The Pi-Rate Ratings

March 5, 2017

Conference Tournament Update–Sunday, March 5, 2017

First Ticket Punched

Welcome Jacksonville State to the giant Dance Studio of March.  The Gamecocks have been a small football factory at the FCS level, noted for upsetting Ole Miss and almost knocking off Auburn in recent years.  As a basketball member of Division 1, JSU has never been a contender for the NCAA Tournament.  In fact, in a score of seasons at the D1 level, the school has produced just four overall winning records with no conference championships.

Last year, the Gamecocks finished just 8-23 and parted ways with Coach James Green.  Enter Coach Ray Harper, who had just resigned from Western Kentucky following a WKU School suspension of three key players.  Harper came to JSU with two Division II national titles, two NAIA national titles, and two D1 NCAA appearances while with the Hilltoppers.

Even with such a stellar resume, not even Coach K himself could have made the so-called media experts select the Gamecocks to finish first in the Ohio Valley Conference this year, nor even make the upper half of the standings.  JSU was a consensus 12th-place pick out of 12 teams in the league.

Not only did Harper guide the Gamecocks well above last place, he took JSU to a winning record in the league and winning record overall.  Then, he upset top-seed Belmont to make it to the OVC Championship Game, where the Gamecocks looked like they were definitely the best team in the league at this point of the season.

Jacksonville State thus becomes team number one in the NCAA Tournament with an overall record of 20-14.  They are likely to be a #16 seed and at best a #15, but they will not lay down and allow a #1 seed to walk all over them.  Expect a tough fight from these Gamecocks.

 

Three More Tickets Issued Today

By the end of the day, there will be a quartet of teams in the Field of 68.  Surprise 7th-seed Campbell (17-16) faces a challenging task, as the Camels must go to top-seed Winthrop (25-6) to decide the Big South Championship.  That game will air on ESPN at 1:00PM Eastern Time.  If Campbell wins, the Camels are virtually assured of knowing they will have to go to Dayton for a First Four game.  If Winthrop wins, the Eagles just might move up to a 13-seed and should be no worse than a 14-seed, and a formidable one at that.

 

An hour later, the finale of Arch Madness (Missouri Valley Conference) tips off on CBS, and the top two seeds have made it to the championship round for their rubber game grudge match.  Top-seed Illinois State (27-5) is actually an underdog to second-seed Wichita State (29-4) and for good reason.  The Shockers look as strong at this point of the season as they did when they advanced to the Final Four a few years back.  Coach Greg Marshall’s WSU team has won 14 games in a row, including an incredible 41-point win over ISU four weeks ago.  Some bracketologists believe that the loser of this game could move outside of the good part of the bubble, but most of our Bracketology Gurus have the Valley sending both teams to the Dance.

 

At 3:00 PM Eastern today, the Atlantic Sun Title Game will tip off in a game between rivals from the Sunshine State.  3-seed North Florida (15-18) visits perennial league champion and top-seed Florida Gulf Coast (25-7).  The two teams played in Fort Myers at the end of January, and FGCU pulled away in the second half to win by 15 thanks to a hot night from guard Brandon Goodwin.  In a semifinal win at 2-seed Lipscomb, you might have been confused and thought that the names on the back of the UNF jerseys read, “Curry,” “Harden,” and “Korver,” as the Ospreys hit three-pointer after three-pointer to pull away from Lipscomb quickly.  They will have to have a repeat performance to have a chance to upset FGCU today.

 

Have We Got Offense For You

We are true hardwood junkies here on the PiRate Ship.  And, we keep a close watch on all the low and mid-major conferences, where there are teams operating under the radar and not getting any national publicity.  If you really love basketball and especially love the style of play that was prevalent in the 1960s and 1970s, when teams raced up and down the floor with 80-possession games, then there is a must watch game for you tonight.

In the Summit League, at 9:30 PM Eastern Time, Fort Wayne will take on Omaha in a quarterfinal match.  The last time these two teams squared off, Ft. Wayne won 108-101 in overtime, and there is no reason to think tonight’s game will be much different.  That 45-minute game saw both teams accumulate 91 possessions, and even if they only play 40 minutes tonight, they could easily top 80 possessions apiece.

 

The Inaugural Ivy League Tournament Is Finally Set

Call us snobbish or traditional, but most of us buckaroos and buckarettes here really like the Ivy League basketball season.  Our head Captain here can remember Bill Bradley playing at Princeton and Jim McMillan playing at Columbia, and he has followed this league like he is the commissioner himself.

