana St. 48

#4 Illinois St. 54 #5 Northern Iowa 42

#2 Creighton 68 vs. #7 Drake 61

#3 Evansville 72 vs. #6 Missouri St. 64

 

Semifinals

#4 Illinois St. 65  #1 Wichita St. 64

#2 Creighton 99  #3 Evansville 71

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Creighton 83  #4 Illinois St. 79 OT

 

Automatic Bid – Creighton 27-5

At-Large – Wichita St. 27-5

Bubble – None

 

Mountain West

Quarterfinals

#1 San Diego St. 65  #8 Boise St. 62

#4 Colorado St. 81  #5 T C U 60

#2 New Mexico 79  #7 Air Force 64

#3 U N L V 56  #6 Wyoming 48

 

Semifinals

#1 San Diego St. 79  #4 Colorado St. 69

#2 New Mexico 72  #3 U N L V 67

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 San Diego St. (26-6) vs. #2 New Mexico (26-6)

 

At-Large: San Diego St., UNLV, New Mexico

Upper Bubble: Colorado St.

Lower Bubble: None

 

Anything other than four bids would be disappointing and even ridiculous.  Colorado State’s RPI is #24, and the Rams are tournament-worthy.

 

Northeast

Quarterfinals

#1 Long Island 80  #8 Sacred Heart 68

#5 Quinnipiac 80  #4 St. Francis (NY) 72

#3 Robert Morris 87  #6 Monmouth 68

#2 Wagner 87  #7 Central Conn. St. 77

 

Semifinals

#1 Long Island 78 #5 Quinnipiac 75

#3 Robert Morris 71  #2 Wagner 64

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Long Island 90  #3 Robert Morris 73

 

Automatic Bid: LONG ISLAND 25-8

At-Large: None

Bubble: None

 

Wagner’s slim chances for getting in as a wildcard team went bye-bye with their semifinal loss to RMU.

 

LIU enters the Big Dance winning 20 of their last 22 games.

 

Ohio Valley

Opening Round

#5 Southeast Missouri 75  #8 E. Kentucky 65

#7 Jacksonville St. 75  #6 Austin Peay 70

 

Quarterfinals

#4 Tennessee Tech 77 #5 Southeast Missouri 73

#3 Morehead St. 68  #7 Jacksonville St. 54

 

Semifinals

#1 Murray St. 78  #4 Tennessee Tech 58

#2 Tennessee St. 59 #3 Morehead St. 52

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Murray St. 54  #2 Tennessee St. 52

 

Automatic Bid – Murray St. 30-1

At-Large – None

Bubble – None

 

Murray State should receive a #4 or #5 seed, a #6 at worst.

 

Pac-12

Opening Round

#9 Oregon St. 69  #8 Washington St. 64

#5 U C L A 55  #12 U S C 40

#7 Stanford 85  #10 Arizona St. 65

#6 Colorado 53  #11 Utah 41

 

Quarterfinals

#9 Oregon State 86  #1 Washington 84

#4 Arizona 66  #5 U C L A 58

#2 California 77  #7 Stanford 71

#6 Colorado 63  #3 Oregon 62  

 

Semifinals

#4 Arizona 72  #9 Oregon St. 61

#6 Colorado 70  #2 California 59

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#4 Arizona (23-10) vs. #6 Colorado (22-11)

 

At-Large:

Upper Bubble: California

Lower Bubble: Colorado, Washington, Arizona, Oregon

 

The only sure thing is that today’s championship game winner will get an automatic bid.  California’s RPI is #36, and that should be enough to get a bid, but stranger things have happened before.  We cannot call them a lock for an at-large bid.

 

The RPIs for the other four teams are iffy.  Oregon is #66; Washington is #68, Colorado is #70, and Arizona is #76.  Today’s loser will stay in the 70’s, which is the lowest range possible for an at-large bid.

 

Colorado’s defense has been swarming in the first three games, and the Buffaloes have not played this type of defense since the 1960’s.  CU is our bet to cut down the nets Saturday.

 

Patriot League

Quarterfinals

#1 Bucknell 87  #8 Navy 63

#5 Lafayette 84  #4 Holy Cross 76

#2 Lehigh 70 #7 Colgate 57

#3 American 57  #6 Army 40

 

Semifinals

#1 Bucknell 79 #5 Lafayette 52

#2 Lehigh 85 #3 American 66

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Lehigh 82  #1 Bucknell 77  

 

Automatic Bid: LEHIGH 26-7

At-Large: None

Bubble: None

 

The Mountain Hawks search for the first NCAA Tournament win in their fifth trip to the Big Dance, and they have the one-two punch in C J McCollum and Gabe Knutson.  Lehigh lost at Michigan State by just nine points earlier in the year, and they enter the NCAA Tournament having won eight games in a row and 12 of 13.

 

Southern

Opening Round

#5N Appalachian St. 93  #4S College of Charleston 81

#3N Western Carolina 68  #6S Citadel 56

#5S Furman 75  #4N Samford 66

#3S Georgia Southern 76  #6N Chattanooga 70

 

Quarterfinals

#1N UNC-Greensboro 65  #5N Appalachian St. 55

#3N Western Carolina 82 #2S Wofford 59

#1S Davidson 73  #5S Furman 54

#2N Elon 65  #3S Georgia Southern 58

 

Semifinals

#3N Western Carolina 82  #1N UNC-Greensboro 77

#1S Davidson 83  #2N Elon 67

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1S Davidson  93 #1N UNC-Greensboro 91

 

Automatic Bid – DAVIDSON 25-7

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

 

Davidson might not have earned a ticket as an at-large team.  Tell that to Kansas coach Bill Self, and he would say you were crazy.

 

S E C

Opening Round

#8 L S U 70  #9 Arkansas 54

#5 Alabama 63  #12 South Carolina 57

#7 Ole Miss 68  #10 Auburn 54

#11 Georgia 71  #6 Mississippi St. 61 

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Kentucky 60  #8 L S U 51

#4 Florida 66  #5 Alabama 63

#7 Ole Miss 77  #2 Tennessee 72 OT

#3 Vanderbilt 63  #11 Georgia 41

 

Semifinals

#1 Kentucky (31-1) vs. #4 Florida (23-9)

#3 Vanderbilt (22-10) vs. #7 Ole Miss (20-12)

 

At-Large: Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt

Upper Bubble: Alabama

Lower Bubble: Ole Miss, Mississippi St.

 

Ole Miss is the hot team that could surprise and make it to the championship game on Sunday.  The Rebels would move to the upper bubble with a win today over an inconsistent Vanderbilt team.

 

Florida does not match up well with Kentucky.  If the Gators pull off the big upset, it will be because the Wildcats did not show up to play for a second consecutive day.

 

Tennessee is now NIT-bound, and Mississippi State is probably headed that way as well.  We cannot see the committee taking the Bulldogs if they do not take their rival Rebels as well.

 

Southland

Quarterfinals

#1 UT-Arlington 96  #8 Nicholls St. 48

#4 McNeese St. 78  #5 TX-San Antonio 74 OT

#2 Stephen F Austin 68  #7 Sam Houston 46

#3 Lamar 76  #6 Northwestern State (LA) 69

 

Semifinals

#4 McNeese St. 92  #1 UT-Arlington 72  

#3 Lamar 55  #2 Stephen F Austin 44  

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#3 Lamar (22-11) vs. #4 McNeese St. (17-14)

 

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: None

Lower Bubble: None

 

The top two seeds fell in the semifinals, and now the Southland champion may be looking to make reservations in Dayton.

 

S W A C

Quarterfinals

#1 Mississippi Valley St. 63  #8 Jackson St. 60

#5 Arkansas-Pine Bluff 60  #4 Alabama St. 56  

#2 Texas Southern 75  #7 Alabama A&M 62

#6 Alcorn St. 103  #3 Prairie View 79

 

Semifinals

#1 Mississippi Valley St. 71  #5 Arkansas-Pine Bluff 64

#2 Texas Southern 60  #6 Alcorn St. 55

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Mississippi Valley St. (20-12) vs. #2 Texas Southern (15-17)

 

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: None

Lower Bubble: None

 

Today’s championship game winner will be headed to Dayton for the opening round.  At least, the top two seeds advanced to the finals, and it gives the SWAC a fighting chance to compete in the “play-in.”

 

Summit League

Quarterfinals

#1 Oral Roberts 71  #8 I P F W 67

#4 Western Illinois 58  #5 North Dakota St. 53

#2 South Dakota St. 77  I U P U I 56

#6 Southern Utah 84  #3 Oakland 82

 

Semifinals

#4 Western Illinois 54  #1 Oral Roberts 53

#2 South Dakota St. 63  #6 Southern Utah 47

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 South Dakota St. 52  #4 Western Illinois 50

Automatic Bid – SOUTH DAKOTA ST. 27-7

At-Large Teams –None

Bubble – Oral Roberts

               

Had South Dakota St. and Oral Roberts advanced to the Championship Game, and Oral Roberts’ lost instead of losing to WIU in the semis, ORU would be on the at-large line and not the bubble.  With an RPI of 55, the Golden Eagles are in a precarious position. 

 

Sunbelt

Opening Round

#6 South Alabama 87  #11 Troy 81

#7 Western Kentucky 67 #10 Florida Int’l 63

#9 Arkansas St. 70 #8 Florida Atlantic 55

 

Quarterfinals

#9 Arkansas St. 64  #1 Middle Tennessee 61

#5 North Texas 65  #4 Louisiana-Lafayette 62

#7 Western Kentucky 68  #2 U A L R  63 

#3 Denver 61  #6 South Alabama 50

 

Semifinals

#5 North Texas 76  #9 Arkansas St. 72

#7 Western Kentucky 67  #3 Denver 63

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#7 Western Kentucky 74  #3 Denver 70

 

Automatic Bid –WESTERN KENTUCKY 15-18

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – Middle Tennessee

 

This is probably a one-bid league. The top two seeds lost in their first games in this unique tournament played in two separate gyms in the same building.  Middle Tennessee may still be on the bubble with an RPI of 65, but they are more than likely headed to the NIT.  Western Kentucky will be headed to the first round in Dayton.  However, their 15-18 record is very misleading.  The Hilltoppers were supposed to contend for the regular season championship; however, major dissension led to a poor start and a dismissal of head coach Ken McDonald.  Since Ray Harper assumed command, WKU has sported a 10-7 record, and a 7-4 finish.  This team cannot be overlooked in Dayton and could very well advance to the second round.

 

W A C

Quarterfinals

#1 Nevada 54  #8 San Jose St. 44

#5 Louisiana Tech 72  #4 Utah St. 70

#2 New Mexico St. 65  #7 Fresno St. 49

#6 Hawaii 72  #3 Idaho 70

 

Semifinals

#1 Nevada (26-5) vs. #5 Louisiana Tech (17-15)

#2 New Mexico St. (24-9) vs. #6 Hawaii (16-15)

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 New Mexico St. (25-9) vs. #5 Louisiana Tech (18-15)

 

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: None

Lower Bubble: Nevada.

 

Nevada fell to #63 in the RPI, and the Wolfpack are on the cusp of falling off the bubble.  New Mexico State is at #69, so their chances to get in as an at-large if they lose today are nil.

 

West Coast

Opening Round

#8 Portland 74 #9 Santa Clara 70

 

2nd Round

#5 San Francisco 87  #8 Portland 66

#6 San Diego 76  #7 Pepperdine 54

 

Quarterfinals

#5 San Francisco 67  #4 Loyola Marymount 60

#3 B Y U 73 vs. #6 San Diego 68

 

Semifinals

#1 Saint Mary’s 83  #5 San Francisco 78

#2 Gonzaga 77  #3 B Y U 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Saint Mary’s 78  #2 Gonzaga 74 OT

 

Automatic Bid – SAINT MARY’S 26-5

At-Large Teams – Gonzaga

Bubble – B Y U

 

This has the look of a three-bid league, with the two behemoths and BYU all headed to the Big Dance.  Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga are now the true powers of the West.  If you remember UCLA versus USC or Oregon State in the 1970’s and 1980’s, this is what this rivalry has become.  Both teams could easily advance to the Elite 8.

 Coming Saturday Evening: We release Bracketnomics 505–the 2012 edition with more detailed grading than ever before.  We’ve made it even more scientific than ever!  Tell all your friends, but only those playing in a different bracket contest than you.

March 9, 2012

NCAA College Basketball Conference Tournaments–March 9 Update

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:37 am

Here is the up-to-date (as of Thursday Night, March 8) results of all conference tournaments as well as the pairings for today’s games.

 

America East

Preliminary Round

#9 Binghamton 73  #8 Md.-Balt. Co. 67

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Stony Brook 78  # 9 Binghamton 69

#4 Albany 63  #5 New Hampshire 45

#2 Vermont 50  #7 Maine 40

#6 Hartford 53  #3 Boston U 49 

 

Semifinals

#1 Stony Brook 57  #4 Albany 55

#2 Vermont 77  #6 Hartford 73 2OT

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Stony Brook (21-8) vs. Vermont (22-11)

 

This is a one-bid league.

 

A C C

Opening Round

#8 Maryland 82  #9 Wake Forest 60

#5 North Carolina St. 78  #12 Boston College 57

#10 Virginia Tech 68  #7 Clemson 63

#6 Miami (FL) 54  #11 Georgia Tech 36

 

Quarterfinals

#1 North Carolina (27-4) vs. #8 Maryland (17-14)

#4 Virginia (22-8) vs. #5 North Carolina St. (21-11)

#2 Duke (26-5) vs. #10 Virginia Tech (16-16)

#3 Florida St. (21-9) vs. #6 Miami (FL) (19-11)

 

At-Large: North Carolina, Duke, Florida St., Virginia

Upper Bubble: North Carolina St.

Lower Bubble: Miami (FL)

 

Today’s North Carolina St.-Virginia game should be the most interesting game of the tournament.  This is basically a play-in game with the winner moving into the upper echelon of the bubble.

 

Miami can move to the upper bubble with a win over the rival Seminoles.

 

Atlantic Sun

Quarterfinals

#1 Belmont 76  #8 Jacksonville 62

#4 East Tennessee 68  #5 N. Florida 66

#2 Mercer 61  #7 Lipscomb 53

#6 Florida Gulf Coast 71  #3 S. Carolina Upstate 61

 

Semifinals

#1 Belmont 69  #4 East Tennessee 61

#6 Florida Gulf Coast 62 #2 Mercer 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Belmont 83  Florida Gulf Coast 69

 

Automatic Bid – BELMONT 27-7

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

Atlantic 10

1st Round

#8 Massachusetts 92  #9 Duquesne 83

#5 St. Joe’s 80  #12 Charlotte 64

#7 LaSalle 80  #10 Richmond 72

#6 Dayton 67  #11 George Washington 50

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Temple (24-6) vs. #8 Massachusetts (21-10)

#4 St. Bonaventure (17-11) vs. #5 St. Joe’s (20-12)

#2 St. Louis (24-6) vs. #7 LaSalle (21-11)

#3 Xavier (19-11) vs. #6 Dayton (20-11)

 

At-Large: Temple

Upper Bubble: St. Louis

Lower Bubble: Xavier, St. Joe’s, and Dayton

 

The eight remaining teams in this tournament are not that far apart, and the final three days should be highly competitive.  Literally, any of this octet can cut down the nets in Atlantic City on Sunday.

 

Big East

Opening Round

#9 Connecticut 81  #16 Dayton 67

#13 Pittsburgh 73  #12 St. John’s 59

#10 Seton Hall 79  #15 Providence 47

#14 Villanova 70  #11 Rutgers 49

 

2nd Round

#9 Connecticut 71  #8 West Virginia 67 OT

#5 Georgetown 64  #13 Pittsburgh 52

#7 Louisville 61 #10 Seton Hall 55

#6 South Florida 56  #14 Villanova 47

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Syracuse 58  #9 Connecticut 55

#4 Cincinnati 72  #5 Georgetown 70 2OT

#7 Louisville 84  #2 Marquette 71

#3 Notre Dame 57 #6 South Florida 52

 

Semifinals

#1 Syracuse (31-1) vs. #4 Cincinnati (23-9)

#3 Notre Dame (22-10) vs. #7 Louisville (24-9)

 

At-Large: Syracuse, Marquette, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Louisville, Cincinnati

Upper Bubble: West Virginia, Seton Hall, Connecticut

Lower Bubble: South Florida

 

The Final Four in this tournament could be as strong as the Final Four in the Big Dance.  Cincinnati and Syracuse should give basketball fans something to watch today.  The Bearcats might be a little tired from yesterday, or else we would call them an odds-on favorite to upset the Orangemen.  Syracuse already knows they will earn a top seed in one of the four regionals.

 

Louisville appears to be the hot team.  The Cardinals are peaking at just the right time.

 

Big Sky

Quarterfinals

#3 Portland St. 75  #6 Montana St. 53

#4 Eastern Washington 81  #5 Idaho St. 75

 

Semifinals

#1 Montana 74  #4 Eastern Washington 66

#2 Weber St. 69 #3 Portland St. 63

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Montana 85 #2 Weber St. 66

 

Automatic Bid: MONTANA 25-6

At-Large: None

Bubble: None

 

This is a one-bid league, but both Montana and Weber State are talented enough to win an opening round game in the NCAA Tournament. With an RPI around 70, the Wildcats are probably not on the bubble.

 

Big South

Preliminary Round

#8 High Point 68  #9 Gardner-Webb 58

#7 VMI 55  #10 Radford 53

 

Quarterfinals

#1 UNC-Asheville 86  #8 High Point 61

#4 Charleston Sou. 88  #5 Liberty 74

#6 Winthrop 71  #3 Campbell 55

#7 VMI 85  #2 Coastal Carolina 68

 

Semifinals

#1 UNC-Asheville 91  #4 Charleston Sou. 64

#7 VMI 75  #6 Winthrop 55

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 UNC-Asheville  80  #7 VMI 64

 

Automatic Bid – UNC-ASHEVILLE 24-9

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

Big Ten

Opening Round

#8 Iowa 64  #9 Illinois 61

#5 Indiana 75  #12 Penn State 58

#10 Minnesota 75  #7 Northwestern 68

#6 Purdue 79  #11 Nebraska 61

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Michigan St. (24-7) vs. #8 Iowa (17-15)

#4 Wisconsin (23-8) vs. #5 Indiana (25-7)

#2 Michigan (23-8) vs. #10 Minnesota (19-13)

#3 Ohio St. (25-6) vs. #6 Purdue (21-11)

 

At-Large: Ohio St., Michigan St., Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Purdue

Upper Bubble:

Lower Bubble: Northwestern

 

Iowa and Minnesota need to keep winning in order to move onto the lower bubble.  As for Illinois, today’s loss probably signaled the end of the Bruce Weber tenure in Champaign-Urbana.  Another coaching change could come at Nebraska.  The Cornhuskers haven’t been really good since 1966.

 

Big 12

Opening Round

#9 Texas A&M 62  #8 Oklahoma 53

#7 Oklahoma St. 76  #10 Texas Tech 60

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Kansas 83  #9 Texas A&M 66

#4 Baylor 82  #5 Kansas St. 74

#2 Missouri 88  #7 Oklahoma St. 70

#3 Iowa St. 65  #6 Texas 71

 

Semifinals

#1 Kansas (27-5) vs. #4 Baylor (26-6)

#2 Missouri (28-4) vs. #6 Texas (19-12)

 

At-Large: Kansas, Missouri, Iowa St., Baylor, Kansas St.

Upper Bubble: Texas

Lower Bubble: None

 

If the Longhorns beat Missouri today, they will move into the at-large field.

 

Big West

Quarterfinals

#1 Long Beach St. 80  #8 UC-Davis 46

#4 Cal Poly SLO (17-14) vs. #5 UC-Riverside (14-16) **********

#7 UC-Irvine 65  #2 Cal State Fullerton 59

#3 U C S B 72  #6 Pacific 52

 

Semifinals

#1 Long Beach St. (23-8) vs. #7 UC-Irvine (12-19)

#3 U C S B (19-9) vs.

 

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: Long Beach St.

Lower Bubble: None

 

Long Beach State could possibly earn an at-large bid if they lose today or tomorrow, but the 49ers should have minimal competition in the semifinals and not much more in the finals.

 

Colonial Athletic

Opening Round

#9 UNC-Wilmington 70  #8 James Madison 59

#5 Delaware 72  #12 Towson St. 65

#6 Georgia St. 85  #11 Hofstra 50

#7 Northeastern 57  #10 William & Mary 49

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Drexel 59  #9 UNC-Wilmington 47

#4 Old Dominion 88  #5 Delaware 74

#3 George Mason 61  #6 Georgia St. 59

#2 Virginia Commonwealth 75  #10 William & Mary 65

 

Semifinals

#1 Drexel 68  #4 Old Dominion 51

#2 Virginia Commonwealth 74  #3 George Mason 64

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Virginia Commonwealth 59 #1 Drexel 56

 

Automatic Bid – VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH 28-6

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – Drexel

 

 

Drexel has a chance of earning an at-large bid, but their RPI is on the low side at 68.

 

Conference USA

Opening Round

#5 U A B 72  #12 Tulane 64

#8 U T E P 67 #9 Houston 62 OT

#10 East Carolina 68  #7 Rice 66 

#6 Marshall 74  #11 S M U 56

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Memphis 65  #8 U T E P 47

#4 Central Florida 51  #5 U A B 43

#2 Southern Mississippi 81  #10 East Carolina 78

#6 Marshall 105  #3 Tulsa 100  3 OT

 

Semifinals

#1 Memphis (24-8) vs. #4 Central Florida (21-9)

#2 Southern Mississippi (25-7) vs. #6 Marshall (20-12)

 

At-Large: Memphis

Upper Bubble: Southern Miss

Lower Bubble: None

 

Central Florida will be placed in the lower bubble with a win today against the top seed in the conference tournament.

 

Horizon League

Opening Round

#4 Milwaukee 68  #9 Illinois-Chi. 55

#5 Butler 70  #8 Wright St. 52

#3 Detroit 80  #10 Loyola (Chi) 71

#6 Youngstown 77  #7 Green Bay 60

 

Quarterfinals

#5 Butler 71 #4 Milwaukee 49

#3 Detroit 93 #6 Youngstown St. 76

 

Semifinals

#1 Valparaiso 65  #5 Butler 46

#3 Detroit 63  #2 Cleveland St. 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#3 Detroit 70  #1 Valparaiso 50

 

Automatic Bid – DETROIT 22-13

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

This is a one-bid league.  Neither Valpo, Cleveland State nor Butler will  earn at-large bids.

 

M A A C

Preliminary Round

#8 Marist 64 #9 St. Peter’s 57

#7 Niagara 80 #10 Canisius 70

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Iona 87  #8 Marist 63

#4 Fairfield 65  #5 Rider 63

#2 Loyola (MD) 86  #7 Niagara 73

#6 Siena 84  #3 Manhattan 82

 

Semifinals

#4 Fairfield 85  #1 Iona 75

#2 Loyola (MD) 70  #6 Siena 60

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Loyola (MD) 48  #4 Fairfield 44

 

Automatic Bid – LOYOLA (MD) 24-8

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

This is a one-bid league.  Iona played their way out of the Big Dance and into the NIT.

 

M A C

Opening Round

#12 Northern Illinois 55  #5 Eastern Michigan 52  

#8 Western Michigan 69  #9 Ball St. 63

#7 Toledo 60  #10 (Miami (O) 53

#11 Central Michigan 54  #6 Bowling Green 53  

 

2nd Round

#8 Western Michigan 71  #12 Northern Illinois 54

#7 Toledo 75  #11 Central Michigan 72

 

Quarterfinals

#4 Kent St. 76  #8 Western Michigan 72

#3 Ohio 65  #7 Toledo 57

 

Semifinals

#1 Akron (21-10) vs. #4 Kent St. (20-10)

#2  Buffalo (19-9) vs. #3 Ohio  (24-7)

 

The top four seeds are in the semifinals.  This gives the MAC a fighting chance for two bids, but it may be a losing fight.

 

M E A C

Opening Round

#8 Hampton 69 #9 Morgan St. 65

#5 North Carolina Central 60 #12 Md. Eastern Shore 43

#4 Bethune-Cookman 62 #13 South Carolina St. 53

#11 Florida A& M 74  #6 Coppin St. 72

#10 Howard 51  #7 North Carolina A&T 50

 

Quarterfinals

#8 Hampton 59  #1 Savannah St. 46

#4 Bethune-Cookman 60  #5 North Carolina Central 59

#2 Norfolk St. 71 #7 Howard 61

#11 Florida A&M 65  #3 Delaware St. 55  

 

Semfinals

#4 Bethune-Cookman (17-16) vs. #8 Hampton (12-20)

#2 Norfolk St. (23-9) vs. #11 Florida A&M (10-22)

 

This is a one-bid league.  With Savannah State suffering an early exit, only Norfolk State can possibly avoid a trip to Dayton for the first round.

 

Missouri Valley

Opening Round

#8 Indiana St. 66  #9 Southern Illinois 51

#7 Drake 65  #10 Bradley 49

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Wichita St. 72 #8 Indiana St. 48

#4 Illinois St. 54 #5 Northern Iowa 42

#2 Creighton 68 vs. #7 Drake 61

#3 Evansville 72 vs. #6 Missouri St. 64

 

Semifinals

#4 Illinois St. 65  #1 Wichita St. 64

#2 Creighton 99  #3 Evansville 71

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Creighton 83  #4 Illinois St. 79 OT

 

Automatic Bid – Creighton 27-5

At-Large – Wichita St. 27-5

Bubble – None

 

Mountain West

Quarterfinals

#1 San Diego St. 65  #8 Boise St. 62

#4 Colorado St. 81  #5 T C U 60

#2 New Mexico 79  #7 Air Force 64

#3 U N L V 56  #6 Wyoming 48

 

Semifinals

#1 San Diego St. (25-6) vs. #4 Colorado St. (20-10)

#2 New Mexico (25-6) vs. #3 U N L V (26-7)

 

At-Large: San Diego St., UNLV, New Mexico

Upper Bubble: Colorado St.

Lower Bubble: None

 

Colorado St. is at the very top of the bubble today, and the Rams are almost assured to receive an at-large bid. 

 

Northeast

Quarterfinals

#1 Long Island 80  #8 Sacred Heart 68

#5 Quinnipiac 80  #4 St. Francis (NY) 72

#3 Robert Morris 87  #6 Monmouth 68

#2 Wagner 87  #7 Central Conn. St. 77

 

Semifinals

#1 Long Island 78 #5 Quinnipiac 75

#3 Robert Morris 71  #2 Wagner 64

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Long Island 90  #3 Robert Morris 73

 

Automatic Bid: LONG ISLAND 25-8

At-Large: None

Bubble: None

 

Wagner’s slim chances for getting in as a wildcard team went bye-bye with their semifinal loss to RMU.

 

LIU enters the Big Dance winning 20 of their last 22 games.

 

Ohio Valley

Opening Round

#5 Southeast Missouri 75  #8 E. Kentucky 65

#7 Jacksonville St. 75  #6 Austin Peay 70

 

Quarterfinals

#4 Tennessee Tech 77 #5 Southeast Missouri 73

#3 Morehead St. 68  #7 Jacksonville St. 54

 

Semifinals

#1 Murray St. 78  #4 Tennessee Tech 58

#2 Tennessee St. 59 #3 Morehead St. 52

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Murray St. 54  #2 Tennessee St. 52

 

Automatic Bid – Murray St. 30-1

At-Large – None

Bubble – None

 

Murray State should receive a #4 or #5 seed, a #6 at worst.

 

Pac-12

Opening Round

#9 Oregon St. 69  #8 Washington St. 64

#5 U C L A 55  #12 U S C 40

#7 Stanford 85  #10 Arizona St. 65

#6 Colorado 53  #11 Utah 41

 

Quarterfinals

#9 Oregon State 86  #1 Washington 84

#4 Arizona 66  #5 U C L A 58

#2 California 77  #7 Stanford 71

#3 Oregon 63  #6 Colorado 62

 

Semifinals

#4 Arizona (22-10) vs. #9 Oregon St. (19-13)

#2 California (24-8) vs. #6 Colorado (21-11)

 

At-Large: California

Upper Bubble: Arizona

Lower Bubble: Colorado, Washington

 

UCLA and Stanford are NIT-bound following yesterday’s losses. Colorado needs to win today to have any chance at an at-large bid and may really need to reach the Championship Game to have a legitimate shot.  The Buffs’ RPI moved from 82 to 77.  A win over Cal could move CU’s RPI into the lower 70’s, and we project they would need to move up to at least 65 to have a fighting chance.

 

California looks to be safely in the field of 68 following yesterday’s win over rival Stanford.

 

Patriot League

Quarterfinals

#1 Bucknell 87  #8 Navy 63

#5 Lafayette 84  #4 Holy Cross 76

#2 Lehigh 70 #7 Colgate 57

#3 American 57  #6 Army 40

 

Semifinals

#1 Bucknell 79 #5 Lafayette 52

#2 Lehigh 85 #3 American 66

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Lehigh 82  #1 Bucknell 77  

 

Automatic Bid: LEHIGH 26-7

At-Large: None

Bubble: None

 

The Mountain Hawks search for the first NCAA Tournament win in their fifth trip to the Big Dance, and they have the one-two punch in C J McCollum and Gabe Knutson.  Lehigh lost at Michigan State by just nine points earlier in the year, and they enter the NCAA Tournament having won eight games in a row and 12 of 13.

 

Southern

Opening Round

#5N Appalachian St. 93  #4S College of Charleston 81

#3N Western Carolina 68  #6S Citadel 56

#5S Furman 75  #4N Samford 66

#3S Georgia Southern 76  #6N Chattanooga 70

 

Quarterfinals

#1N UNC-Greensboro 65  #5N Appalachian St. 55

#3N Western Carolina 82 #2S Wofford 59

#1S Davidson 73  #5S Furman 54

#2N Elon 65  #3S Georgia Southern 58

 

Semifinals

#3N Western Carolina 82  #1N UNC-Greensboro 77

#1S Davidson 83  #2N Elon 67

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1S Davidson  93 #1N UNC-Greensboro 91

 

Automatic Bid – DAVIDSON 25-7

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

 

Davidson might not have earned a ticket as an at-large team.  Tell that to Kansas coach Bill Self, and he would say you were crazy.

 

S E C

Opening Round

#8 L S U 70  #9 Arkansas 54

#5 Alabama 63  #12 South Carolina 57

#7 Ole Miss 68  #10 Auburn 54

#11 Georgia 71  #6 Mississippi St. 61 

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Kentucky (30-1) vs. #8 L S U (18-13)

#4 Florida (22-9) vs. #5 Alabama (21-10)

#2 Tennessee (18-13) vs. #7 Ole Miss (19-12)

#3 Vanderbilt (21-10) vs. #11 Georgia (15-16)

 

At-Large: Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt

Upper Bubble: Alabama

Lower Bubble: Tennessee, Ole Miss, Mississippi St.

 

Tennessee and Ole Miss are the two hot teams other than Kentucky, and their game today should be the best one of the tournament.  Should one of these teams make it to Sunday, it would be hard to keep them out of the field.

 

Mississippi State may have dropped too far to make the Dance now, and Coach Rick Stansbury could be out of work.  Georgia won four games in three days a few years ago.  If they upset Vanderbilt today, Bulldog fans might start believing it could happen again.

 

Southland

Quarterfinals

#1 UT-Arlington 96  #8 Nicholls St. 48

#4 McNeese St. 78  #5 TX-San Antonio 74 OT

#2 Stephen F Austin 68  #7 Sam Houston 46

#3 Lamar 76  #6 Northwestern State (LA) 69

 

Semifinals

#4 McNeese St. 92  #1 UT-Arlington 72  

#3 Lamar 55  #2 Stephen F Austin 44  

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#3 Lamar (22-11) vs. #4 McNeese St. (17-14)

 

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: None

Lower Bubble: None

 

The top two seeds fell in the semifinals, and now the Southland champion may be looking to make reservations in Dayton.

 

S W A C

Quarterfinals

#1 Mississippi Valley St. 63  #8 Jackson St. 60

#5 Arkansas-Pine Bluff 60  #4 Alabama St. 56  

#2 Texas Southern 75  #7 Alabama A&M 62

#6 Alcorn St. 103  #3 Prairie View 79

 

Semifinals

#1 Mississippi Valley St. (19-12) vs. #5 Arkansas-Pine Bluff (11-21)

#2 Texas Southern (14-17) vs. #6 Alcorn St. (10-21)

 

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: None

Lower Bubble: None

 

The Wacky SWAC is the only league where a 9-21 team blows out the #3 seed by 24 points in the quarterfinals.  Yesterday, Alcorn State looked more like Southern U of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

 

Mississippi Valley may be the only one of the remaining four that can avoid a trip to Dayton, but we highly doubt it.

 

Summit League

Quarterfinals

#1 Oral Roberts 71  #8 I P F W 67

#4 Western Illinois 58  #5 North Dakota St. 53

#2 South Dakota St. 77  I U P U I 56

#6 Southern Utah 84  #3 Oakland 82

 

Semifinals

#4 Western Illinois 54  #1 Oral Roberts 53

#2 South Dakota St. 63  #6 Southern Utah 47

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 South Dakota St. 52  #4 Western Illinois 50

Automatic Bid – SOUTH DAKOTA ST. 27-7

At-Large Teams –None

Bubble – Oral Roberts

               

Had South Dakota St. and Oral Roberts advanced to the Championship Game, and Oral Roberts’ lost instead of losing to WIU in the semis, ORU would be on the at-large line and not the bubble.  With an RPI of 55, the Golden Eagles are in a precarious position. 

 

Sunbelt

Opening Round

#6 South Alabama 87  #11 Troy 81

#7 Western Kentucky 67 #10 Florida Int’l 63

#9 Arkansas St. 70 #8 Florida Atlantic 55

 

Quarterfinals

#9 Arkansas St. 64  #1 Middle Tennessee 61

#5 North Texas 65  #4 Louisiana-Lafayette 62

#7 Western Kentucky 68  #2 U A L R  63 

#3 Denver 61  #6 South Alabama 50

 

Semifinals

#5 North Texas 76  #9 Arkansas St. 72

#7 Western Kentucky 67  #3 Denver 63

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#7 Western Kentucky 74  #3 Denver 70

 

Automatic Bid –WESTERN KENTUCKY 15-18

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – Middle Tennessee

 

This is probably a one-bid league. The top two seeds lost in their first games in this unique tournament played in two separate gyms in the same building.  Middle Tennessee may still be on the bubble with an RPI of 65, but they are more than likely headed to the NIT.  Western Kentucky will be headed to the first round in Dayton.  However, their 15-18 record is very misleading.  The Hilltoppers were supposed to contend for the regular season championship; however, major dissension led to a poor start and a dismissal of head coach Ken McDonald.  Since Ray Harper assumed command, WKU has sported a 10-7 record, and a 7-4 finish.  This team cannot be overlooked in Dayton and could very well advance to the second round.

 

W A C

Quarterfinals

#1 Nevada 54  #8 San Jose St. 44

#5 Louisiana Tech 72  #4 Utah St. 70

#2 New Mexico St. 65  #7 Fresno St. 49

#6 Hawaii 72  #3 Idaho 70

 

Semifinals

#1 Nevada (26-5) vs. #5 Louisiana Tech (17-15)

#2 New Mexico St. (24-9) vs. #6 Hawaii (16-15)

 

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: None

Lower Bubble: Nevada

 

Nevada has moved up to #52 in the RPI, and the Wolfpack are on the cusp of moving up to the upper bubble.  A win today will not improve their lot very much, and if they don’t win the tournament and are to get in as an at-large selection, they need New Mexico State to win today.

 

A Nevada-New Mexico State final would make this tournament most worth watching.

 

West Coast

Opening Round

#8 Portland 74 #9 Santa Clara 70

 

2nd Round

#5 San Francisco 87  #8 Portland 66

#6 San Diego 76  #7 Pepperdine 54

 

Quarterfinals

#5 San Francisco 67  #4 Loyola Marymount 60

#3 B Y U 73 vs. #6 San Diego 68

 

Semifinals

#1 Saint Mary’s 83  #5 San Francisco 78

#2 Gonzaga 77  #3 B Y U 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Saint Mary’s 78  #2 Gonzaga 74 OT

 

Automatic Bid – SAINT MARY’S 26-5

At-Large Teams – Gonzaga

Bubble – B Y U

 

This has the look of a three-bid league, with the two behemoths and BYU all headed to the Big Dance.  Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga are now the true powers of the West.  If you remember UCLA versus USC or Oregon State in the 1970’s and 1980’s, this is what this rivalry has become.  Both teams could easily advance to the Elite 8.