Last night, Penn upset Harvard, while Columbia fell to Yale.  The Lions could not protect a five-point second half lead, and then after Yale took a four-point lead, Columbia fought back to tie the game with less than 90 seconds to go.  A missed three-pointer when there was a possible high-percentage two-pointer available led to Yale getting the rebound with the lead in the final minute, and the Bulldogs then held onto the ball, forcing Columbia to foul.  Unfortunately for the Lions, they had yet to put Yale in the bonus, and they did not force the seventh foul until there were less than five seconds remaining.  Miye Oni hit both foul shots for Yale to put the dagger in CU’s hopes.

So, the first ever Ivy League Tournament will feature top-seed Princeton, who went a perfect 14-0 in the league facing fourth-seed Penn in one semifinal match, while Harvard and Yale meet in the other semifinal.  If the Ivy League had wanted to script the perfect first ever tournament, they would have wanted it exactly like this.  Two sets of arch-rivals with the weakest of the four teams hosting the thing at the most venerable Eastern gymnasium, the Palestra.  Hey Ivy League brass–we are waiting for our media pass!  We’ll sit anywhere and even move the dust mop across the floor at halftime and during timeouts.

Today’s Tournament Schedule (by Conference)

Time Network Conference Team vs. Team
3:00 PM ESPN A_Sun TITLE Florida Gulf Coast vs. North Florida
1:00 PM ESPN B-South TITLE Winthrop vs. Campbell
2:00 PM Comcast SN Colonial UNC-Wilmington vs. William & Mary
4:30 PM Comcast SN Colonial College of Charleston vs. Northeastern
5:00 PM ESPN3 Horizon Green Bay vs. Illinois-Chicago
7:30 PM ESPN3 Horizon Northern Kentucky vs. Wright St.
4:30 PM ESPN3 MAAC Monmouth vs. Siena
7:00 PM ESPN3 MAAC St. Peter’s vs. Iona
2:00 PM CBS MVC  TITLE Illinois St. vs. Wichita St.
12:00 PM CBSSN Patriot Boston U vs. Lehigh
2:00 PM CBSSN Patriot Bucknell vs. Navy
5:00 PM ESPN3 SoCon UNC-Greensboro vs. Wofford
7:30 PM ESPN3 SoCon East Tennessee St. vs. Samford
7:00 PM ESPN3 Summit South Dakota St. vs. Denver
9:30 PM ESPN3 Summit Omaha vs. Fort Wayne

Schedule by Tip-off Time

Time Network Conference Team vs. Team
12:00 PM CBSSN Patriot Boston U vs. Lehigh
1:00 PM ESPN Big South Winthrop vs. Campbell
2:00 PM Comcast SN Colonial UNC-Wilmington vs. William & Mary
2:00 PM CBS MVC Illinois St. vs. Wichita St.
2:00 PM CBSSN Patriot Bucknell vs. Navy
3:00 PM ESPN Atlantic Sun Florida Gulf Coast vs. North Florida
4:30 PM Comcast SN Colonial College of Charleston vs. Northeastern
4:30 PM ESPN3 MAAC Monmouth vs. Siena
5:00 PM ESPN3 Horizon Green Bay vs. Illinois-Chicago
5:00 PM ESPN3 SoCon UNC-Greensboro vs. Wofford
7:00 PM ESPN3 MAAC St. Peter’s vs. Iona
7:00 PM ESPN3 Summit South Dakota St. vs. Denver
7:30 PM ESPN3 Horizon Northern Kentucky vs. Wright St.
7:30 PM ESPN3 SoCon East Tennessee St. vs. Samford
9:30 PM ESPN3 Summit Omaha vs. Fort Wayne

Coming Tomorrow: An updated Bracketology Gurus report plus all the tournament brackets and the schedule of games for Monday.

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March 4, 2017

Conference Tournament Update–Saturday, March 4, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:03 am

One #1 Seed Falls

Regular season Ohio Valley Conference Champion Belmont has become the first number one seed to fall in their conference tournament, relegating the Bruins to the NIT with an automatic bid.  Jacksonville State, picked to finish dead last in the OVC this year, has shocked many under first-year head coach Ray Harper, who previously guided Western Kentucky to consecutive NCAA Tournament berths.  JSU upset Belmont in Nashville last night to set up a championship game with UT-Martin.  By 10:30 PM EST tonight the winner of this game will become the first official team in the Big Dance.

The Ivy League Tournament Situation

Princeton secured the regular season Ivy League Championship last night, when the Tigers completed a sweep of Harvard.  The Crimson are set in the number two slot, while Yale has clinched the third of the four conference tournament seeds.

The fourth and final spot up for grabs in the inaugural Ivy League Tournament to be played in the Palestra in Philadelphia is still to be decided with three of the remaining five teams still in the race with tonight’s games remaining.  Let’s look at the possible scenarios.