 

March 8, 2012

NCAA College Basketball Tournaments–March 8 Update

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , — piratings @ 7:06 am

Here is the up-to-date (as of Wednesday Night, March 7) results of all conference tournaments as well as the pairings for today’s games.

 

America East

Preliminary Round

#9 Binghamton 73  #8 Md.-Balt. Co. 67

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Stony Brook 78  # 9 Binghamton 69

#4 Albany 63  #5 New Hampshire 45

#2 Vermont 50  #7 Maine 40

#6 Hartford 53  #3 Boston U 49 

 

Semifinals

#1 Stony Brook 57  #4 Albany 55

#2 Vermont 77  #6 Hartford 73 2OT

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Stony Brook (21-8) vs. Vermont (22-11)

 

This is a one-bid league.

 

A C C

Opening Round

#8 Maryland (16-14) vs. #9 Wake Forest (13-17)

#5 North Carolina St. (20-11) vs. #12 Boston College (9-21)

#7 Clemson (16-14) vs. #10 Virginia Tech (15-16)

#6 Miami (FL) (18-11) vs. #11 Georgia Tech (11-19)

 

At-Large: North Carolina, Duke, Florida St., Virginia

Upper Bubble: North Carolina St.

Lower Bubble: Virginia

 

Atlantic Sun

Quarterfinals

#1 Belmont 76  #8 Jacksonville 62

#4 East Tennessee 68  #5 N. Florida 66

#2 Mercer 61  #7 Lipscomb 53

#6 Florida Gulf Coast 71  #3 S. Carolina Upstate 61

 

Semifinals

#1 Belmont 69  #4 East Tennessee 61

#6 Florida Gulf Coast 62 #2 Mercer 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Belmont 83  Florida Gulf Coast 69

 

Automatic Bid – BELMONT 27-7

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

Atlantic 10

1st Round

#8 Massachusetts 92  #9 Duquesne 83

#5 St. Joe’s 80  #12 Charlotte 64

#7 LaSalle 80  #10 Richmond 72

#6 Dayton 67  #11 George Washington 50

 

Quarterfinals (Friday, March 9)

#1 Temple (24-6) vs. #8 Massachusetts (21-10)

#4 St. Bonaventure (17-11) vs. #5 St. Joe’s (20-12)

#2 St. Louis (24-6) vs. #7 LaSalle (21-11)

#3 Xavier (19-11) vs. #6 Dayton (20-11)

 

At-Large: Temple

Upper Bubble: St. Louis

Lower Bubble: Xavier, St. Joe’s, and Dayton

 

The eight remaining teams in this tournament are not that far apart, and the final three days should be highly competitive.  Literally, any of this octet can cut down the nets in Atlantic City on Sunday.

 

Big East

Opening Round

#9 Connecticut 81  #16 Dayton 67

#13 Pittsburgh 73  #12 St. John’s 59

#10 Seton Hall 79  #15 Providence 47

#14 Villanova 70  #11 Rutgers 49

 

2nd Round

#9 Connecticut 71  #8 West Virginia 67 OT

#5 Georgetown 64  #13 Pittsburgh 52

#7 Louisville 61 #10 Seton Hall 55

#6 South Florida 56  #14 Villanova 47

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Syracuse (30-1) vs. #9 Connecticut (20-12)

#4 Cincinnati (22-9) vs. #5 Georgetown (23-7)

#2 Marquette (25-6) vs. #7 Louisville (23-9)

#3 Notre Dame (21-10) vs. #6 South Florida (19-12)

 

At-Large: Syracuse, Marquette, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Louisville, Cincinnati

Upper Bubble: West Virginia, Seton Hall, South Florida, Connecticut

Lower Bubble: None

 

Can the Huskies do it again?  After winning five games in five days last year, UConn has now won two games in two days.  An upset over the top-seeded Orangemen just may make UConn the odds-on favorite to repeat the feat.

 

Big Sky

Quarterfinals

#3 Portland St. 75  #6 Montana St. 53

#4 Eastern Washington 81  #5 Idaho St. 75

 

Semifinals

#1 Montana 74  #4 Eastern Washington 66

#2 Weber St. 69 #3 Portland St. 63

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Montana 85 #2 Weber St. 66

 

Automatic Bid: MONTANA 25-6

At-Large: None

Bubble: None

 

This is a one-bid league, but both Montana and Weber State are talented enough to win an opening round game in the NCAA Tournament. With an RPI around 70, the Wildcats are probably not on the bubble.

 

Big South

Preliminary Round

#8 High Point 68  #9 Gardner-Webb 58

#7 VMI 55  #10 Radford 53

 

Quarterfinals

#1 UNC-Asheville 86  #8 High Point 61

#4 Charleston Sou. 88  #5 Liberty 74

#6 Winthrop 71  #3 Campbell 55

#7 VMI 85  #2 Coastal Carolina 68

 

Semifinals

#1 UNC-Asheville 91  #4 Charleston Sou. 64

#7 VMI 75  #6 Winthrop 55

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 UNC-Asheville  80  #7 VMI 64

 

Automatic Bid – UNC-ASHEVILLE 24-9

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

Big Ten

Opening Round

#8 Iowa (16-15) vs. #9 Illinois (17-14)

#5 Indiana (24-7) vs. #12 Penn State (12-19)

#7 Northwestern (18-12) vs. #10 Minnesota (18-13)

#6 Purdue (20-11) vs. #11 Nebraska (12-17)

 

At-Large: Ohio St., Michigan St., Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Purdue

Upper Bubble: Northwestern

Lower Bubble: None (Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois have too much ground to make up and need to win the tournament.  The three teams have no chance of sneaking in with a loss in the Championship Game).

 

Big 12

Opening Round

#9 Texas A&M 62  #8 Oklahoma 53

#7 Oklahoma St. 76  #10 Texas Tech 60

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Kansas (26-5) vs. #9 Texas A&M (14-17)

#4 Baylor (25-6) vs. #5 Kansas St. (21-9)

#2 Missouri (27-4) vs. #7 Oklahoma St. (15-17)

#3 Iowa St. (22-9) vs. #6 Texas (19-12)

 

At-Large: Kansas, Missouri, Iowa St., Baylor, Kansas St.

Upper Bubble: Texas

Lower Bubble: None (If Texas loses to Iowa St., the Longhorns could fall here.

 

Big West

Quarterfinals

#1 Long Beach St. (22-8) vs. #8 UC-Davis (5-25)

#4 Cal Poly SLO (17-14) vs. #5 UC-Riverside (14-16)

#2 Cal State Fullerton (21-8) vs. #7 UC_Irvine (11-19)

#3 U C S B (18-9) vs. #6 Pacific (11-18)

 

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: Long Beach St.

Lower Bubble: None

 

Long Beach State played one of the hardest schedules in the nation and fared admirably.  Their body of work gives the 49ers the look of a NCAA Tournament team.  A loss to Cal State Fullerton in the Championship Game should still keep LBSU safe.  A loss in the earlier rounds will throw the 49ers down to the lower bubble.

 

 

Colonial Athletic

Opening Round

#9 UNC-Wilmington 70  #8 James Madison 59

#5 Delaware 72  #12 Towson St. 65

#6 Georgia St. 85  #11 Hofstra 50

#7 Northeastern 57  #10 William & Mary 49

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Drexel 59  #9 UNC-Wilmington 47

#4 Old Dominion 88  #5 Delaware 74

#3 George Mason 61  #6 Georgia St. 59

#2 Virginia Commonwealth 75  #10 William & Mary 65

 

Semifinals

#1 Drexel 68  #4 Old Dominion 51

#2 Virginia Commonwealth 74  #3 George Mason 64

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Virginia Commonwealth 59 #1 Drexel 56

 

Automatic Bid – VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH 28-6

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – Drexel

 

 

Drexel has a chance of earning an at-large bid, but their RPI is on the low side at 68.

 

Conference USA

Opening Round

#5 U A B 72  #12 Tulane 64

#8 U T E P 67 #9 Houston 62 OT

#10 East Carolina 68  #7 Rice 66 

#6 Marshall 74  #11 S M U 56

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Memphis (23-8) vs. #8 U T E P (15-16)

#4 Central Florida (21-9) vs. #5 U A B (14-15)

#2 Southern Mississippi (24-7) vs. #10 East Carolina (15-15)

#3 Tulsa (17-13) vs. #6 Marshall (19-12)

 

At-Large: Memphis

Upper Bubble: Southern Miss

Lower Bubble: None

 

Central Florida has a chance to move up to the lower bubble with a run to the finals, but it would still be a remote shot if they lost in the Championship Game.

 

Horizon League

Opening Round

#4 Milwaukee 68  #9 Illinois-Chi. 55

#5 Butler 70  #8 Wright St. 52

#3 Detroit 80  #10 Loyola (Chi) 71

#6 Youngstown 77  #7 Green Bay 60

 

Quarterfinals

#5 Butler 71 #4 Milwaukee 49

#3 Detroit 93 #6 Youngstown St. 76

 

Semifinals

#1 Valparaiso 65  #5 Butler 46

#3 Detroit 63  #2 Cleveland St. 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#3 Detroit 70  #1 Valparaiso 50

 

Automatic Bid – DETROIT 22-13

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

This is a one-bid league.  Neither Valpo, Cleveland State nor Butler will  earn at-large bids.

 

M A A C

Preliminary Round

#8 Marist 64 #9 St. Peter’s 57

#7 Niagara 80 #10 Canisius 70

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Iona 87  #8 Marist 63

#4 Fairfield 65  #5 Rider 63

#2 Loyola (MD) 86  #7 Niagara 73

#6 Siena 84  #3 Manhattan 82

 

Semifinals

#4 Fairfield 85  #1 Iona 75

#2 Loyola (MD) 70  #6 Siena 60

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Loyola (MD) 48  #4 Fairfield 44

 

Automatic Bid – LOYOLA (MD) 24-8

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

This is a one-bid league.  Iona played their way out of the Big Dance and into the NIT.

 

M A C

Opening Round

#5 Eastern Michigan (14-17) vs. #12 Northern Illinois (4-25)

#8 Western Michigan (12-19) vs. #9 Ball St. (15-14)

#7 Toledo (16-15) vs. #10 (Miami (O) (9-20)

#6 Bowling Green (16-14) vs. #11 (Central Michigan (10-20)

 

2nd Round

#8 Western Michigan 71  #12 Northern Illinois 54

#7 Toledo 75  #11 Central Michigan 72

 

Quarterfinals

#4 Kent St. (20-10) vs. #8 Western Michigan (13-19)

#3 Ohio (24-7) vs. #7 Toledo (17-15)

This could develop into a two-bid league.  Akron has moved up to #62 in the RPI and Ohio is #70.  Akron has one more bye to the semifinals and will face the winner of the Kent St.-Western Michigan game.

 

M E A C

Opening Round

#8 Hampton 69 #9 Morgan St. 65

#5 North Carolina Central 60 #12 Md. Eastern Shore 43

#4 Bethune-Cookman 62 #13 South Carolina St. 53

#11 Florida A& M 74  #6 Coppin St. 72

#10 Howard 51  #7 North Carolina A&T 50

 

Quarterfinals

#8 Hampton 59  #1 Savannah St. 46

#4 Bethune-Cookman (16-16) vs. #5 North Carolina Central (17-14)

#2 Norfolk St. 71 #7 Howard 61

#3 Delaware St. (15-13) vs. #11 Florida A&M (9-22)

 

This is a one-bid league.  With Savannah State suffering an early exit, only Norfolk State can win the automatic bid and avoid a trip to Dayton for the first round.

 

Missouri Valley

Opening Round

#8 Indiana St. 66  #9 Southern Illinois 51

#7 Drake 65  #10 Bradley 49

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Wichita St. 72 #8 Indiana St. 48

#4 Illinois St. 54 #5 Northern Iowa 42

#2 Creighton 68 vs. #7 Drake 61

#3 Evansville 72 vs. #6 Missouri St. 64

 

Semifinals

#4 Illinois St. 65  #1 Wichita St. 64

#2 Creighton 99  #3 Evansville 71

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Creighton 83  #4 Illinois St. 79 OT

 

Automatic Bid – Creighton 27-5

At-Large – Wichita St. 27-5

Bubble – None

 

Mountain West

Quarterfinals

#1 San Diego St. (24-6) vs. #8 Boise St. (13-16)

#4 Colorado St. (19-10) vs. #5 T C U (17-13)

#2 New Mexico (24-6) vs. #7 Air Force (13-15)

#3 U N L V (25-7) vs. #6 Wyoming (20-10)

 

At-Large: San Diego St., UNLV, New Mexico

Upper Bubble: Colorado St.

Lower Bubble: None

 

TCU and Wyoming lost too many times in February.  Both teams can only get there by earning the automatic bid.  Colorado State can secure a bid with a win over T C U.

 

Northeast

Quarterfinals

#1 Long Island 80  #8 Sacred Heart 68

#5 Quinnipiac 80  #4 St. Francis (NY) 72

#3 Robert Morris 87  #6 Monmouth 68

#2 Wagner 87  #7 Central Conn. St. 77

 

Semifinals

#1 Long Island 78 #5 Quinnipiac 75

#3 Robert Morris 71  #2 Wagner 64

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Long Island 90  #3 Robert Morris 73

 

Automatic Bid: LONG ISLAND 25-8

At-Large: None

Bubble: None

 

Wagner’s slim chances for getting in as a wildcard team went bye-bye with their semifinal loss to RMU.

 

LIU enters the Big Dance winning 20 of their last 22 games.

 

Ohio Valley

Opening Round

#5 Southeast Missouri 75  #8 E. Kentucky 65

#7 Jacksonville St. 75  #6 Austin Peay 70

 

Quarterfinals

#4 Tennessee Tech 77 #5 Southeast Missouri 73

#3 Morehead St. 68  #7 Jacksonville St. 54

 

Semifinals

#1 Murray St. 78  #4 Tennessee Tech 58

#2 Tennessee St. 59 #3 Morehead St. 52

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Murray St. 54  #2 Tennessee St. 52

 

Automatic Bid – Murray St. 30-1

At-Large – None

Bubble – None

 

Murray State should receive a #4 or #5 seed, a #6 at worst.

 

Pac-12

Opening Round

#9 Oregon St. 69  #8 Washington St. 64

#5 U C L A 55  #12 U S C 40

#7 Stanford 85  #10 Arizona St. 65

#6 Colorado 53  #11 Utah 41

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Washington (21-9) vs. #9 Oregon State (18-13)

#4 Arizona (21-10) vs. #5 U C L A (19-13)

#2 California (23-8) vs. #7 Stanford (20-10)

#3 Oregon (22-8) vs. #6 Colorado (20-11)

 

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: California, Washington, Arizona

Lower Bubble: Colorado

 

UCLA and Stanford could move to the lower bubble if they made it to the Championship Game and lost to one of the three current upper bubble teams. Colorado needs to win two games to have any chance at an at-large bid and may really need to reach the Championship Game to have a legitimate shot.  The Buffs’ RPI is 82; wins over Utah, Oregon, and Cal with a loss to Washington could elevate CU to around #65-70, and that is still iffy for an RPI ranking.

 

Patriot League

Quarterfinals

#1 Bucknell 87  #8 Navy 63

#5 Lafayette 84  #4 Holy Cross 76

#2 Lehigh 70 #7 Colgate 57

#3 American 57  #6 Army 40

 

Semifinals

#1 Bucknell 79 #5 Lafayette 52

#2 Lehigh 85 #3 American 66

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Lehigh 82  #1 Bucknell 77  

 

Automatic Bid: LEHIGH 26-7

At-Large: None

Bubble: None

 

The Mountain Hawks search for the first NCAA Tournament win in their fifth trip to the Big Dance, and they have the one-two punch in C J McCollum and Gabe Knutson.  Lehigh lost at Michigan State by just nine points earlier in the year, and they enter the NCAA Tournament having won eight games in a row and 12 of 13.

 

Southern

Opening Round

#5N Appalachian St. 93  #4S College of Charleston 81

#3N Western Carolina 68  #6S Citadel 56

#5S Furman 75  #4N Samford 66

#3S Georgia Southern 76  #6N Chattanooga 70

 

Quarterfinals

#1N UNC-Greensboro 65  #5N Appalachian St. 55

#3N Western Carolina 82 #2S Wofford 59

#1S Davidson 73  #5S Furman 54

#2N Elon 65  #3S Georgia Southern 58

 

Semifinals

#3N Western Carolina 82  #1N UNC-Greensboro 77

#1S Davidson 83  #2N Elon 67

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1S Davidson  93 #1N UNC-Greensboro 91

 

Automatic Bid – DAVIDSON 25-7

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

 

Davidson might not have earned a ticket as an at-large team.  Tell that to Kansas coach Bill Self, and he would say you were crazy.

 

S E C

Opening Round

#8 L S U (17-13) vs. #9 Arkansas (18-13)

#5 Alabama (20-10) vs. #12 South Carolina (10-20)

#7 Ole Miss (18-12) vs. #10 Auburn (15-15)

#6 Mississippi St. (21-10) vs. #11 Georgia (14-16)

 

At-Large: Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt

Upper Bubble: Alabama, Mississippi St.

Lower Bubble: Tennessee, Ole Miss

 

Tennessee and Ole Miss are the two hot teams other than Kentucky as the tournament commences.  Should one of these teams make it to Sunday, it would be hard to keep them out of the field.

 

Southland

Quarterfinals

#1 UT-Arlington 96  #8 Nicholls St. 48

#4 McNeese St. 78  #5 TX-San Antonio 74 OT

#2 Stephen F Austin 68  #7 Sam Houston 46

#3 Lamar 76  #6 Northwestern State (LA) 69

 

Semifinals

#1 UT-Arlington (24-7) vs. #4 McNeese St. (16-14)

#2 Stephen F Austin (20-11) vs. #3 Lamar (21-11)

 

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: None

Lower Bubble: None

 

Texas-Arlington ran away from the field in the regular season standings, but the Mavericks did not run teams out of the gym like they did against Nicholls State yesterday.  UT-A is no shoo-in to cop the conference tournament.  SF Austin is a worthy competitor, as is Lamar.

 

S W A C

Quarterfinals

#1 Mississippi Valley St. 63  #8 Jackson St. 60

#4 Alabama St. (12-18) vs. #5 Arkansas-Pine Bluff (10-21)

#2 Texas Southern 75  #7 Alabama A&M 62

#3 Prairie View (14-17) vs. #6 Alcorn St. (9-21)

 

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: None

Lower Bubble: None

 

In a conference where half of the members lost 20 or more games and 80% had losing records, there is a high probability that the winner of the league’s automatic bid will be playing in Dayton in the opening round.  The top two seeds advanced Wednesday and receive a day off until the semifinals.

 

Summit League

Quarterfinals

#1 Oral Roberts 71  #8 I P F W 67

#4 Western Illinois 58  #5 North Dakota St. 53

#2 South Dakota St. 77  I U P U I 56

#6 Southern Utah 84  #3 Oakland 82

 

Semifinals

#4 Western Illinois 54  #1 Oral Roberts 53

#2 South Dakota St. 63  #6 Southern Utah 47

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 South Dakota St. 52  #4 Western Illinois 50

Automatic Bid – SOUTH DAKOTA ST. 27-7

At-Large Teams –None

Bubble – Oral Roberts

               

Had South Dakota St. and Oral Roberts advanced to the Championship Game, and Oral Roberts’ lost instead of losing to WIU in the semis, ORU would be on the at-large line and not the bubble.  With an RPI of 55, the Golden Eagles are in a precarious position. 

 

Sunbelt

Opening Round

#6 South Alabama 87  #11 Troy 81

#7 Western Kentucky 67 #10 Florida Int’l 63

#9 Arkansas St. 70 #8 Florida Atlantic 55

 

Quarterfinals

#9 Arkansas St. 64  #1 Middle Tennessee 61

#5 North Texas 65  #4 Louisiana-Lafayette 62

#7 Western Kentucky 68  #2 U A L R  63 

#3 Denver 61  #6 South Alabama 50

 

Semifinals

#5 North Texas 76  #9 Arkansas St. 72

#7 Western Kentucky 67  #3 Denver 63

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#7 Western Kentucky 74  #3 Denver 70

 

Automatic Bid –WESTERN KENTUCKY 15-18

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – Middle Tennessee

 

This is probably a one-bid league. The top two seeds lost in their first games in this unique tournament played in two separate gyms in the same building.  Middle Tennessee may still be on the bubble with an RPI of 65, but they are more than likely headed to the NIT.  Western Kentucky will be headed to the first round in Dayton.  However, their 15-18 record is very misleading.  The Hilltoppers were supposed to contend for the regular season championship; however, major dissension led to a poor start and a dismissal of head coach Ken McDonald.  Since Ray Harper assumed command, WKU has sported a 10-7 record, and a 7-4 finish.  This team cannot be overlooked in Dayton and could very well advance to the second round.

 

W A C

#1 Nevada (25-5) vs. #8 San Jose St. (9-21)

#4 Utah St. (17-14) vs. #5 Louisiana Tech (16-15)

#2 New Mexico St. (23-9) vs. #7 Fresno St. (13-19)

#3 Idaho (18-12) vs. #6 Hawaii (15-15)

 

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: None

Lower Bubble: Nevada

 

For Nevada to earn an at-large bid, all of the major conference tournaments need to be one by high seeds without any other lower bubble teams making a splash.

 

The dark horse here is Utah State.  The 4th-seeded Aggies have been there before and must be respected as a well-coached team that knows how to win.

 

West Coast

Opening Round

#8 Portland 74 #9 Santa Clara 70

 

2nd Round

#5 San Francisco 87  #8 Portland 66

#6 San Diego 76  #7 Pepperdine 54

 

Quarterfinals

#5 San Francisco 67  #4 Loyola Marymount 60

#3 B Y U 73 vs. #6 San Diego 68

 

Semifinals

#1 Saint Mary’s 83  #5 San Francisco 78

#2 Gonzaga 77  #3 B Y U 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Saint Mary’s 78  #2 Gonzaga 74 OT

 

Automatic Bid – SAINT MARY’S 26-5

At-Large Teams – Gonzaga

Bubble – B Y U

 

This has the look of a three-bid league, with the two behemoths and BYU all headed to the Big Dance.  Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga are now the true powers of the West.  If you remember UCLA versus USC or Oregon State in the 1970’s and 1980’s, this is what this rivalry has become.  Both teams could easily advance to the Elite 8.

Coming Sometime Before Sunday–A renewable of PiRate Bracketnomics, a mechanical system using backtested data to determine which teams have Final Four resumes. 

March 7, 2012

NCAA College Basketball Conference Tournaments–March 7 Update

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , — piratings @ 8:48 am

Congratulations are in order to the Harvard Crimson for securing their first bid to the NCAA Tournament since 1946.  Harvard (26-4) clinched the Ivy League title following last night’s Princeton win over Penn.

Here is the up-to-date (as of Tuesday Night, March 6) results of all conference tournaments as well as the pairings for today’s games.

 

America East

Preliminary Round

#9 Binghamton 73  #8 Md.-Balt. Co. 67

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Stony Brook 78  # 9 Binghamton 69

#4 Albany 63  #5 New Hampshire 45

#2 Vermont 50  #7 Maine 40

#6 Hartford 53  #3 Boston U 49 

 

Semifinals

#1 Stony Brook 57  #4 Albany 55

#2 Vermont 77  #6 Hartford 73 2OT

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Stony Brook (21-8) vs. Vermont (22-11)

 

This is a one-bid league.

 

 

Atlantic Sun

Quarterfinals

#1 Belmont 76  #8 Jacksonville 62

#4 East Tennessee 68  #5 N. Florida 66

#2 Mercer 61  #7 Lipscomb 53

#6 Florida Gulf Coast 71  #3 S. Carolina Upstate 61

 

Semifinals

#1 Belmont 69  #4 East Tennessee 61

#6 Florida Gulf Coast 62 #2 Mercer 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Belmont 83  Florida Gulf Coast 69

 

Automatic Bid – BELMONT 27-7

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

Atlantic 10

1st Round

#8 Massachusetts 92  #9 Duquesne 83

#5 St. Joe’s 80  #12 Charlotte 64

#7 LaSalle 80  #10 Richmond 72

#6 Dayton 67  #11 George Washington 50

 

Quarterfinals (Friday, March 9)

#1 Temple (24-6) vs. #8 Massachusetts (21-10)

#4 St. Bonaventure (17-11) vs. #5 St. Joe’s (20-12)

#2 St. Louis (24-6) vs. #7 LaSalle (21-11)

#3 Xavier (19-11) vs. #6 Dayton (20-11)

 

At-Large: Temple

Upper Bubble: St. Louis

Lower Bubble: Xavier, St. Joe’s, and Dayton

 

The eight remaining teams in this tournament are not that far apart, and the final three days should be highly competitive.  Literally, any of this octet can cut down the nets in Atlantic City on Sunday.

 

Big East

Opening Round

#9 Connecticut 81  #16 Dayton 67

#13 Pittsburgh 73  #12 St. John’s 59

#10 Seton Hall 79  #15 Providence 47

#14 Villanova 70  #11 Rutgers 49

 

2nd Round

#8 West Virginia (19-12) vs. #9 Connecticut (19-12)

#5 Georgetown (22-7) vs. #13 Pittsburgh (17-15)

#7 Louisville (22-9) vs. #10 Seton Hall (20-11)

#6 South Florida (19-12) vs. #14 Villanova (13-18)

 

At-Large: Syracuse, Marquette, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Louisville, Cincinnati

Upper Bubble: West Virginia, Seton Hall, South Florida, Connecticut

Lower Bubble: None (Pitt is the only bottom half team with a chance to pull off five upsets and break through with an automatic bid.)  South Florida could be in jeopardy if they are upset by Villanova.

 

Big Sky

Quarterfinals

#3 Portland St. 75  #6 Montana St. 53

#4 Eastern Washington 81  #5 Idaho St. 75

 

Semifinals

#1 Montana 74  #4 Eastern Washington 66

#2 Weber St. 69 #3 Portland St. 63

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Montana (24-6) vs. #2 Weber St. (24-5)

 

This is a one-bid league, but both Montana and Weber State are talented enough to win an opening round game in the NCAA Tournament.

 

Big South

Preliminary Round

#8 High Point 68  #9 Gardner-Webb 58

#7 VMI 55  #10 Radford 53

 

Quarterfinals

#1 UNC-Asheville 86  #8 High Point 61

#4 Charleston Sou. 88  #5 Liberty 74

#6 Winthrop 71  #3 Campbell 55

#7 VMI 85  #2 Coastal Carolina 68

 

Semifinals

#1 UNC-Asheville 91  #4 Charleston Sou. 64

#7 VMI 75  #6 Winthrop 55

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 UNC-Asheville  80  #7 VMI 64

 

Automatic Bid – UNC-ASHEVILLE 24-9

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

Big 12

Opening Round

#8 Oklahoma (15-15) vs. #9 Texas A&M (13-17)

#7 Oklahoma St. (14-17) vs. #10 Texas Tech (8-22)

 

At-Large: Kansas, Missouri, Iowa St., Baylor, Kansas St.

Upper Bubble: Texas

Lower Bubble: None (A Texas loss in the quarterfinals would move the Longhorns here.

 

Colonial Athletic

Opening Round

#9 UNC-Wilmington 70  #8 James Madison 59

#5 Delaware 72  #12 Towson St. 65

#6 Georgia St. 85  #11 Hofstra 50

#7 Northeastern 57  #10 William & Mary 49

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Drexel 59  #9 UNC-Wilmington 47

#4 Old Dominion 88  #5 Delaware 74

#3 George Mason 61  #6 Georgia St. 59

#2 Virginia Commonwealth 75  #10 William & Mary 65

 

Semifinals

#1 Drexel 68  #4 Old Dominion 51

#2 Virginia Commonwealth 74  #3 George Mason 64

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Virginia Commonwealth 59 #1 Drexel 56

 

Automatic Bid – VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH 28-6

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – Drexel

 

 

Drexel has a chance of earning an at-large bid, but their RPI is on the low side at 68.

 

Conference USA

Opening Round

#5 U A B (14-15) vs. #12 Tulane (15-15)

#8 U T E P (14-16) vs. #9 Houston (15-14)

#7 Rice (17-14) vs. #10 East Carolina (14-15)

#6 Marshall (18-12) vs. #11 S M U (13-18)

 

At-Large: Memphis

Upper Bubble: Southern Miss

Lower Bubble: None

 

Central Florida has a chance to move up to the lower bubble with a run to the finals, but it would still be a remote shot if they lose in the Championship Game.

 

Horizon League

Opening Round

#4 Milwaukee 68  #9 Illinois-Chi. 55

#5 Butler 70  #8 Wright St. 52

#3 Detroit 80  #10 Loyola (Chi) 71

#6 Youngstown 77  #7 Green Bay 60

 

Quarterfinals

#5 Butler 71 #4 Milwaukee 49

#3 Detroit 93 #6 Youngstown St. 76

 

Semifinals

#1 Valparaiso 65  #5 Butler 46

#3 Detroit 63  #2 Cleveland St. 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#3 Detroit 70  #1 Valparaiso 50

 

Automatic Bid – DETROIT 22-13

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

This is a one-bid league.  Neither Valpo, Cleveland State nor Butler will  earn at-large bids.

 

M A A C

Preliminary Round

#8 Marist 64 #9 St. Peter’s 57

#7 Niagara 80 #10 Canisius 70

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Iona 87  #8 Marist 63

#4 Fairfield 65  #5 Rider 63

#2 Loyola (MD) 86  #7 Niagara 73

#6 Siena 84  #3 Manhattan 82

 

Semifinals

#4 Fairfield 85  #1 Iona 75

#2 Loyola (MD) 70  #6 Siena 60

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Loyola (MD) 48  #4 Fairfield 44

 

Automatic Bid – LOYOLA (MD) 24-8

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

 

This is a one-bid league.  Iona played their way out of the Big Dance and into the NIT.

 

M A C

Opening Round

#5 Eastern Michigan (14-17) vs. #12 Northern Illinois (4-25)

#8 Western Michigan (12-19) vs. #9 Ball St. (15-14)

#7 Toledo (16-15) vs. #10 (Miami (O) (9-20)

#6 Bowling Green (16-14) vs. #11 (Central Michigan (10-20)

 

2nd Round

#8 Western Michigan (13-19) vs. #12 Northern Illinois (5-25)

#7 Toledo (17-15) vs. #11 Central Michigan (11-20)

 

This could develop into a two-bid league.  Akron has moved up to #62 in the RPI and Ohio is #70.  Ohio has a bye to the quarterfinals and Akron has two more byes to the semifinals.

 

M E A C

Opening Round

#8 Hampton 69 #9 Morgan St. 65

#5 North Carolina Central 60 #12 Md. Eastern Shore 43

#4 Bethune-Cookman 62 #13 South Carolina St. 53

#11 Florida A& M 74  #6 Coppin St. 72

#10 Howard 51  #7 North Carolina A&T 50

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Savannah St. (21-10) vs. #8 Hampton (11-20)

#4 Bethune-Cookman (16-16) vs. #5 North Carolina Central (17-14)

#2 Norfolk St. (22-9) vs. #7 Howard (10-20)

#3 Delaware St. (15-13) vs. #11 Florida A&M (9-22)

 

This is a one-bid league.  If Savannah St. or Norfolk St. win the tournament, there is a chance for the winner to avoid the opening round in Dayton.

 

Missouri Valley

Opening Round

#8 Indiana St. 66  #9 Southern Illinois 51

#7 Drake 65  #10 Bradley 49

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Wichita St. 72 #8 Indiana St. 48

#4 Illinois St. 54 #5 Northern Iowa 42

#2 Creighton 68 vs. #7 Drake 61

#3 Evansville 72 vs. #6 Missouri St. 64

 

Semifinals

#4 Illinois St. 65  #1 Wichita St. 64

#2 Creighton 99  #3 Evansville 71

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Creighton 83  #4 Illinois St. 79 OT

 

Automatic Bid – Creighton 27-5

At-Large – Wichita St. 27-5

Bubble – None

 

Mountain West

Quarterfinals

#1 San Diego St. (24-6) vs. #8 Boise St. (13-16)

#4 Colorado St. (19-10) vs. #5 T C U (17-13)

#2 New Mexico (24-6) vs. #7 Air Force (13-15)

#3 U N L V (25-7) vs. #6 Wyoming (20-10)

 

At-Large: San Diego St., UNLV, New Mexico

Upper Bubble: Colorado St.

Lower Bubble: None

 

TCU and Wyoming lost too many times in February.  Both teams can only get there by earning the automatic bid.  Colorado State can secure a bid with a win over T C U.

 

Northeast

Quarterfinals

#1 Long Island 80  #8 Sacred Heart 68

#5 Quinnipiac 80  #4 St. Francis (NY) 72

#3 Robert Morris 87  #6 Monmouth 68

#2 Wagner 87  #7 Central Conn. St. 77

 

Semifinals

#1 Long Island 78 #5 Quinnipiac 75

#3 Robert Morris 71  #2 Wagner 64

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Long Island (23-8) vs. #3 Robert Morris (23-9)

 

This is a one-bid league.

 

Ohio Valley

Opening Round

#5 Southeast Missouri 75  #8 E. Kentucky 65

#7 Jacksonville St. 75  #6 Austin Peay 70

 

Quarterfinals

#4 Tennessee Tech 77 #5 Southeast Missouri 73

#3 Morehead St. 68  #7 Jacksonville St. 54

 

Semifinals

#1 Murray St. 78  #4 Tennessee Tech 58

#2 Tennessee St. 59 #3 Morehead St. 52

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Murray St. 54  #2 Tennessee St. 52

 

Automatic Bid – Murray St. 30-1

At-Large – None

Bubble – None

 

Murray State should receive a #4 or #5 seed, a #6 at worst.

 

Pac-12

Opening Round

#8 Washington St. (15-15) vs. #9 Oregon St. (17-13)

#5 U C L A (18-13) vs. #12 U S C (6-25)

#7 Stanford (20-10) vs. #10 Arizona St. (10-20)

#6 Colorado (19-11) vs. #11 Utah (6-24)

 

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: California, Washington, Arizona

Lower Bubble: Colorado

 

UCLA and Stanford could move to the lower bubble if they made it to the Championship Game and lost to one of the three current upper bubble teams. Colorado needs to win two games to have any chance at an at-large bid and may really need to reach the Championship Game to have a legitimate shot.  The Buffs’ RPI is 82; wins over Utah, Oregon, and Cal with a loss to Washington could elevate CU to around #65-70, and that is still iffy for an RPI ranking.

 

Patriot League

Quarterfinals

#1 Bucknell 87  #8 Navy 63

#5 Lafayette 84  #4 Holy Cross 76

#2 Lehigh 70 #7 Colgate 57

#3 American 57  #6 Army 40

 

Semifinals

#1 Bucknell 79 #5 Lafayette 52

#2 Lehigh 85 #3 American 66

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Bucknell 24-8 vs. #2 Lehigh 25-7

 

This is a one-bid league.

 

Southern

Opening Round

#5N Appalachian St. 93  #4S College of Charleston 81

#3N Western Carolina 68  #6S Citadel 56

#5S Furman 75  #4N Samford 66

#3S Georgia Southern 76  #6N Chattanooga 70

 

Quarterfinals

#1N UNC-Greensboro 65  #5N Appalachian St. 55

#3N Western Carolina 82 #2S Wofford 59

#1S Davidson 73  #5S Furman 54

#2N Elon 65  #3S Georgia Southern 58

 

Semifinals

#3N Western Carolina 82  #1N UNC-Greensboro 77

#1S Davidson 83  #2N Elon 67

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1S Davidson  93 #1N UNC-Greensboro 91

 

Automatic Bid – DAVIDSON 25-7

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

 

Davidson might not have earned a ticket as an at-large team.  Tell that to Kansas coach Bill Self, and he would say you were crazy.

 

Southland

Quarterfinals

#1 UT-Arlington (23-7) vs. #8 Nicholls St. (10-19)

#4 McNeese St. (15-14) vs. #5 TX-San Antonio (18-13)

#2 Stephen F Austin (19-11) vs. #7 Sam Houston (13-18)

#3 Lamar (20-11) vs. #6 Northwestern State (LA) (16-15)

 

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: None

Lower Bubble: None

 

Texas-Arlington ran away from the field in the regular season standings, but the Mavericks did not run teams out of the gym.  They are no shoo-in to cop the conference tournament.  SF Austin is a worthy competitor, as is Lamar.