First, at the moment, Penn and Columbia are tied with 5-8 league records.  Dartmouth and Brown are tied at 4-9, but Brown has been eliminated from qualifying on all possible outcomes.  So, we are talking Penn, Columbia, and Dartmouth still with a chance to earn the number four seed.

  1. If Penn beats Harvard and Yale beats Columbia, then Penn gets the #4 seed
  2. If Columbia beats Yale and Harvard beats Penn, then Columbia gets the #4 seed
  3. If Both Penn and Columbia win tonight, and Brown and Dartmouth both win, then Penn gets the #4 Seed
  4. If Both Penn and Columbia lose tonight, and Dartmouth beats Princeton, then Dartmouth gets the #4 Seed
  5. If Both Penn and Columbia lose tonight and Brown beats Cornell, then Columbia gets the #4 Seed

Today’s Conference Tournament Games–Times–TV

Time Network Conference Team vs. Team
12:00 PM Comcast SN Colonial UNC-Wilmington vs. Delaware
2:30 PM Comcast SN Colonial William & Mary vs. Elon
6:00 PM Comcast SN Colonial College of Charleston vs. James Madison
8:30 PM Comcast SN Colonial Towson St. vs. Northeastern
5:30 PM ESPN3 Horizon Oakland vs. Youngstown St.
8:00 PM ESPN3 Horizon Valparaiso vs. MIlwaukee
7:00 PM ESPN3 MAAC Iona vs. Rider
9:30 PM ESPN3 MAAC Siena vs. Fairfield
3:30 PM CBSSN MVC Illinois St. vs. Southern Illinois
6:00 PM CBSSN MVC Wichita St. vs. Missouri St.
12:00 PM MSG/FCS NEC Wagner vs. St. Francis (PA)
2:00 PM MSG/FCS NEC Mount St. Mary’s vs. Robert Morris
8:00 PM ESPN2 OVC–TITLE UT-Martin vs. Jacksonville St.
12:00 PM ESPN3 SoCon UNC-Greensboro vs. The Citadel
2:30 PM ESPN3 SoCon Chattanooga vs. Wofford
6:00 PM ESPN3 SoCon Furman vs. Samford
8:30 PM ESPN3 SoCon East Tennessee St. vs. Mercer
7:00 PM ESPN3 Summit South Dakota vs. Western Illinois
9:30 PM ESPN3 Summit North Dakota St. vs. IUPUI
4:00 PM BYUtv WCC BYU vs. Loyola Marymount
6:00 PM BYUtv WCC Santa Clara vs. San Francisco
10:00 PM ESPN2 WCC Gonzaga vs. Pacific
12:00 AM ESPN2 WCC Saint Mary’s vs. Portland

Schedule By Tip-off Time

Time Network Conference Team vs. Team
12:00 PM Comcast SN Colonial UNC-Wilmington vs. Delaware
12:00 PM MSG/FCS NEC Wagner vs. St. Francis (PA)
12:00 PM ESPN3 SoCon UNC-Greensboro vs. The Citadel
2:00 PM MSG/FCS NEC Mount St. Mary’s vs. Robert Morris
2:30 PM Comcast SN Colonial William & Mary vs. Elon
2:30 PM ESPN3 SoCon Chattanooga vs. Wofford
3:30 PM CBSSN MVC Illinois St. vs. Southern Illinois
4:00 PM BYUtv WCC BYU vs. Loyola Marymount
5:30 PM ESPN3 Horizon Oakland vs. Youngstown St.
6:00 PM Comcast SN Colonial College of Charleston vs. James Madison
6:00 PM CBSSN MVC Wichita St. vs. Missouri St.
6:00 PM ESPN3 SoCon Furman vs. Samford
6:00 PM BYUtv WCC Santa Clara vs. San Francisco
7:00 PM ESPN3 MAAC Iona vs. Rider
7:00 PM ESPN3 Summit South Dakota vs. Western Illinois
8:00 PM ESPN3 Horizon Valparaiso vs. MIlwaukee
8:00 PM ESPN2 OVC–TITLE UT-Martin vs. Jacksonville St.
8:30 PM Comcast SN Colonial Towson St. vs. Northeastern
8:30 PM ESPN3 SoCon East Tennessee St. vs. Mercer
9:30 PM ESPN3 MAAC Siena vs. Fairfield
9:30 PM ESPN3 Summit North Dakota St. vs. IUPUI
10:00 PM ESPN2 WCC Gonzaga vs. Pacific
12:00 AM ESPN2 WCC Saint Mary’s vs. Portland

 

March 5, 2016

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Preview For March 5-6, 2016

We have reached that time. Starting tonight, invitations to the Big Dance will be handed out for the next eight days. By late tonight, at least one and possibly two schools will have earned their way into the NCAA Tournament.