 

S W A C

Quarterfinals

#1 Mississippi Valley St. (18-12) vs. #8 Jackson St. (7-23)

#4 Alabama St. (12-18) vs. #5 Arkansas-Pine Bluff (10-21)

#2 Texas Southern (13-17) vs. #7 Alabama A&M (7-20)

#3 Prairie View (14-17) vs. #6 Alcorn St. (9-21)

 

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: None

Lower Bubble: None

 

In a conference where half of the members lost 20 or more games and 80% had losing records, there is a high probability that the winner of the league’s automatic bid will be playing in Dayton in the opening round.  Top seed Mississippi Valley State went 1-11 outside of league play.

 

Summit League

Quarterfinals

#1 Oral Roberts 71  #8 I P F W 67

#4 Western Illinois 58  #5 North Dakota St. 53

#2 South Dakota St. 77  I U P U I 56

#6 Southern Utah 84  #3 Oakland 82

 

Semifinals

#4 Western Illinois 54  #1 Oral Roberts 53

#2 South Dakota St. 63  #6 Southern Utah 47

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 South Dakota St. 52  #4 Western Illinois 50

Automatic Bid – SOUTH DAKOTA ST. 27-7

At-Large Teams –None

Bubble – Oral Roberts

               

Had South Dakota St. and Oral Roberts advanced to the Championship Game, and Oral Roberts’ lost instead of losing to WIU in the semis, ORU would be on the at-large line and not the bubble.  With an RPI of 55, the Golden Eagles are in a precarious position. 

 

Sunbelt

Opening Round

#6 South Alabama 87  #11 Troy 81

#7 Western Kentucky 67 #10 Florida Int’l 63

#9 Arkansas St. 70 #8 Florida Atlantic 55

 

Quarterfinals

#9 Arkansas St. 64  #1 Middle Tennessee 61

#5 North Texas 65  #4 Louisiana-Lafayette 62

#7 Western Kentucky 68  #2 U A L R  63 

#3 Denver 61  #6 South Alabama 50

 

Semifinals

#5 North Texas 76  #9 Arkansas St. 72

#7 Western Kentucky 67  #3 Denver 63

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#7 Western Kentucky 74  #3 Denver 70

 

Automatic Bid –WESTERN KENTUCKY 15-18

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – Middle Tennessee

 

This is probably a one-bid league. The top two seeds lost in their first games in this unique tournament played in two separate gyms in the same building.  Middle Tennessee may still be on the bubble with an RPI of 65, but they are more than likely headed to the NIT.  Western Kentucky will be headed to the first round in Dayton.  However, their 15-18 record is very misleading.  The Hilltoppers were supposed to contend for the regular season championship; however, major dissension led to a poor start and a dismissal of head coach Ken McDonald.  Since Ray Harper assumed command, WKU has sported a 10-7 record, and a 7-4 finish.  This team cannot be overlooked in Dayton and could very well advance to the second round.

W A C

#1 Nevada (25-5) vs. #8 San Jose St. (9-21)

#4 Utah St. (17-14) vs. #5 Louisiana Tech (16-15)

#2 New Mexico St. (23-9) vs. #7 Fresno St. (13-19)

#3 Idaho (18-12) vs. #6 Hawaii (15-15)

 

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: None

Lower Bubble: Nevada

 

For Nevada to earn an at-large bid, all of the major conference tournaments need to be one by high seeds without any other lower bubble teams making a splash.

 

The dark horse here is Utah State.  The 4th-seeded Aggies have been there before and must be respected as a well-coached team that knows how to win.

 

West Coast

Opening Round

#8 Portland 74 #9 Santa Clara 70

 

2nd Round

#5 San Francisco 87  #8 Portland 66

#6 San Diego 76  #7 Pepperdine 54

 

Quarterfinals

#5 San Francisco 67  #4 Loyola Marymount 60

#3 B Y U 73 vs. #6 San Diego 68

 

Semifinals

#1 Saint Mary’s 83  #5 San Francisco 78

#2 Gonzaga 77  #3 B Y U 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Saint Mary’s 78  #2 Gonzaga 74 OT

 

Automatic Bid – SAINT MARY’S 26-5

At-Large Teams – Gonzaga

Bubble – B Y U

 

This has the look of a three-bid league, with the two behemoths and BYU all headed to the Big Dance.  Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga are now the true powers of the West.  If you remember UCLA versus USC or Oregon State in the 1970’s and 1980’s, this is what this rivalry has become.  Both teams could easily advance to the Elite 8.

 

A Look At The Remaining Conferences

 

A C C

Tournament Begins March 8 in Atlanta

At-Large: North Carolina, Duke, Florida St., Virginia

Upper Bubble: North Carolina St.

Lower Bubble: Virginia

 

 

Big Ten

Tournament Begins March 8 in Indianapolis

At-Large: Ohio St., Michigan St., Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Purdue

Upper Bubble: Northwestern

Lower Bubble: None (Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois have too much ground to make up and need to win the tournament.  The three teams have no chance of sneaking in with a loss in the Championship Game).

 

Big West

Tournament Begins March 8 in Anaheim

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: Long Beach St.

Lower Bubble: None

 

Long Beach State played one of the hardest schedules in the nation and fared admirably.  Their body of work gives the 49ers the look of a NCAA Tournament team.  A loss to Cal State Fullerton in the Championship Game should still keep LBSU safe.  A loss in the earlier rounds will throw the 49ers down to the lower bubble.

 

S E C

Tournament Begins March 8 in New Orleans

At-Large: Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt

Upper Bubble: Alabama, Mississippi St.

Lower Bubble: Tennessee, Ole Miss

 

Tennessee and Ole Miss are the two hot teams other than Kentucky as the tournament commences.  Should one of these teams make it to Sunday, it would be hard to keep them out of the field.

Next Update: Thursday, March 8

March 5, 2012

NCAA Basketball Conference Tournaments–March 5 Update

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , — piratings @ 3:59 am

Here is an updated look at tournament action to date with the dates and matchups for their next round.  This includes all games played through Sunday, March 4.

 

America East

Preliminary Round

#9 Binghamton 73  #8 Md.-Balt. Co. 67

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Stony Brook 78  # 9 Binghamton 69

#4 Albany 63  #5 New Hampshire 45

#2 Vermont 50  #7 Maine 40

#6 Hartford 53  #3 Boston U 49 

 

Semifinals

#1 Stony Brook 57  #4 Albany 55

#2 Vermont 77  #6 Hartford 73 2OT

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Stony Brook (21-8) vs. Vermont (22-11)

 

This is a one-bid league.

 

 

Atlantic Sun

Quarterfinals

#1 Belmont 76  #8 Jacksonville 62

#4 East Tennessee 68  #5 N. Florida 66

#2 Mercer 61  #7 Lipscomb 53

#6 Florida Gulf Coast 71  #3 S. Carolina Upstate 61

 

Semifinals

#1 Belmont 69  #4 East Tennessee 61

#6 Florida Gulf Coast 62 #2 Mercer 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Belmont 83  Florida Gulf Coast 69

 

Automatic Bid – BELMONT 27-7

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

Big Sky

Quarterfinals

#3 Portland St. 75  #6 Montana St. 53

#4 Eastern Washington 81  #5 Idaho St. 75

 

Semifinals (Tuesday)

#1 Montana (23-6) vs. #4 Eastern Washington (15-16)

#2 Weber St. (23-5) vs. #3 Portland St. 17-13

 

This is a one-bid league, but both Montana and Weber State are talented enough to win an opening round game in the NCAA Tournament.

 

Big South

Preliminary Round

#8 High Point 68  #9 Gardner-Webb 58

#7 VMI 55  #10 Radford 53

 

Quarterfinals

#1 UNC-Asheville 86  #8 High Point 61

#4 Charleston Sou. 88  #5 Liberty 74

#6 Winthrop 71  #3 Campbell 55

#7 VMI 85  #2 Coastal Carolina 68

 

Semifinals

#1 UNC-Asheville 91  #4 Charleston Sou. 64

#7 VMI 75  #6 Winthrop 55

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 UNC-Asheville  80  #7 VMI 64

 

Automatic Bid – UNC-ASHEVILLE 24-9

At-Large Teams – None

Bubble – None

 

Colonial Athletic

Opening Round

#9 UNC-Wilmington 70  #8 James Madison 59

#5 Delaware 72  #12 Towson St. 65

#6 Georgia St. 85  #11 Hofstra 50

#7 Northeastern 57  #10 William & Mary 49

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Drexel 59  #9 UNC-Wilmington 47

#4 Old Dominion 88  #5 Delaware 74

#3 George Mason 61  #6 Georgia St. 59

#2 Virginia Commonwealth 75  #10 William & Mary 65

 

Semifinals

#1 Drexel 68  #4 Old Dominion 51

#2 Virginia Commonwealth 74  #3 George Mason 64

 

CHAMPIONSHIP (Monday)

#1 Drexel (26-5) vs. #2 Virginia Commonwealth (26-6)

 

The loser of this game should stand a decent chance of earning an at-large bid.

 

Horizon League

Opening Round

#4 Milwaukee 68  #9 Illinois-Chi. 55

#5 Butler 70  #8 Wright St. 52

#3 Detroit 80  #10 Loyola (Chi) 71

#6 Youngstown 77  #7 Green Bay 60

 

Quarterfinals

#5 Butler 71 #4 Milwaukee 49

#3 Detroit 93 #6 Youngstown St. 76

 

Semifinals

#1 Valparaiso 65  #5 Butler 46

#3 Detroit 63  #2 Cleveland St. 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Valparaiso (22-10) vs. #3 Detroit (21-13) – Tuesday, March 6

 

This is a one-bid league.  Neither Valpo, Cleveland State nor Butler will  earn at-large bids.

 

M A A C

Preliminary Round

#8 Marist 64 #9 St. Peter’s 57

#7 Niagara 80 #10 Canisius 70

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Iona 87  #8 Marist 63

#4 Fairfield 65  #5 Rider 63

#2 Loyola (MD) 86  #7 Niagara 73

#6 Siena 84  #3 Manhattan 82

 

Semifinals

#4 Fairfield 85  #1 Iona 75

#2 Loyola (MD) 70  #6 Siena 60

 

CHAMPIONSHIP (Monday)

#2 Loyola (MD) (22-8) vs. #4 Fairfield (18-13)

 

This is a one-bid league.  Iona played their way out of the Big Dance and into the NIT.

 

M A C

Opening Round (Monday)

#5 Eastern Michigan (14-17) vs. #12 Northern Illinois (4-25)

#8 Western Michigan (12-19) vs. #9 Ball St. (15-14)

#7 Toledo (16-15) vs. #10 (Miami (O) (9-20)

#6 Bowling Green (16-14) vs. #11 (Central Michigan (10-20)

 

This is a one-bid league.  The top five teams are in the East Division.

 

M E A C

Opening Round (Monday)

#8 Hampton (10-20) vs. #9 Morgan St. (9-19)

#5 North Carolina Central (16-14) vs. #12 Md. Eastern Shore (7-22)

#4 Bethune-Cookman (15-16) vs. #13 South Carolina St. (5-25)

#6 Coppin St. (14-15) vs. #11 Florida A&M (8-22)

#7 North Carolina A&T (12-19) vs. #10 Howard (10-20)

 

This is a one-bid league.  If Savannah St. or Norfolk St. win the tournament, there is a chance for the winner to avoid the opening round in Dayton.

 

 

Missouri Valley

Opening Round

#8 Indiana St. 66  #9 Southern Illinois 51

#7 Drake 65  #10 Bradley 49

 

Quarterfinals

#1 Wichita St. 72 #8 Indiana St. 48

#4 Illinois St. 54 #5 Northern Iowa 42

#2 Creighton 68 vs. #7 Drake 61

#3 Evansville 72 vs. #6 Missouri St. 64

 

Semifinals

#4 Illinois St. 65  #1 Wichita St. 64

#2 Creighton 99  #3 Evansville 71

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#2 Creighton 83  #4 Illinois St. 79 OT

 

Automatic Bid – Creighton 27-5

At-Large – Wichita St. 27-5

Bubble – None

 

Northeast

Quarterfinals

#1 Long Island 80  #8 Sacred Heart 68

#5 Quinnipiac 80  #4 St. Francis (NY) 72

#3 Robert Morris 87  #6 Monmouth 68

#2 Wagner 87  #7 Central Conn. St. 77

 

Semifinals

#1 Long Island 78 #5 Quinnipiac 75

#3 Robert Morris 71  #2 Wagner 64

 

CHAMPIONSHIP (Wednesday)

#1 Long Island (23-8) vs. #3 Robert Morris (23-9)

 

This is a one-bid league.

 

Ohio Valley

Opening Round

#5 Southeast Missouri 75  #8 E. Kentucky 65

#7 Jacksonville St. 75  #6 Austin Peay 70

 

Quarterfinals

#4 Tennessee Tech 77 #5 Southeast Missouri 73

#3 Morehead St. 68  #7 Jacksonville St. 54

 

Semifinals

#1 Murray St. 78  #4 Tennessee Tech 58

#2 Tennessee St. 59 #3 Morehead St. 52

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1 Murray St. 54  #2 Tennessee St. 52

 

Automatic Bid – Murray St. 30-1

At-Large – None

Bubble – None

 

Murray State should receive a #4 or #5 seed, a #6 at worst.

 

Patriot League

Quarterfinals

#1 Bucknell 87  #8 Navy 63

#5 Lafayette 84  #4 Holy Cross 76

#2 Lehigh 70 #7 Colgate 57

#3 American 57  #6 Army 40

 

Semifinals

#1 Bucknell 79 #5 Lafayette 52

#2 Lehigh 85 #3 American 66

 

CHAMPIONSHIP (Wednesday)

#1 Bucknell 24-8 vs. #2 Lehigh 25-7

 

This is a one-bid league.

 

Southern

Opening Round

#5N Appalachian St. 93  #4S College of Charleston 81

#3N Western Carolina 68  #6S Citadel 56

#5S Furman 75  #4N Samford 66

#3S Georgia Southern 76  #6N Chattanooga 70

 

Quarterfinals

#1N UNC-Greensboro 65  #5N Appalachian St. 55

#3N Western Carolina 82 #2S Wofford 59

#1S Davidson 73  #5S Furman 54

#2N Elon 65  #3S Georgia Southern 58

 

Semifinals

#3N Western Carolina 82  #1N UNC-Greensboro 77

#1S Davidson 83  #2N Elon 67

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

#1N UNC-Greensboro (13-19) vs. Davidson (24-7)

 

Davidson cannot get in as an at-large team, so Wildcats must win to dance.

 

Summit League

Quarterfinals

#1 Oral Roberts 71  #8 I P F W 67

#4 Western Illinois 58  #5 North Dakota St. 53

#2 South Dakota St. 77  I U P U I 56

#6 Southern Utah 84  #3 Oakland 82

 

Semifinals

#1 Oral Roberts (27-5) vs. #4 Western Illinois (16-13)

#2 South Dakota St. (25-7) vs. #6 Southern Utah (14-16)        

 

If South Dakota St. and Oral Roberts advance to the Championship Game, and Oral Roberts’ loses, we should see two invitations doled out to the Summit League. 

 

Sunbelt

Opening Round

#6 South Alabama 87  #11 Troy 81

#7 Western Kentucky 67 #10 Florida Int’l 63

#9 Arkansas St. 70 #8 Florida Atlantic 55

 

Quarterfinals

#9 Arkansas St. 64  #1 Middle Tennessee 61

#5 North Texas 65  #4 Louisiana-Lafayette 62

#7 Western Kentucky 68  #2 U A L R  63 

#3 Denver 61  #6 South Alabama 50

 

Semifinals

#5 North Texas (17-13) vs. #9 Arkansas St. (14-19)

#3 Denver (22-8) vs. #7 Western Kentucky (13-18)

 

This is a one-bid league. The top two seeds lost in their first games in this unique tournament played in two separate gyms in the same building.  Middle Tennessee may still be on the bubble, but they are more than likely headed to the NIT.  If Arkansas St. or Western Kentucky win this tournament, they will be headed to the first round in Dayton.

 

West Coast

Opening Round

#8 Portland 74 #9 Santa Clara 70

 

2nd Round

#5 San Francisco 87  #8 Portland 66

#6 San Diego 76  #7 Pepperdine 54

 

Quarterfinals

#5 San Francisco 67  #4 Loyola Marymount 60

#3 B Y U 73 vs. #6 San Diego 68

 

Semifinals

#1 Saint Mary’s 83  #5 San Francisco 78

#2 Gonzaga 77  #3 B Y U 58

 

CHAMPIONSHIP (Monday)

#1 Saint Mary’s 26-5 vs. #2 Gonzaga 25-5

 

This looks like a three-bid league, with the two finalists and BYU all headed to the Big Dance.

 

A Look At The Remaining Conferences

Atlantic 10

Tournament Begins March 6 on Campus Sites and moves to Atlantic City on March 9

At-Large: Temple

Upper Bubble: St. Louis

Lower Bubble: Xavier, St. Joe’s, and Dayton

 

A C C

Tournament Begins March 8 in Atlanta

At-Large: North Carolina, Duke, Florida St., Virginia

Upper Bubble: North Carolina St.

Lower Bubble: Virginia

 

Big East

Tournament Begins March 6 in New York City

At-Large: Syracuse, Marquette, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Louisville, Cincinnati

Upper Bubble: West Virginia, Seton Hall, South Florida, Connecticut

Lower Bubble: None (Pitt is the only bottom half team with a chance to pull off five upsets and break through with an automatic bid.

 

Big Ten

Tournament Begins March 8 in Indianapolis

At-Large: Ohio St., Michigan St., Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Purdue

Upper Bubble: Northwestern

Lower Bubble: None (Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois have too much ground to make up and need to win the tournament.  The three teams have no chance of sneaking in with a loss in the Championship Game).

 

Big 12

Tournament Begins March 7 in Kansas City

At-Large: Kansas, Missouri, Iowa St., Baylor, Kansas St.

Upper Bubble: Texas

Lower Bubble: None (A Texas loss in the quarterfinals would move the Longhorns here.

 

Big West

Tournament Begins March 8 in Anaheim

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: Long Beach St.

Lower Bubble: None

 

Long Beach State played one of the hardest schedules in the nation and fared admirably.  Their body of work gives the 49ers the look of a NCAA Tournament team.  A loss to Cal State Fullerton in the Championship Game should still keep LBSU safe.  A loss in the earlier rounds will throw the 49ers down to the lower bubble.

 

Conference USA

Tournament Begins March 7 in Memphis

At-Large: Memphis

Upper Bubble: Southern Miss

Lower Bubble: None

 

Central Florida has a chance to move up to the lower bubble with a run to the finals, but it would still be a remote shot if they lose in the Championship Game.

 

Mountain West

Tournament Begins March 6 in Las Vegas

At-Large: San Diego St., UNLV, New Mexico

Upper Bubble: Colorado St.

Lower Bubble: None

 

TCU and Wyoming lost too many times in February.  Both teams can only get there by earning the automatic bid.

 

Pac-12

Tournament Begins March 7 in Los Angeles

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: California, Washington, Arizona

Lower Bubble: Colorado

 

UCLA and Stanford could move to the lower bubble if they lost in the Championship Game.  Colorado needs to win two games to have any chance at an at-large bid.

 

S E C

Tournament Begins March 8 in New Orleans

At-Large: Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt

Upper Bubble: Alabama, Mississippi St.

Lower Bubble: Tennessee, Ole Miss

 

Tennessee and Ole Miss are the two hot teams other than Kentucky as the tournament commences.  Should one of these teams make it to Sunday, it would be hard to keep them out of the field.

 

Southland

Tournament Begins March 7 in Katy, TX

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: None

Lower Bubble: None

 

Texas-Arlington ran away from the field in the regular season, but the Mavericks did not run teams out of the gym.  They are no shoo-in to cop the conference tournament.

 

S W A C

Tournament Begins March 7 in Garland, TX

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: None

Lower Bubble: None

 

In a conference where half of the members lost 20 or more games and 80% had losing records, there is a high probability that the winner of the league’s automatic bid will be playing in Dayton in the opening round.  Top seed Mississippi Valley State went 1-11 outside of league play.

 

W A C

Tournament Begins March 7 in Las Vegas

At-Large: None

Upper Bubble: None

Lower Bubble: Nevada

 

For Nevada to earn an at-large bid, all of the major conference tournaments need to be one by high seeds without any other lower bubble teams making a splash.

 

Next Update: Wednesday March 7

March 2, 2012

NCAA Basketball Conference Tournaments–1st Update

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , — piratings @ 10:16 am

Conference Tournament action has begun in several conferences with more set to tip off this weekend.  Here is a look at tournament action to date with the dates and matchups for their next round.

 

America East

Preliminary Round

#9Binghamton73  #8 Md.-Balt.Co.67

 

Quarterfinals (Saturday)

#1 Stony Brook (20-8) vs. # 9Binghamton(2-28)

#4Albany(18-13) vs. #5New Hampshire(13-15)

#2Vermont(20-11) vs. #7Maine(12-16)

#3BostonU (16-15) vs. #6Hartford(8-21)

 

Atlantic Sun

Quarterfinals

#1Belmont76  #8Jacksonville62

#4 East Tennessee 68  #5N. Florida66

#2 Mercer 61  #7 Lipscomb 53

#6FloridaGulfCoast71  #3S. CarolinaUpstate 61

 

Semifinals (Friday)

#1Belmont(25-7) vs. #4East Tennessee(17-13)

#2 Mercer (22-10) vs. #6FloridaGulfCoast(14-16)

 

Big South

Preliminary Round

#8High Point68  #9 Gardner-Webb 58

#7 VMI 55  #10 Radford 53

 

Quarterfinals

#1 UNC-Asheville 86  #8High Point61

#4CharlestonSou. 88 #5Liberty74

#6Winthrop71  #3Campbell55

#7 VMI 85  #2 CoastalCarolina68

 

Semifinals

#1 UNC-Asheville 91  #4CharlestonSou. 64

#7 VMI 75  #6Winthrop55

 

Championship Game (Saturday @ Noon EST)

#1 UNC-Asheville (23-9) vs. #7 VMI (17-15)

 

Horizon League

Opening Round

#4Milwaukee68  #9 Illinois-Chi. 55

#5Butler70  #8 WrightSt.52

#3Detroit80  #10 Loyola (Chi) 71

#6Youngstown77  #7Green Bay60

 

Quarterfinals (Friday)

#4Milwaukee(20-12) vs. #5Butler(19-13)

#3Detroit(19-13) vs.#6 Youngstown St.(16-14)

 

M A A C

Preliminary Round (Friday)

#8 Marist (13-17) vs. #9St.Peter’s (5-25)

#7Niagara(13-18) vs. #10 Canisius (5-24)

 

Missouri Valley

Opening Round

#8 Indiana St.66  #9Southern Illinois51

#7 Drake 65  #10 Bradley 49

 

Quarterfinals (Friday)

#1 Wichita St.(26-4) vs.#8 Indiana St.(18-13)

#4 Illinois St.(18-12) vs. #5Northern Iowa(19-12)

#2 Creighton (25-5) vs. #7 Drake (17-14)

#3Evansville(15-14) vs.#6 Missouri St.(15-15)

 

Northeast

Quarterfinals

#1Long Island80  #8 Sacred Heart 68

#5 Quinnipiac 80  #4St.Francis (NY) 72

#3 Robert Morris 87  #6 Monmouth 68

#2 Wagner 87  #7 CentralConn.St.77

 

Semifinals (Sunday)

#1Long Island(23-8) vs. #5 Quinnipiac (18-12)

#2 Wagner (25-5) vs. #3 Robert Morris (23-9)

 

Ohio Valley

Opening Round

#5 Southeast Missouri 75  #8E. Kentucky65

#7 Jacksonville St.75  #6AustinPeay 70

 

Quarterfinals

#4TennesseeTech 77 #5Southeast Missouri73

#3 Morehead St.68  #7 Jacksonville St.54

 

Semifinals (Friday)

Note: This tournament could be delayed due to severe weather threat in Nashville)

 

#1 Murray St.(28-1) vs. #4TennesseeTech (19-12)

#2 Tennessee St.(19-11) vs.#3 Morehead St.(18-14)

 

Patriot League

Quarterfinals

#1 Bucknell 87  #8 Navy 63

#5Lafayette84  #4 Holy Cross 76

#2 Lehigh 70 #7 Colgate 57

#3 American 57  #6 Army 40

 

Semifinals (Saturday)

#1 Bucknell (23-8) vs. #5Lafayette(13-17)

#2 Lehigh (24-7) vs. #3 American (20-10)

 

West Coast

Opening Round

#8Portland74 #9Santa Clara70

 

2nd Round

#5San Francisco87  #8Portland66

#6San Diego76  #7 Pepperdine 54

 

Quarterfinals (Friday)

#4 Loyola Marymount (19-11) vs. #5San Francisco(19-12)

#3 B Y U (24-7) vs. #6San Diego(13-17)

 

 

Mid-Major Teams in Top 65 of RPI (On the Bubble)

 

Sure Things

11Temple

12WichitaState

16 SouthernMississippi

17 U N L V

18Memphis

 

High Chances

20 Colorado St.

24 Gonzaga

25 Creighton

26 San Diego St.

29St. Louis

 

Good Chances

31 Murray St.

33New Mexico

36 Long Beach St.

37 Saint Mary’s

38 Harvard

 

Need To Do Some Work

43 Oral Roberts

44Iona

47 tie  Middle Tennessee

47 tie Nevada

52 B Y U

 

Need A Miracle

53St.Joe’s

55 Xavier

58 South Dakota St.

 

Probably Need To Earn Automatic Bid

61VirginiaCommonwealth

62Northern Iowa

63 tie  Drexel

63 tie Belmont

65 CentralFlorida

 

Major Conference At-large Candidates

 

A C C

Sure Things

North Carolina

Duke

FloridaState

 

Need To Do Some Work

Virginia

Miami(Fla)

North Carolina St.

 

Need A Miracle

Clemson

 

Big East

Sure Things

Syracuse

Marquette

Georgetown

Louisville

Notre Dame

 

Need To Do Some Work

Connecticut

Seton Hall

West Virginia

Cincinnati

South Florida

 

Big Ten

Sure Things

MichiganState

OhioState

Michigan

Wisconsin

Indiana

 

Need To Do Some Work

Purdue

 

Need A Miracle

Northwestern

 

Big 12

Sure Things

Kansas

Missouri

Baylor

IowaState

KansasState

 

Need To Do Some Work

Texas

 

Pac-12

Sure Things

 

 

Need To Do Some Work

California

Oregon

Washington

 

Need A Miracle

Arizona

 

Next Update: Sunday, March 4

February 26, 2012

NCAA Basketball Conference Tournaments Guide

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , — piratings @ 7:09 pm

Selection Sunday is just two weeks away, and it is time to start looking at the conference tournaments.  It can be hard to find one source with all the details on the conference tournaments, so we here at the Pi-Rate Ratings have compiled all the particulars for you.

 

Conference tournament action kicks off Monday night with the Big South Tournament’s opening round.  It concludes on March 11, Selection Sunday.

 

Here is a breakdown of each conference plus a list of which teams are in the running to receive at-large bids should they fail to win the automatic bid.

 

The Selection Committee will be looking at RPI, Strength of Schedule, and results against the top 50 and top 100 RPI-rated teams.  How a team performed in its last 10 games is no longer part of the equation, but how a team performed on the road all season is a factor.

 

America East

Date: March 1-4, 10

Location: Hartford, CT (Championship at Higher Seed)

Teams in Tournament: 9

Estimated Dance Tickets: 1

TV: Semifinals on ESPN3, Championship on ESPN2, All others online free at www.americaeast.com

 

Stony Brook (14-2/20-8) secured the number one seed with a win over Maine Sunday.  Vermont (13-3/20-11) is the number two seed.  These two teams are in a class by themselves in the A-East.

 

Boston U. (12-4/16-15) is the number three seed, while Albany (9-7/18-13) is the number four seed. 

 

Any of these four teams can win the conference tournament, and only the champion will earn a bid to the Big Dance.

 

Atlantic 10

Date: March 6, 9-11

Location: Atlantic City, NJ (opening round at higher seed)

Teams in Tournament: 12

Estimated Dance Tickets: 2 or 3

TV: Quarterfinals on CBS College Regional; Semifinals on CBS College Network; Championship on CBS

 

Temple (11-3/22-6) is a lock to make the Big Dance.  St. Louis 10-4/22-6) is on the high bubble.  If another team wins the conference tournament, the A-10 could send three members to the NCAA Tournament.

 

Xavier (9-5/18-10) and St. Joe’s (9-6/19-11) are off the bubble, but those two along with Dayton (8-6/18-10), St. Bonaventure (9-5/16-10), UMass (8-6/19-9), and LaSalle (7-7/18-11), are talented enough to get hot in a couple of weeks and win the automatic bid.

 

Atlantic Coast

Date: March 8-11

Location: Atlanta

Teams in Tournament: 12

Estimated Dance Tickets: 4 to 6

TV: Opening Round on ESPN-U; Quarterfinals on ESPN2; Semifinals & Finals on ESPN

 

Duke (12-2/25-4), North Carolina (12-2/25-4), and Florida State (10-4/19-9) are locks to make the field of 68.  Virginia (8-6/21-7) is firmly on the bubble.  Miami (8-6/17-10) and North Carolina State (7-7/18-11) are on the bubble and need some key wins to make the tournament as at-large teams.

 

Atlantic Sun

Date: February 29 to March 3

Location: Macon, GA

Teams in Tournament: 8 (9th & 10th place teams left out)

Estimated Dance Tickets: 1

TV: Quarterfinals on ESPN3; Semifinals on A-Sun TV & Comcast Sports South; Championship on ESPN2

 

The bracket for this tournament is set.  The opening round is Wednesday.

 

Atlantic Sun Tournament Bracket @ Macon, GA (Mercer)

 

 

 

All Times EST

 

Quarterfinals

 

1-Belmont (16-2/24-7) vs. 8-Jacksonville (6-12/8-21)  Wed. F.29 2:30 PM

 

4-East Tennessee (10-8/16-13) vs. 5-North Florida (10-8/16-13)  Thu. M.1 2:30 PM

 

3-USC-Upstate (13-5/20-11) vs. 6-Florida Gulf Coast (8-10/13-16) Thu M.1 8:30 PM

 

2-Mercer (13-5/21-10) vs. 7-Lipscomb (8-10/13-17) Wed. F. 29 8:30 PM

 

 

 

Semifinals—Friday, March 2

 

Belmont-Jacksonville winner vs. East Tennessee-North Florida winner 6:00 PM

 

USC-Upstate-Florida Gulf Coast winner vs. Mercer-Lipscomb winner 8:30 PM

 

 

 

Championship—Saturday, March 3  7:00 PM

 

Belmont swept Mercer, but can the Bruins beat the Bears on their home court twice in one week?  This tournament produces many upsets, but usually one of the top two seeds wins the championship.

 

Big 12

Date: March 7-10

Location: Kansas City

Teams in Tournament: 10

Estimated Dance Tickets: 3-6

TV: Opening Round on Big 12 Network; Quarterfinals half on ESPN2 & half on Big 12 Network; Semifinals on Big 12 Network & ESPN-U; Championship on ESPN

 

The barbecue sales will soar as fans of the 10 teams hit KC and head over to Gates and Bryant Barbecue up in the Brooklyn area where the old Kansas City Municipal Stadium once stood.

 

Kansas (14-2/24-5), Missouri (12-4/25-4), and Baylor (11-5/24-5) have already secured at-large bids.  Iowa State (11-5/21-8) has been one of the nation’s top surprises, and first year coach and Cyclone alum Fred Hoiberg could earn National Coach of the Year honors.  ISU is on the bubble.  Kansas State (8-8/19-9) moved from questionable status to central bubble status with two big wins this week.  Texas (8-8/18-11) has work to do.

 

Big East

Date: March 6-10

Location: New York City

Teams in Tournament: 16

Estimated Dance Tickets: 6-9

TV: Opening Round half on ESPN2 & half on ESPN-U; All other games on ESPN

 

Ah, New York!  What better place to view five days of excellent basketball while munching on the best deli delicacies in the world?  Watch out for those onion rolls and knishes; there are more calories in a couple of those than a steak!

 

Syracuse (16-1/29-1) will be a number one seed.  Marquette (13-3/24-5) won’t be too far behind in the seeding.  Notre Dame (12-4/20-9), Georgetown (11-5/21-6) and Louisville (10-6/22-7) are locks to get bids.  Things get murky after these five.

 

South Florida (11-5/18-11) is on the higher end of the bubble, while Cincinnati (10-5/20-8) is on the bottom of the bubble with an RPI in the low 70’s. Their resume is 50-50.

 

West Virginia (7-9/17-12) and Connecticut (7-9/17-11) are below .500 in the league, but both are squarely on the bubble with higher RPIs than Cinti.

 

South Florida (10-5/17-11) and Seton Hall (8-9/19-10) have stayed under the radar for most of the year, but both teams are on the bubble.  The five days at Madison Square Garden should allow one to three or four of these non-lock teams to work their way into at-large status.  Of course, if one of these, or even a bottom eight team could win five games in five days like UConn did last year.

 

The bracket for the Big East is unique.  On the opening day, seeds 9 through 16 play, eliminating four to lower the remaining teams to 12.  On the second day, seeds 5 through 8 join the four winners from day one to lower the remaining teams to eight.  The top four seeds do not play until the quarterfinals on the third day.

 

Big Sky

Date: March 3, 6-7

Location: 1st Round at Higher Seeds; Semis and Championship at Regular Season Champion (Weber State or Montana)

Teams in Tournament: 6 (7, 8, and 9 left out)

Estimated Dance Tickets: 1

TV: Semifinals on Altitude Network; Championship on ESPN2

 

In this conference tournament, the number six seed plays at the number three seed, and the number five seed plays at the number four seed.  The top two seeds receive byes to the semifinals.

 

In the semis, the number one seed hosts the lower-seeded first round winner, while the number two seed plays the higher-seeded first round winner on the number one seed’s floor.

 

Weber State (14-1/23-4) and Montana (14-1/22-6) have both won 17 of their last 18 games.  The Wildcats and Grizzlies hook up Tuesday night at Montana for the regular season championship.  The winner will host the semis and finals of the conference tournament.  Earlier this year, Weber State trounced the Grizzlies 80-64, but Montana outscores conference opponents by 18.6 points per game at Dahlberg Arena.

 

Weber State could move into the bubble talk.  If the Bulldogs win Tuesday and lose to Montana in the finals of the conference tournament, they might have a really slim chance at sneaking in as one of the last four in.

 

Big South

Date: February 27, 29, March 1, 3

Location: 1st round and championship at higher seeds; quarterfinals and semifinals at regular season champion

Teams in Tournament: 10 (#11 left out)

Estimated Dance Tickets: 1

TV: Opening and quarterfinal rounds on Big South Network, Semifinals on ESPN-U, Championship on ESPN2

 

The bracket for this tournament is set.  The opening round is tomorrow.

 

 

Big South Tournament Bracket

 

All Times EST

 

 

 

Opening Round—Monday, February 27

 

10-Radford (2-16/6-25) at 7- VMI (8-10/14-15)  7:00 PM

 

9-Gardner-Webb (6-12/12-19) at 8-High Point (8-10/12-17) 7:30 PM

 

 

 

Quarterfinals—February 29 at UNC-Asheville

 

2-Coastal Carolina (12-6/19-10) vs. VMI/Radford Winner  12:00 Noon

 

3-Campbell (11-7/17-14) vs. 6-Winthrop (8-10/11-19)  2:00 PM

 

1-UNC-Asheville (16-2/21-9) vs. Gardner-Webb/High Point Winner  6:00 PM

 

4-Charleston Southern (11-7/18-11) vs. 5-Liberty (9-9/14-17)  8:00 PM

 

 

 

Semifinals—March 1

 

Coastal Carolina/VMI/Radford Winner vs. Campbell/Winthrop Winner  6:00 PM

 

UNC-Asheville/Gardner-Webb/High Point Winner vs. Charleston Southern/Liberty Winner 8:00 PM

 

 

 

Championship— March 3  12 Noon

 

UNC-Asheville is at #124 in the RPI, and there is no way the Bulldogs can creep onto the bubble.  The champion of this tournament will be a #15 or #16 seed in the Big Dance.