The overwhelming theme to early conference tournaments so far is that teams in the bottom half of the standings are advancing to the semfinal and final rounds with regularity, something that further proves parity in this non-dominating season.

The 30-second clock was supposes to help the dominant teams control the game, but what has happened is that additional possessions and quicker pace has led to the top teams occasionally showing a vulnerability against the lesser-talented teams. Where in a slower-paced game, a dominating team could hold on and win by slowing the pace down when it was not their best shooting night, or a big underdog could not upset the better team even when having a hot shooting night, the extra 5 to 10 possessions per game has led to more parity.

Take a look at the low seeds that have advanced to the semifinal or final rounds of their conference tournaments.

#7 Hartford in America East into semifinals
#7 Stetson in Atlantic Sun Finals (Stetson is ineligible for postseason play)
#6 Gardner-Webb in Big South semifinals
#6 Indiana State in Missouri Valley Semifinals
#6 Long Island in Northeast semifinals
#8 Austin Peay in Ohio Valley Finals

Before we meet again on late Monday afternoon, two more conference tournament will have commenced. The Mid-American Conference Tournament begins Monday on campus sites, with the four winners advancing to Cleveland, where the final three rounds will be played. The Mid-eastern Athletic Conference Tournament will start in Norfolk, Virginia, where the top two seeds get double benefits. Top seed Hampton and second seed Norfolk State receive a bye, and if they win, they also get a day off prior to the semifinal round. For NSU, they get to host the tournament, and the Spartans are 9-2 at home this year.

 

In the Ivy League, Harvard upset Princeton last night, while Yale won easily at Cornell.  Yale finishes the season playing at tough third place Columbia tonight.  If the Bulldogs pull out a victory, they will win the Ivy League and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1962.  If Columbia wins, and Princeton beats Dartmouth tonight and then defeat rival Penn, it will force a one-game playoff for the automatic bid to the Field of 68.

Here is how the in-play conference tournaments look through Friday night’s games.

American East Conference Tournament Score
Site: Campus Sites @ Higher Seeds  
Quarterfinal Round  
Wednesday, March 2  
#8 UMBC (7-24) @ #1 Stony Brook (23-6) 76-86
#7 Hartford (9-22) @ #2 Albany (24-7) 68-59
#6 Maine (8-21) @ #3 Vermont (19-12) 82-99
#5 Binghamton (8-21) @ #4 New Hampshire (18-11) 51-56
   
Semifinal Round  
Monday, March 7  
#7 Hartford (10-22) @ #1 Stony Brook (24-6)  
#4 New Hampshire (19-11) @ #3 Vermont (20-12)  
   
Championship  
Saturday, March 12  
11:00 AM EST on ESPN2  
   
   
Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament  
Site: Campus Sites @ Higher Seeds  
Quarterfinal Round  
Tuesday, March 1  
G1: #8 USC-Upstate (10-21) @ #1 North Florida (21-10) 69-92
G2: #5 Kennesaw St. (11-19) @ #4 Florida Gulf Coast (17-13) 64-74
G3: #7 Stetson (10-21) @ #2 NJIT (17-13) 82-67
G4: #6 Lipscomb (11-20) @ #3 Jacksonville (16-15) 92-89
   
Semifinal Round  
Thursday, March 3  
#4 Florida Gulf Coast (18-13) @ #1 North Florida (22-10) 89-56
#7 Stetson (11-21) @ #6 Lipscomb (12-20) 96-75
   
Championship  
Sunday, March 6 12:30 PM on ESPN2  
#7 Stetson (12-21) @ #4 Florida Gulf Coast (19-13)  
   
Note: If Stetson wins the tournament, then North Florida will  
represent the A-Sun in the NCAA Tournament due to Stetson  
being ineligible for the postseason.  
   