 

Big Ten

Date: March 8-11

Location: Indianapolis

Teams in Tournament: 12

Estimated Dance Tickets: 5-8

TV: Opening Round half on Big Ten Network & half on ESPN2; Quarterfinals half on Big Ten Network & half on ESPN; Semifinals and Finals on CBS

 

The Big Ten is the top power conference this year, but there are only five sure at-large teams as of today.  Michigan State (13-3/24-5), Ohio State (11-5/23-6), Michigan (11-5/21-8), Indiana (9-7/22-7), and Wisconsin (10-6/21-8) are definitely in the Dance.

 

Purdue (9-7/19-10) is on the high end of the bubble; one more win should be enough.  Northwestern (7-9/17-11) is on the lower middle of the bubble (the Wildcats have never been in the NCAA Tournament).  An upset at home over Ohio State on Wednesday could be enough, but the Wildcats need to advance past the first round in Indianapolis to have a shot. 

 

Illinois (6-10/17-12) and Minnesota (5-11/17-12) are off the bubble and need to still be playing on Selection Sunday to have any chance to make the field.  Bruce Weber’s job status in Champaign-Urbana is in serious jeopardy.

 

Big West

Date: March 8-10

Location: Anaheim, CA

Teams in Tournament: 8 (9th team left out)

Estimated Dance Tickets: 1 or 2

TV: Semifinals on ESPN-U; Championship on ESPN2

 

Note: Tournament will re-seed after the opening round, just like the NFL Playoffs.

 

Long Beach State (14-0/21-7) wrapped up the regular season title many days ago.  The 49ers are a definite bubble team with an RPI of #34.

 

Cal State Fullerton (10-4/19-8) will have a shot to upset the 49ers at home to close out the regular season.  It may be better for the Titans to lose a close game and gain the confidence to win in the tournament a week later than to upset LBSU and face their wrath for all the marbles.

 

UC-Santa Barbara (10-4/16-9) is the third quality team in the league.  The Gauchos did not compete with the 49ers in their two losses.

 

Colonial Athletic

Date: March 2-5

Location: Richmond, VA

Teams in Tournament: 12

Estimated Dance Tickets: 1 or 2

TV: Quarterfinals & Semifinals on CAA-TV & Comcast Sports regional networks.  Championship on ESPN or ESPN2

 

The bracket for this tournament is set.  The opening round commences on Friday, March 2.

 

Colonial Athletic Association Tournament–Richmond, VA

 

All Times EST

 

 

 

Opening Round—March 2

 

8-James Madison(5-13/12-19) vs. 9-UNC-Wilmington (5-13/9-20)  12:00 Noon

 

5-Delaware (12-6/17-12) vs. 12-Towson (1-17/1-30)  2:30 PM

 

7-Northeastern (9-9/13-16) vs. 10-William & Mary (4-14/6-25)  6:00 PM

 

6-Georgia State (11-7/20-10) vs. 11-Hofstra (3-15/10-21)  8:30 PM

 

 

 

Quarterfinals—March 3

 

1-Drexel (16-2/25-5) vs. James Madison/UNC-Wilmington 12:00 Noon

 

4-Old Dominion (13-5/19-12) vs. Delaware/Towson Winner 2:30 PM

 

2-Va. Commonwealth (15-3/25-6) vs. Northeastern/William & Mary Winner 6:00 PM

 

3-George Mason (14-4/23-8) vs. Georgia State/Hofstra Winner 8:30 PM

 

 

 

Semifinals—March 4

 

Drexel/JMU/UNCW Winner vs. Old Dominion/Delaware/Towson Winner 2:00 PM

 

VCU/Northeastern/Wm. & Mary Winner 4:30 PM

 

 

Championship—March 5  7:00 PM 

The CAA may get a second bid as long as Virginia Commonwealth is in the mix.  The Rams will get the benefit of the doubt coming off a Final Four trip in 2011 and following it up with an even better team this year.

 

Drexel is a few spots behind VCU in the RPI, but the Dragons are the better team this year.  Bruiser Flint’s team proved just how strong they were with the blowout win over Cleveland State in the Bracket Buster.  The Dragons have won 17 games in a row and 23 out of 24!

 

George Mason and Old Dominion can compete for the tournament championship, while the rest of the league figures to be cannon fodder for the top four.

 

Conference USA

Date: March 7-10

Location: Memphis

Teams in Tournament: 12

Estimated Dance Tickets: 2 or 3

TV: Quarterfinals & Semifinals on CBS Sports Network; Championship on CBS

 

Memphis (11-3/21-8) and Southern Mississippi (10-4/23-6) appear to be safe at-large teams, which means if someone other than the Tigers or Golden Eagles wins the conference tournament, three teams would receive bids.

 

Tulsa (10-4/17-11) always seems to be so close yet so far at Dance time.  The Golden Hurricane have yet to play Memphis, and they lost in overtime at Southern Miss.

 

Central Florida (9-5/20-8) owns victories over both Southern Miss and Memphis.  Marshall (8-6/17-11) has the talent to win the tournament, but the Thundering Herd has not reached their potential.

 

Horizon League

Date: February 28-29, March 2-3, 6

Location: 1st round & Championship at higher seeds, Quarterfinals & Semifinals at regular season champion (Valparaiso)

Teams in Tournament: 10

Estimated Dance Tickets: 1 or 2

TV: Opening Round & Quarterfinals free online at http://www.horizonleague.org/mens-basketball.html; Semifinals on ESPN-U; Championship on ESPN

 

The bracket for this tournament has been set.  Opening round action begins Tuesday.

 

Horizon League Tournament

 

All Times EST

 

 

 

Opening Round—February 28

 

Game 1: 10-Loyola (Chi) (1-17/7-22) at 3-Detroit (11-7/18-13)  7:00 PM

 

Game 2: 7-Green Bay (10-8/15-14) at 6-Youngstown St.(10-8/15-14)  7:00 PM

 

Game 3: 9-Illinois-Chicago (3-15/8-21) at 4-Milwaukee (11-7/19-12) 8:00 PM

 

Game 4: 8-Wright State (7-11/13-18) at 5-Butler (11-7/18-13) 7:00 PM

 

 

 

Quarterfinals—March 2

 

Game 5: Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner  6:00 PM

 

Game 6: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner  8:30 PM

 

 

 

Semifinals—March 3

 

Game 7: 2-Cleveland State (12-6/22-9) vs. Game 5 Winner  6:00 PM

 

Game 8: 1-Valparaiso (14-4/21-10) vs. Game 6 Winner  8:30 PM

 

 

 

Championship—March 6 @ Higher Seed  9:00 PM

 

Cleveland State was once a near sure bet to qualify for at-large status, but the Vikings fell apart after a wonderful start.  CSU still has an outside chance to make it in as one of the last four in if the Vikings lose to Valpo in the Championship Game.

 

Butler appears to be a very long shot this year.  The Bulldogs will have to win twice just to get to the semifinal round to face Valpo.

 

M A A C

Date: March 2-5

Location: Springfield, MA

Teams in Tournament: 10

Estimated Dance Tickets: 1 or 2

TV: Quarterfinals & Semifinals on ESPN3; Championship on ESPN2

 

Iona (15-3/24-6) is number 37 in the current RPI, so the Gaels stand a good chance of getting an at-large bid if they lose in the conference tournament championship.

 

Loyola (MD) (13-5/21-8), Manhattan (12-6/20-11), and Fairfield (12-5/17-12) would make for quite an interesting semifinal round if the trio could join Iona.

 

M A C

Date: March 5, 7-10

Location: Opening Round at higher seeds, all others at Cleveland

Teams in Tournament: 12

Estimated Dance Tickets: 1 or 2

TV: 2nd Round, Quarterfinals, and Semifinals on Sports Time Ohio; Championship on ESPN2

 

The top five MAC teams reside in the East Division.  Akron (12-2/20-9) was the only team with a chance to earn an at-large bid prior to their slaughter to Ohio U Sunday.  The Zips were number 59 in the RPI, but that ranking will fall.

 

Buffalo (10-4/17-9), Ohio (10-4/23-6), Kent State (9-5/19-9), and Bowling Green (8-6/15-13) are the other four quality East Division teams.  It will be an interesting tournament. 

 

M E A C

Date: March 6-10

Location: Winston-Salem, NC

Teams in Tournament: 13

Estimated Dance Tickets: 1

TV: Championship on ESPN2

 

The MEAC has two teams capable of pulling off an opening round win.  Savannah State (12-2/19-10) is riding an 11-game winning streak.  The Tigers have outscored their opponents 70.8 to 52.5 in this run.

 

Norfolk State (11-3/20-9) penned one of the two losses on Savannah State.  The Spartans went 9-6 outside the MEAC, including wins over Drexel and Long Island and a two-point loss to Marquette.

 

The bracket is formatted to give the top two seeds a much easier path to the title game.  Seeds 8-9, 4-13, 5-12, 7-10, and 6-11 play on March 6.  The number one seed then plays the winner of 8-9, and the number two seed plays the winner of 7-10 on March 7.  The number three seed plays the winner of 6-11 on March 8, giving 6 or 11 an extra day’s rest.  The 4-13 winner plays the 5-12 winner on March 8 as well.

 

The semifinals take place on March 9, giving the top two seeds an extra day of rest.

 

Missouri Valley

Date: March 1-4

Location: St. Louis (Arch Madness)

Teams in Tournament: 10

Estimated Dance Tickets: 2 or 3

TV: Championship Game on CBS; all others on MVC TV Network

 

The bracket for this tournament is set.  Opening round play begins Thursday.

 

 

Missouri Valley Conference Tournament—St. Louis

 

All Times CST

 

 

 

Opening Round—March 1

 

Game 1: 8-Indiana State (8-10/17-13) vs. 9-Southern Illinois (5-13/8-22)  6:00 PM

 

Game 2: 7-Drake (9-9/16-14) vs. 10-Bradley (2-16/7-24)  8:30 PM

 

 

 

Quarterfinals—March 2

 

Game 3: 1-Wichita State (16-2/26-4) vs. Game 1 Winner 12 Noon

 

Game 4: 4-Illinois State (9-9/18-12) vs. 5-Northern Iowa (9-9/19-12) 2:30 PM

 

Game 5: 2-Creighton (14-4/25-5) vs. Game 2 Winner  6:00 PM

 

Game 6: 3-Evansville (9-9/15-14) vs. 6-Missouri State (9-9/16-15)  8:30 PM

 

 

 

Semifinals—March 3

 

Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner 1:30 PM

 

Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner 4:00 PM

 

 

 

Championship—March 4  1:00 PM

 

 

 

This tournament is definitely one to watch.  Wichita State has Final Four potential; the shockers are every bit as strong as the last two Butler teams.

 

Creighton has the big star in Doug McDermott, who averages better than 23 points and 8 rebounds per game, while shooting almost 61% from the field, better than 80% at the charity stripe, and 48% from behind the arc.

 

Mountain West

Date: March 8-10

Location: Las Vegas

Teams in Tournament: 8

Estimated Dance Tickets: 3 or 4

TV: Quarterfinals on The Mountain Network; Semifinals on CBS Sports Network; Championship on NBC Sports Network

 

This will be one of the best conference tournaments and not because it is in Vegas.  Three teams, UNLV (8-4/24-6), New Mexico (8-4/22-6), and San Diego State (8-4/22-6) have Dance tickets coming.  TCU (7-5/17-11), Colorado State (6-6/17-10), and Wyoming (5-7/19-9) all have the talent to win the tournament. 

 

Colorado State is actually number 24 in the RPI, but if the season ended today, we believe the Rams would be the highest-rated RPI team left out.

 

Northeast

Date: March 1, 4-7

Location: All games at higher seed

Teams in Tournament: 8 (teams 9 through 12 left out)

Estimated Dance Tickets: 1

TV: Semifinals on MSG Network and Fox College Sports; Championship on ESPN2

 

The Bracket for this Tournament is set.  Quarterfinal action begins Thursday.  After quarterfinals, the bracket is re-seeded so that the highest remaining seed plays the lowest remaining seed.

 

Quarterfinals
Thursday, March 1

#8 Sacred Heart (8-10/14-17) at #1 Long Island (16-2/22-8) 7:00 pm EST
#7 Central Connecticut (10-8/13-15) at #2 Wagner (15-3/24-5) 7:00 pm EST
#6 Monmouth (10-8/12-19) at #3 Robert Morris (13-5/22-9) 7:00 pm EST
#5 Quinnipiac (10-8/17-12) at #4 St. Francis (NY) (12-6/15-14) 7:00 pm EST

Semifinals
Sunday, March 4

Lowest Remaining Seed at Highest Remaining Seed, 12:00 or 6:00 pm EST (TBD by Television)

3rd Highest Remaining Seed at 2nd Highest Remaining Seed, 12:00 or 6:00 pm EST (TBD by Television)

Championship
Wednesday, March 7  7:00 pm EST on ESPN2

 

This conference turned topsy-turvy on the final day of the regular season.  LIU lost by 28 at Monmouth and Wagner lost by 17 at Central Connecticut.  Number three Robert Morris and Number four St. Francis also lost.

 

Things should return to normal, as the big two play at home where they are close to unbeatable.  Look for Wagner to head to Brooklyn to face Long Island in the title game, and it will be one you do not want to miss.

 

Ohio Valley

Date: February 29 to March 3

Location: Nashville

Teams in Tournament: 8

Estimated Dance Tickets: 1 or 2

TV: Opening round and Quarterfinals on www.OVCSports.TV .  Semifinal games will both air on ESPN3 and one will also air on ESPN-U.  The Championship Game will air on ESPN2

 

The bracket for this tournament is set.  Opening round play begins Wednesday.

 

 

Ohio Valley Conference Tournament—Nashville

 

All Times CST

 

 

 

Opening Round—February 29

 

Game 1: 5-Southeast Missouri (9-7/14-15) vs. 8-Eastern Kentucky (7-9/16-15)  6:00 PM

 

Game 2: 6-Austin Peay (8-8/12-19) vs. 7-Jacksonville St.(8-8/14-17) 8:00 PM

 

 

 

Quarterfinals—March 1

 

Game 3: 4-Tennessee Tech (9-7/18-12) vs. Game 1 Winner 6:00 PM

 

Game 4: 3-Morehead State (10-6/17-14) vs. Game 2 Winner 8:00 PM

 

 

 

Semifinals—March 2

 

Game 5: 1-Murray State (15-1/28-1) vs. Game 3 Winner 6:00 PM

 

Game 6: 2-Tennessee State (11-5/19-11) vs. Game 4 Winner 8:00 PM

 

 

Championship—March 3  1:00 PM  

 

If the Racers take the OVC Tournament, Murray State should be the higher seed in an opening round NCAA Tournament game.  If they do not emerge as the tournament champion, they still should earn an at-large bid.

 

Tennessee State won at Murray, but the Racers won big in Nashville against the Tigers.  It will be a major upset for any team other than Murray State to win.

 

Pac-12

Date: March 7-10

Location: Los Angeles

Teams in Tournament: 12

Estimated Dance Tickets: 2 or 3

TV: Championship on CBS; All others on Fox Sports

 

California (13-4/23-7) was number 35 in the RPI prior to losing to Colorado Sunday, but we believe the Selection Committee will take the Bears if they do not win the automatic bid.

 

Washington (13-3/20-8) may be the stronger team at this point in the season, but the Huskies are not guaranteed an at-large bid.  Their RPI rating is 52, and a couple of losses could drop them off the bubble.

 

Oregon (11-5/20-8) is just one behind UW in the RPI Ratings, but the Ducks will not earn an at-large bid unless they beat Colorado and Utah to close out the season and then advance at least to the semifinals in the tournament.

 

Arizona (12-5/21-9) is flying under the radar and not on the bubble.  The Wildcats have the talent to compete for the tournament championship.

 

Colorado (11-5/19-9) will be a force to be reckoned with in the conference tournament, but the Buffaloes look more like an NIT team again this year.

 

Patriot League

Date: February 29, March 3, March 7

Location: All Games at Higher Seed

Teams in Tournament: 8

Estimated Dance Tickets: 1

TV: Semifinals and Championship on CBS Sports Network

 

The Bracket for this tournament is set.  The Quarterfinal round begins Wednesday.

 

Patriot League Tournament—Higher Seeds Host All Games

 

All Games EST

 

 

 

Quarterfinals—February 29

 

8-Navy (0-14/3-25) at 1-Bucknell (12-2/22-8) 7:00 PM

 

5-Lafayette (7-7/12-17) at 4-Holy Cross (9-5/15-13) 7:00 PM

 

7-Colgate (2-12/8-21) at 2-Lehigh (11-3/23-7) 7:00 PM

 

6-Army (5-9/12-17) at 3-American (10-4/19-10) 7:30 PM

 

 

 

Semifinals—March 3

 

Navy/Bucknell winner vs. Lafayette/Holy Cross winner 2:00 or 4:30 PM

 

Colgate/Lehigh winner vs. Army/American winner 2:00 or 4:30 PM

 

 

Championship—March 7  7:00 PM  

Bucknell has a relatively easy path to the Championship Game, where they would be the host team.  In the other half of the bracket, Lehigh and American split in the regular season, and a semifinal game at Lehigh would be exciting. 

 

S E C

Date: March 8-11

Location: New Orleans

Teams in Tournament: 12

Estimated Dance Tickets: 4-6

TV: First Two Rounds on SEC Network, Semifinals and Finals on ABC

 

Kentucky (14-0/28-1) has already clinched the top seed, and the Blue Mist will descend on the French Quarter.  The SEC Tournament should be nothing more than a Big Dance tune-up for the Wildcats.

 

Florida (10-4/22-7) and Vanderbilt (9-5/20-9) have secured at-large bids, while Alabama (8-6/19-9) maybe needs one more win.  After that, there are five teams still in contention for an at-large bid.  Any of the quintet will need to win four more games to have any chance at an at-large bid.  They are: Tennessee (8-6/16-13), LSU (7-7/17-11), Mississippi State (6-8/17-10), Arkansas (6-8/18-11), and Ole Miss (6-8/16-12).

 

Southern

Date: March 2-5

Location: Asheville, NC

Teams in Tournament: 12

Estimated Dance Tickets: 1 or 2

TV: 1st Round on SoCon TV; Quarterfinals on ESPN3; Semifinals on SoCon TV & ESPN3; Championship on ESPN2

 

The Bracket for this tournament is set.  Opening round play begins Friday.