   
Big South Conference Tournament  
Site: Buies Creek, NC (Campbell)  
   
1st Round  
Thursday, March 3  
G1: #8 Longwood (9-22) vs. #9 Charleston Southern (9-20) 75-69
G2: #7 Radford (16-14) vs. #10 Presbyterian (10-19) 64-65
G3: #6 Gardner-Webb (15-15) vs. #11 Campbell (12-17) 79-69
   
Quarterfinal Round  
Friday, March 4  
G4: #1 High Point (20-9) vs. #8 Longwood (10-22) 89-78
G5: #4 UNC-Asheville (19-11) vs. #5 Liberty (13-18) 80-49
G6: #2 Winthrop (21-8) vs. #10 Presbyterian (11-19) 67-53
G7: #3 Coastal Carolina (18-10) vs. #6 Gardner-Webb (16-15) 65-69
   
Semifinal Round  
Saturday, March 5  
#1 High Point (21-9) vs. #4 UNC-Asheville (20-11)  
#2 Winthrop (22-8) vs. #6 Gardner-Webb (17-15)  
   
Championship  
Sunday, March 6  
2:30 PM on ESPN2  
   
   
Colonial Athletic Association Tournament  
Site: Baltimore  
   
1st Round  
Friday, March 4  
G1: #8 Elon (16-15) vs. #9 Drexel (5-24) 56-57
G2: #7 Charleston (16-13) vs. #10 Delaware (7-22) 67-63
   
Quarterfinal Round  
Saturday, March 5  
G3: #1 Hofstra (22-8) vs. #9 Drexel (6-24)  
G4: #4 James Madison (21-10) vs. #5 William & Mary (19-10)  
G5: #2 UNC-Wilmington (22-7) vs. #7 Charleston (17-13)  
G6: #3 Towson (20-11) vs. #6 Northeastern (17-14)  
   
Semifinal Round  
Sunday, March 6  
G3 Winner vs. G4 Winner  
G5 Winner vs. G6 Winner  
   
Championship  
Monday, March 7  
7:00 PM on NBC Sports Network  
   
   
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament  
Site: Albany (Siena)  
   
1st Round  
Thursday, March 3  
G1: #8 Rider (12-19) vs. #9 Quinnipiac (9-20) 60-57
G2: #7 Canisius (13-18) vs. #10 Niagara (7-24) 102-97
G3: #6 Manhattan (12-17) vs. #11 Marist (7-22) 81-63
   
Quarterfinal Round  
Friday, March 4  
G4: #1 Monmouth (25-6) vs. #8 Rider (13-19) 59-48
G6: #2 Iona (19-10) vs. #7 Canisius (14-18) 71-55
   
Saturday, March 5  
G5: #4 Saint Peter’s (14-15) vs. #5 Fairfield (18-12)  
G7: #3 Siena (20-11) vs. #6 Manhattan (13-17)  
   
Semifinal Round  
Sunday, March 6  
G4 Winner vs. G5 Winner  
G6 Winner vs. G7 Winner  
   
Championship Round  
Monday, March 7  
7:00 PM on ESPN  
   
   
Missouri Valley Conference Tournament  
Site: St. Louis  
   
1st Round  
Thursday, March 3  
G1: #8 Loyola (Chi.) (14-16) vs. #9 Bradley (5-26) 74-66
G2: #7 MIssouri St. (12-18) vs. #10 Drake (7-23) 69-67
   
Quarterfinal Round  
Friday, March 4  
G3: #1 Wichita St. (23-7) vs. #8 Loyola (Chi.) (15-16) 66-58
G4: #4 Northern Iowa (19-12) vs. #5 Southern Illinois (22-9) 66-60
G5: #2 Evansville (23-8) vs. #7 Missouri St. (13-18) 66-56
G6: #3 Illinois St. (18-13) vs. #6 Indiana St. (14-16) 57-65
   
Semifinal Round  
Saturday, March 5  
#1 Wichita St. (24-7) vs. #4 Northern Iowa (20-12)  
#2 Evansville (24-8) vs. #6 Indiana St. (15-16)  
   
Championship Game  
Sunday, March 6  
2:00 PM on CBS  
   
   
Northeast Conference  
Site: Campus Sites @ Higher Seeds  
   
Quarterfinal Round  
Wednesday, March 2  
G1: #8 Robert Morris (10-21) @ #1 Wagner (20-9) 50-59
G2: #5 Mount St. Mary’s (13-18) @ #4 St. Francis (Bklyn) (15-16) 60-51
G3: #7 St. Francis (Pa.) (13-16) @ #2 Fairleigh Dickinson (15-14) 72-74
G4: #6 Long Island (15-14) @ #3 Sacred Heart (12-17) 84-76
   
Semifinal Round  
Saturday, March 5  
#5 Mount St. Mary’s (14-18) @ #1 Wagner (21-9)  
#6 Long Island (16-14) @ #2 Fairleigh Dickinson (16-14)  
   
Championship  
Tuesday, March 8  
7:00 PM on ESPN or ESPN2  
   
   
Ohio Valley Conference Tournament  
Site: Nashville  
   
1st Round  
Wednesday, March 2  
G1: #5 Tennessee Tech (19-10) vs. #8 Austin Peay (14-17) 72-92
G2: #6 Murray St. (16-13) vs. #7 Eastern Illinois (13-16) 78-62
   
Quarterfinal Round  
Thursday, March 3  
G3: #4 Tennessee St. (20-9) vs. #8 Austin Peay (15-17) 72-74
G4: #3 Morehead St. (18-11) vs. #6 Murray St. (17-13) 75-66
   
Semifinal Round  
Friday, March 4  
G5: #1 Belmont (20-10) vs. #8 Austin Peay (16-17) 96-97
G6: #2 UT-Martin (18-13) vs. #3 Morehead St. (19-11) 83-70
   
Championship  
Saturday, March 5 6:00 PM on ESPN2  
#2 UT-Martin (19-13) vs. #8 Austin Peay (17-17)  
   
   
Southern Conference  
Site: Asheville, NC  
   
1st Round  
Friday, March 4  
G1: #8 Samford (13-18) vs. #9 VMI (9-20) 92-85
G2: #7 Mercer (18-13) vs. #10 Citadel (10-21) 71-69
   
Quarterfinal Round  
Saturday, March 5  
G3: #1 Chattanooga (26-5) vs. #8 Samford (14-18)  
G4: #4 Wofford (15-16) vs. #5 Western Carolina (15-16)  
G5: #2 East Tennessee (21-10) Vs. Mercer (19-13)  
G6: #3 Furman (17-14) vs. #6 UNC-Greensboro (14-17)  
   
Semifinal Round  
Sunday, March 6  
G3 Winner vs. G4 Winner  
G5 Winner vs. G6 Winner  
   
Championship  
Monday, March 7  
9:00 PM on ESPN2  
   
   
West Coast Conference Tournament  
Site: Las Vegas  
   
1st Round  
Friday, March 4  
G1: #8 Loyola Marymount (13-16) vs. #9 San Diego (9-20) 64-61
   
Quarterfinal Round  
Saturday, March 5  
G2: #3 BYU (22-9) vs. #6 Santa Clara (11-19)  
G3: #4 Pepperdine (17-12) vs. #5 San Francisco (15-14)  
G4: #1 Saint Mary’s (24-4) vs. #8 Loyola Marymount (14-16)  
G5: #2 Gonzaga (23-7) vs. #7 Portland (12-19)  
   
Semifinal Round  
Monday, March 7  
G3 Winner vs. G4 Winner  
G2 Winner vs. G5 Winner  
   
Championship  
Tuesday, March 8  
9:00 PM on ESPN  

And, here are the brackets for the two tournaments beginning Monday.

 

Mid-American Conference Tournament
Site: Cleveland, 1st Round at Higher Seed
 
1st Round
Monday, March 7
G1:#9 Toledo (17-14) at #8 Eastern Michigan (17-14)
G2: #12 Bowling Green (14-17) at #5 Kent St. (19-12)
G3: #10 Western Michigan (13-18) at #7 Northern Illinois (20-11)
G4: #11 Miami (O) (12-19) at #6 Ball St. (19-12)
 
Quarterfinal Round
Thursday, March 10
G5: #1 Akron (24-7) vs. G1 Winner
G6: #4 Central Michigan (17-14) vs. G2 Winner
G7: #2 Ohio (20-10) vs. G3 Winner
G8: #3 Buffalo (17-14) vs. G4 Winner
 
Semfinal Round
Friday, March 11
G5 Winner vs. G6 Winner
G7 Winner vs. G8 Winner
 
Championship Round
Saturday, March 12
7:30 PM on ESPN
Mid-eastern Athletic Conference Tournament
Site: Norfolk, VA
 
1st Round
Monday, March 7
G1: #5 Savannah St. (14-14) vs. #12 Delaware St. (7-24)
G2: #6 North Carolina A&T (10-21) vs. #11 Coppin St. (8-21)
 
Tuesday, March 8
G3: #8 UM-Eastern Shore (10-21) vs. #9 Morgan St. (8-21)
G4: #7 UNC-Central (12-18) vs. #10 Howard (12-19)
 
Quarterfinal Round
Wednesday, March 9
G5: #1 Hampton (18-10) vs. G3 Winner
G6: #2 Norfolk St. (16-15) vs. G4 Winner
 
Thursday, March 10
G7: #3 South Carolina St. (17-13) vs. G2 Winner
G8: #4 Bethune-Cookman (14-17) vs. G1 Winner
 
Semifinal Round
Friday, March 11
G5 Winner vs. G8 Winner
G6 Winner vs. G7 Winner
 
Championship Game
Saturday, March 12
1:00 PM on ESPN2

 

Now for our regular weekend fare.  The power conferences conclude their regular seasons this weekend, and there are still multiple conference tournament seedings and byes to be determined.