 

 

Southern Conference Tournament — Asheville, NC

 

All Times EST

 

 

 

Opening Round—March 2

 

Game 1: 4S-College of Charleston (10-8/19-11) vs. 5N-Appalachian State (7-11/12-17)  11:30 AM

 

Game 2: 3N-Western Carolina (8-10/14-17) vs. 6S-Citadel (3-15/6-23)  2:00 PM

 

Game 3: 4N-Samford (8-10/11-18) vs. 5S-Furman (8-10/14-15)  6:00 PM

 

Game 4: 3S-Georgia Southern (12-6/14-14) vs. 6N-Chattanooga (5-13/11-20)  8:30 PM

 

 

 

Quarterfinals—March 3

 

Game 5: 1N-UNC-Greensboro (10-8/12-18) vs. Game 1 Winner  12 Noon

 

Game 6: 2S-Wofford (12-6/19-12) vs. Game 2 Winner  2:30 PM

 

Game 7: 1S-Davidson (16-2/22-7) vs. Game 3 Winner  6:00 PM

 

Game 8: 2N-Elon (9-9/14-15) vs. Game 4 Winner  8:30 PM

 

 

 

Semifinals—March 4

 

Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner  6:00 PM

 

Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner  8:30 PM

 

 

 

Championship—March 5  9:00 PM

 

 

Davidson (16-2/22-7) has an outside shot at an at-large bid if the Wildcats lose in the SoCon Finals.  At 24-8, their RPI would be in the low 70’s.

 

Southland

Date: March 7-10

Location: Katy, TX

Teams in Tournament: 8 (9th through 12th teams left out)

Estimated Dance Tickets: 1

TV: Semifinals on Southland TV; Championship on ESPN2

 

Texas-Arlington (14-0/22-6) is too low in the RPI ratings to get onto the bubble.  If the Mavericks lose a game, their RPI would be in the 80’s at best, so they must win the automatic bid. 

 

If another team upsets UTA, it will be tough to see that team having any chance in the first round of the Big Dance.  UTA has the talent to win the first game and contend for a spot in the Sweet 16.

 

S W A C

Date: March 7-10

Location: Garland, TX

Teams in Tournament: 8 (Southern & Grambling ineligible due to APR scores)

Estimated Dance Tickets: 1

TV: Quarterfinals & Semifinals on SWAC TV; Championship on ESPN-U

 

The SWAC is the overall weakest conference in the NCAA, as seven of the 10 teams are rated 300 or worse in the RPI ratings.  Even the Great West Conference and the Independents, which do not receive automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament, have higher overall RPI ratings.  Probably the team with the best chance at winning an opening round game in Dayton, Southern, isn’t even eligible due to poor APR scores.

 

Mississippi Valley State (16-0/17-11) has run roughshod over the league with 16 consecutive wins.  But, the Delta Devils went 1-11 outside the league.

 

Texas Southern (10-5/11-16) and Prairie View (8-7/12-16) are vying for the number two seed.  The bottom four seeds in the tournament could all have 20 or more regular season losses.

 

Summit League

Date: March 3-6

Location: Sioux Falls, SD

Teams in Tournament: 8 (9th & 10th teams left out)

Estimated Dance Tickets: 1 or 2

TV: Championship on ESPN2; All others on Fox College Sports & Midco Network

 

The Bracket for this tournament is set.  Quarterfinal round play begins Saturday.

 

Summit League Tournament—Sioux Falls, SD

 

All Times CST

 

 

 

Quarterfinals—March 3

 

Game 1: 1-Oral Roberts (17-1/26-5) vs. 8-I P F W (5-13/11-18)  6:00 PM

 

Game 2: 2-South Dakota State (15-3/24-7) vs. 7-I U P U I (7-11/14-17)  8:30 PM

 

 

 

Quarterfinals—March 4

 

Game 3: 4-Western Illinois (9-9/15-13) vs. 5-North Dakota State (9-9/17-12)  6:00 PM

 

Game 4: 3-Oakland (11-7/17-14) vs. 6-Southern Utah (8-10/13-16)  8:30 PM

 

 

 

Semifinals—March 5

 

Game 5: Game 1 Winner vs. Game 3 Winner  6:00 PM

 

Game 6: Game 2 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner  8:30 PM

 

 

 

Championship—March 6  8:00 PM

 

Oral Roberts should be safe if they fall to South Dakota State in the Championship Game.  The Golden Eagles are Number 46 in the RPI ratings.  South Dakota State was the lone team to beat ORU.  The Jackrabbits won by 15 at home after losing by 22 at ORU.  With the Summit League Tournament just 55 miles down the road in Sioux Falls, SDSU will enjoy considerable home fan advantage, almost as much as home court advantage.

 

Sunbelt

Date: March 3-6

Location: Hot Springs, AR

Teams in Tournament: 11 (UL-Monroe is ineligible)

Estimated Dance Tickets: 1 or 2

TV: Quarterfinals involving Middle Tennessee and UALR games on SBC Network; Semifinals on SBC Network; Championship on ESPN2

 

The Bracket for this Tournament is set.  Opening round play begins Saturday.

 

Sunbelt Conference Tournament — Hot Springs, AR

 

All Times CST

 

 

 

Opening Round—March 3

 

Game 1: 6-South Alabama (8-8/16-11) vs. 11-Troy (5-11/10-17)  6:00 PM (Summit Arena)

 

Game 2: 7-Western Kentucky (7-9/11-18) vs. 10-Florida International (5-11/11-20)  8:30 PM (Summit Arena)

 

Game 3: 8-Florida Atlantic (7-9/11-18) vs. 9-Arkansas State (6-10/12-19)  6:15 PM (Convention Center)

 

 

 

Quarterfinals—March 4

 

Game 4: 1-Middle Tennessee (14-2/25-5) vs. Game 3 Winner  6:00 PM (Summit Arena)

 

Game 5: 2-Arkansas-Little Rock (12-4/15-15) vs. Game 2 Winner  8:30 PM (Summit Arena)

 

Game 6: 4-Louisiana-Lafayette (10-6/16-14) vs. 5-North Texas (9-7/16-13)  6:15 PM (Convention Center)

 

Game 7: 3-Denver (11-5/21-8) vs. Game 1 Winner  8:45 PM (Convention Center)

 

 

 

Semifinals—March 5

 

Game 4 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner  6:00 PM (Summit Arena)

 

Game 5 Winner vs. Game 7 Winner  8:30 PM (Summit Arena)

 

 

Championship—March 6  6:00 PM (Summit Arena) 

Middle Tennessee has a chance to earn an at-large bid if the Blue Raiders lose in the Championship Game to Denver or UALR.  Denver defeated Middle Tennessee in the regular season.

 

W A C

Date: March 8-10

Location: Las Vegas

Teams in Tournament: 8

Estimated Dance Tickets: 1 or 2

TV: Championship Game on ESPN2; All other games free online at: http://www.wacbasketballtournament.com/

 

Nevada (11-1/23-5) is number 59 in the RPI ratings, and the Wolfpack are on the bubble.

 

New Mexico State (9-3/22-8) is number 74 in the RPI, and the Aggies will need to win the automatic bid to get to the Big Dance.

 

If any other conference team wins the tournament, there is a chance UN-Reno will not receive an at-large bid due to a drop in RPI.

 

West Coast

Date: February 29 through March 3, March 5

Location: Las Vegas

Teams in Tournament: 9

Estimated Dance Tickets: 2 or 3

TV: 2nd Round on BYU-TV; Quarterfinals on ESPN-U; Semifinals on ESPN2; Championship on ESPN

 

West Coast Conference Tournament — Las Vegas

 

All Times PST

 

 

 

Opening Round—February 29

 

Game 1: 8-Portland (3-13/6-23) vs. 9-Santa Clara (0-16/8-21)  6:00 PM

 

 

 

2nd Round—March 1

 

Game 2: 5-San Francisco (8-8/18-12) vs. Game 1 Winner  6:00 PM

 

Game 3: 6-San Diego (7-9/12-17) vs. 7-Pepperdine (4-12/10-18)  8:20 PM

 

 

 

Quarterfinals—March 2

 

Game 4: 4-Loyola Marymont (11-5/19-11) vs. Game 2 Winner  6:00 PM

 

Game 5: 3-B Y U (12-4/24-7) vs. Game 3 Winner  8:20 PM

 

 

 

Semifinals—March 3

 

1-Saint Mary’s (14-2/25-5) vs. Game 4 Winner 6:00 PM

 

2-Gonzaga (13-3/23-5) vs. Game 5 Winner 8:20 PM

 

 

Championship—March 5  6:00 PM 

This will be one spectacular tournament, especially if the top four seeds advance to the Semifinals.  Loyola Marymount has the confidence to contend with St. Mary’s and even pull off another upset.  BYU and Gonzaga could play 10 times, with at most one team winning six games.

 

We expect St. Mary’s, Gonzaga, and BYU to make the Big Dance, but if LMU should somehow beat BYU in the Championship Game, there is an outside chance that four league teams could be invited.

 

The Ivy League—No Conference Tournament

Estimated Dance Tickets: 1 or 2

 

Penn (9-2/17-11) won at Harvard (10-2/24-4) last night to split the series for the year.  The Quakers have home games with Brown and Yale next weekend and close at Princeton on March 6.  If Penn runs the table, and Harvard wins at Columbia and Cornell this weekend, there would be a playoff for the title.

 

Yale (9-3/19-7) is still mathematically alive for a possible three-way tie, but the Bulldogs would need to sweep Princeton and Penn on the road to have a chance, and then they would need Harvard to lose to either Columbia or Cornell.  Even though Yale was swept by Harvard, in the Ivy League, all ties result in playoffs.

 

Harvard is still high enough in the RPI ratings to qualify as an at-large team if the Crimson wins their final two games and then lose in a playoff.  No Ivy League school has ever earned an at-large bid.

August 15, 2011

2011 Sunbelt Conference Preview

2011 Sunbelt Conference Preview

 

The guard may be in process of changing in the Sunbelt Conference.  Florida International and Troy finished tied for first at 6-2 last year, but FIU defeated the Trojans by 17. 

 

Florida International returns an experienced quarterback in Wesley Carroll, good depth at running back with Darriet Perry and Darian Mallary capable of teaming for 1,800 rushing yards, and the top receiver in the league and a possible high NFL draft choice in T. Y. Hilton.  Their offensive line is close to the best in the league and could emerge as the best if someone can step forward at center.  FIU should top 30 points and 400 yards per game this season.

 

Defensively, the Golden Panthers should be as good as or better than last season.  The one question mark will be at linebacker.

 

Louisiana Monroe is the wildcard in this season’s SBC race.  The Warriors return 17 starters from a year ago and should definitely improve on their 4-4 conference mark and 5-7 record overall.  An overtime loss to eventual champion FIU and a one-point loss to Louisiana in the season finale was all that kept ULM from winning the league last year.  The Warriors figure to be at least 7-10 points better in 2011, and when they host FIU on November 19, it could very well be for the 2011 SBC title.

 

Kolton Browning is an excellent dual threat quarterback.  He completed 62% of his passes last year as a freshman.  His top four receivers return this year, and ULM should gain 250 yards through the air this season.

 

The defense must improve after giving up 32 points per game last year.  The Warriors gave up 4.4 yards per carry, and that number will not win a conference championship.

 

Troy is not out, but they are down a bit.  The Trojans were hit hard after the end of the season losing two wide receivers that were expected to contribute heavily in 2011.  Chip Reeves and Jamel Johnson would have been the two leading returning receivers for the league’s best passer, Corey Robinson.

 

Troy should have a much improved defense this season after giving up more than 30 points per game in 2010.  However, the Trojans’ offense may not repeat last year’s results when they averaged 34 points and 450+ yards per game. 

 

Defensively, end Jonathan Massaquoi will contend for defensive Player of the Year honors.  Massaquoi recorded more than 20 tackles for loss with 13 ½ sacks last year.  He will see more double teams with the departure of Mario Addison.

 

Arkansas State could have been 8-4 instead of 4-8.  The Red Wolves will be the most exciting team in the league with their no-huddle hurry-up offense.  An inexperienced offensive line could be their downfall.  If the green OL can protect quarterback Ryan Aplin, ASU’s passing game could top 275 yards per game through the air.  Dwayne Frampton, Allen Muse, and Taylor Stockemer return after combining for 145 receptions, 1,933 yards, and 16 touchdowns last year, and this year junior college transfer Jose Jarboe joins the fold to give the Red Wolves a receiving corps that has no peers inside the league.

 

Unfortunately, the hurry-up offense means the defense may have to hurry to get back on the field for too many plays.  ASU’s defense does not have the depth to stay on the field for 75 plays a game and be effective.

 

Western Kentucky is being picked near the bottom of the conference by the media, but we believe the Hilltoppers will be much improved this year.  WKU was outscored by just 2.6 points per game in league play, and they were only outgained by 20 yards per game.  With most of their skilled players returning on offense as well as some decent depth in the trenches, the Hilltoppers could flirt with a winning record in 2011.  A tough non-conference schedule could prevent that from happening, but we would not be surprised if WKU’s conference record was .500 or better.

 

Running back Bobby Rainey returns after leading the league with 1,649 yards rushing.  If the Hilltoppers can come up with just a little more balance on the attack side, they could threaten the 28 points per game mark.

 

Defensively, WKU was too easy to run on.  The Hilltoppers gave up five yards per carry, and still they were often burned by enemy passing games.  The defense will be quite a bit improved, but it is still not championship quality.

 

Middle Tennessee has never won the SBC title; they have flirted for years with championship material, but the Blue Raiders have been the Fresno State of the Sunbelt.  2011 should see Middle Tennessee take a step back after going to bowls both of the last two seasons. 

 

The Blue Raiders must rebuild on defense, and they were not all that tough on that side of the ball, giving up 120 points and 1,426 yards to Troy, Arkansas State, and FIU, the top three offenses in the league.

 

There could be a diamond in the rough on the offensive side of the ball.  Running back Jeremiah Bryson was headed to Pittsburgh, but he changed his mind to stay closer to home due to family issues.  Bryson could be the best back in Murfreesboro since Dwone Hicks played there a decade ago.

 

It is hard to believe that it has been seven years since North Texas was the original Troy of the Sunbelt.  The Mean Green won the league title four years in a row from 2001 to 2004, but UNT hasn’t tasted success since, going just 13-58 in the past in the last six seasons.  New head coach Dan McCarney will try to resurrect the program.  McCarney brought Iowa State back to respectability, taking the Cyclones to five bowls in six years and coming within a missed kick of winning the Big 12 North twice.  McCarney was Urban Meyer’s top assistant at Florida the last three years. 

 

McCarney dismissed top receiver Darius Carey from the team, and the UNT passing attack will struggle this year.  Sophomore quarterback Derek Thompson will battle Juco transfer Brent Osborn.  Whoever emerges as the starter will be handing the ball to Lance Dunbar about 25 times per game.  Dunbar rushed for 1,553 yards and 13 scores last year, and he caught 28 passes for three more touchdowns.

 

Defensively, the Mean Green were quite improved last year, although they still gave up 30 points and almost 400 yards per game.  Just three years ago, they gave up close to 50 points and 500 yards per game.  There could be additional improvement in 2011, but a tough schedule should prevent UNT from threatening for bowl eligibility.

 

Louisiana starts from scratch with new coach Mark Hudspeth.  Every place Hudspeth has gone, his teams have won, and the folks in Lafayette are excited in hopes that he will turn the program around.  UL’s last winning season was in the previous century, so do not expect miracles in year one.  In fact, the Ragin’ Cajuns could even take a small step back from last season’s 3-9 finish.

 

Quarterback Chris Masson is not going to be confused with Jake Delhomme, but the senior should improve on his 52.9 completion percentage this season.  He played in a shotgun formation last year and will be under center most of the time this season.  Masson has the top tight end target in the league in LaDarius Green.  Green is a threat to get open in the seams of zones and present a monstrous target.

 

An inexperienced offensive line will spell doom for the offense this year, but UL could have some memorable moments.

 

The defense is going to have some rough Saturdays once again.  UL surrendered 37 points and just under 400 yards per game last year, and even an improvement to 30 points allowed will not be enough to move the Ragin’ Cajuns north in the standings.

 

Florida Atlantic head coach Howard Schnellenberger just announced that 2011 will be his last.  Schnellenberger, 77, has a storied history in football.  He was recruited to Kentucky by Bear Bryant and later served on some of the best coaching staffs of all time.  As an assistant at his alma mater in the late 1950’s, he served under future NFL Champion coach Blanton Collier along with Don Shula and Bill Arnsparger.  As an assistant at Alabama, the Crimson Tide won multiple national titles, and he was the key recruiter that landed Joe Namath.  As an assistant in the NFL, he won a Super Bowl ring with Shula at Miami after helping the Rams win two division titles in the late 1960’s.  Throw in a college football championship at the U of Miami, and that is more than enough for any one man.  He was not finished.  He returned to his city of childhood and built Louisville into a major force in college football.  He also started the program at FAU. 

 

We mention all these things, because the 2011 season could be a really lousy way to exit the profession.  The Owls were the weakest offensive team in the SBC last year, and they lost most of their good players, including quarterback Jeff Van Camp and his top three receivers.  FAU had trouble running the ball, and it will be difficult to improve the running game with an inexperienced passing game this season.  The one positive is the return of all starting offensive linemen.

 

Defensively, opponents had little difficulty running or passing against the Owls in 2010, and the scary news is that the 2011 defense could be a little weaker.  Five of the top six tacklers from last year are gone.

 

Sunbelt Conference Preseason Media Poll

Team

First Place Votes

Points

1. Florida Int’l

5

75

2. Troy

2

66

3. Middle Tennessee

 

54

4. Louisiana-Monroe

 

54

5. Arkansas St.

1

49

6. North Texas

 

33

7. Western Kentucky

1

28

8. Louisiana

 

26

9. Florida Atlantic

 

20

     

 

 

The PiRate Ratings

 

   

 

 

Team

PiRate #

Prediction

1. Florida Int’l

87.1

7-1/8-4

2. Louisiana-Monroe

82.3

7-1/8-4

3. Troy

81.3

6-2/6-6

4. Arkansas State

81.3

4-4/5-7

5. Western Kentucky

75.1

3-5/4-8

6. Middle Tennessee

72.8

4-4/5-7

7. North Texas

71.9

3-5/3-9

8. Louisiana

71.7

1-7/2-10

9. Florida Atlantic

68.7

1-7/1-11

Next: The Mid-American Conference Preview, Tuesday, August 16 

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