Here are this week’s Red, White, and Blue ratings

 

Games Scheduled for: Saturday, March 5, 2016
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Notre Dame North Carolina St. 8 8 7
Boston College Clemson -9 -11 -7
Florida St. Syracuse 4 3 3
Georgia Tech Pittsburgh 1 2 -2
Virginia Tech Miami (Fla.) -5 -5 -9
Duke North Carolina 1 2 -2
Virginia Louisville 6 5 6
TCU Oklahoma -12 -12 -14
Baylor West Virginia 1 1 -2
Texas Tech Kansas St. 5 5 10
Kansas Iowa St. 9 7 15
DePaul Seton Hall -10 -12 -8
Villanova Georgetown 15 13 13
St. John’s Providence -8 -12 -11
Butler Marquette 9 9 10
Xavier Creighton 10 9 12
Michigan St. Ohio St. 15 12 14
Rutgers Minnesota -5 -6 -3
Michigan Iowa -1 1 1
Arizona Stanford 12 12 10
USC Oregon -1 1 -5
UCLA Oregon St. 5 4 2
Arizona St. California -3 -3 -4
Utah Colorado 9 6 7
Tennessee Ole Miss 2 2 -1
Texas A&M Vanderbilt 4 5 4
Kentucky LSU 13 11 15
Mississippi St. Auburn 12 12 11
Georgia Alabama 5 6 4
Arkansas South Carolina 3 2 6
Missouri Florida -6 -8 -5

 

Games Scheduled for: Sunday, March 6, 2016
Home Visitor Red White Blue
Penn St. Illinois 3 2 3
Northwestern Nebraska 5 6 5
Indiana Maryland 6 4 7
Purdue Wisconsin 7 7 5

March 12, 2011

NCAA Basketball Conference Tournaments–March 12 Update

Bucknell Joins The Dance Party

The Bucknell Bison earned the Patriot League’s automatic bid Friday with a 72-54 victory over Lafayette.  Versatile big man Mike Muscala led the Bison with 18 points while sharpshooter Bryson Johnson added 15.

 

Bucknell improved to 25-8 on the season.  They project to be a 12 or 13-seed.

 

12 More Bids To Go Out Saturday

 

This is the busiest day of the tournament schedule.  13 conferences will crown their champion, and four other conferences will conduct semifinal rounds.  All told, every single one of the 21 games scheduled will be televised nationally.  Do you have enough televisions and a good high-speed computer?

 

Here is a conference-by-conference look at all the action.

 

All Game Times EST

 

Atlantic Coast Conference—Greensboro, NC

Quarterfinal Round

#1 North Carolina  61  #9 Miami  59

#4 Clemson  70  #5 Boston College  47

#2 Duke  87  #7 Maryland  71

#6 Virginia Tech  52  #3 Florida State  51 

 

Semifinal Round

#1 North Carolina (25-6)  vs. #4 Clemson (21-10)  1:30 PM  ESPN 

#2 Duke (28-4)  vs. #6 Virginia Tech (21-11)  3:45 PM  ESPN

 

All four teams are safely in the NCAA Tournament.  The Hokies secured a spot in the Dance with the nail-biting win over the Seminoles.

 

America East Conference

Championship Round

#5 Stony Brook (15-16)  at #2 Boston U (20-13)  12 Noon  ESPN2

 

Boston U won both regular season meetings.  The Terriers won 67-62 at home and 62-49 on the road.  They win with their defense, as they only shoot 40.6% from the field.

 

Atlantic 10 Conference—Atlantic City, NJ

Quarterfinal Round

#9 Dayton  68  #1 Xavier  67

#12 St. Joseph’s  93  #4 Duquesne  90  ot

#2 Temple  96  #10 LaSalle  76

#3 Richmond  55  #6 Rhode Island 45

 

Semifinal Round

#9 Dayton (21-12)  vs. #12 St. Joseph’s (11-21)  1 PM  CBS College

#2 Temple (25-6)  vs. #3 Richmond (24-7)  3:30 PM  CBS College

 

The Bubble teams will have to sweat it out all the way until Sunday.  At least one long shot will advance to the Championship Game.  Neither St. Joe’s nor Dayton is getting an at-large bid, and one of the two will be playing for an automatic bid Sunday.  Both Temple and Richmond are in the Dance.

 

Big 12 Conference—Kansas City

Semifinal Round

#1 Kansas  90  #5 Colorado  83

#2 Texas  70  #3 Texas A&M  58

 

Championship Game

#1 Kansas (31-2)  vs. #2 Texas (27-6)  6 PM  ESPN

 

The Jayhawks are still playing for the overall number one seed, while Texas is probably locked in on a number two seed.  However, with Notre Dame losing, a Longhorn win could put them in the conversation, especially if Duke does not win the ACC Tournament.

 

Big East Conference—New York City

Semifinal Round

#9 Connecticut  76  #4 Syracuse  71  ot

#3 Louisville 83  #2 Notre Dame  77  ot 

 

Championship Game

#3 Louisville (25-8)  vs. #9 Connecticut (25-9)  9 PM  ESPN

 

Connecticut becomes the first team ever to play five games in five days in modern college basketball history.  Will they have anything left in the tank next week when it really counts?  Louisville’s win more than likely killed any chance for the Irish getting a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament.

 

Big Ten Conference—Indianapolis

Quarterfinal Round

#1 Ohio State  67  #8 Northwestern  61 ot

#4 Michigan  60  #5 Illinois  55

#7 Michigan State  74  #2 Purdue  56

#6 Penn State  36  #3 Wisconsin 33

 

Semifinal Round

#1 Ohio State (30-2)  vs. #4 Michigan (20-12)  1:40 PM  CBS

#6 Penn State (18-13)  vs. #7 Michigan State (19-13)  4 PM  CBS

 

Michigan State has now earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament.  Penn State might move from the Bubble to in the tournament with a win over the Spartans.

 

Big West Conference—Anaheim

Semifinal Round

#1 Long Beach State  74  #7 UC-Riverside  63

#5 UC-Santa Barbara 83  #3 Cal State Northridge 63

 

Championship Game

#1 Long Beach State (22-10)  vs. #5 UC-Santa Barbara (17-13)  8 PM  ESPN2

 

Long Beach State won both meetings against the Gauchos in the regular season, and neither game was close.  The 49ers are not going to become another Butler or even repeat the exploits of Northern Iowa last year, but they could scare a favored team in the first round.  If UCSB wins, then they will make a quick exit in the first round.

 

Conference USA—El Paso, TX

Semifinal Round

#4 Memphis  76  #8 East Carolina  56

#3 U T E P  66  #2 Tulsa  54

 

Championship Game

#3 UTEP (25-8)  vs. #4 Memphis (24-9)  11:30 AM  CBS

 

The host Miners blew Memphis off the floor 74-47 in their only regular season meeting.  That game took place on this court.

 

Ivy League Playoff

Harvard (23-5)  vs. Princeton (24-6)  at Yale University  4 PM  ESPN3.com 

 

If Princeton wins a close game, there is an outside chance that the Ivy League could get two bids.

 

Mid-American Conference—Cleveland

Semifinal Round

#6 Akron  79  #2 Western Michigan  68

#1 Kent State 79  #4 Ball State 68

 

Championship Game

#1 Kent State (23-10)  vs. #6 Akron (22-12)  6 PM  ESPN2

 

The winner goes dancing, while the loser can only hope for a trip to Madison Square Garden in late March.

 

M E A C—Winston-Salem, NC

Semifinal Round

#4 Morgan State  61  #1 Bethune-Cookman  48

#2 Hampton  85  #6 Norfolk State  61

 

Championship Game

#2 Hampton (23-8)  vs. #4 Morgan State (17-13)  2 PM  ESPN2

 

Morgan State goes for a four-peat.  The Bears beat Hampton in the regular season 78-72.

 

Mountain West Conference—Las Vegas

Semifinal Round

#1 B Y U  87  #5 New Mexico  76

#2 San Diego State  74  #3 UNLV 72

 

Championship Game

#1 B Y U  (30-3)  vs. #2 San Diego State (31-2)  7 PM  Versus

 

Is the third time the charm for San Diego State?  The Aztecs’ two losses were to the Cougars.  If they can hold Jimmer Fredette under 35 points, we have a feeling that SDSU will cut down the nets. 

 

Both teams are legitimate threats to make it to the Sweet 16 and possibly a round or two farther.

 

Pac-10 Conference—Los Angeles

Semifinal Round

#1 Arizona  67  #4 Southern Cal  62

#3 Washington 69  #7 Oregon 51

 

Championship Game

#1 Arizona (27-6)  vs. #3 Washington (22-10)  6 PM  CBS

 

This should be an exciting game, even though it will not greatly affect the NCAA Tournament seedings.

 

The two teams split the season series, but the Huskies came close to sweeping.  UW won by 17 at home and fell by a single point in Tucson.  We think this is a tossup game.

 

Southeastern Conference—Atlanta

Quarterfinal Round

1W  Alabama 65  4E Georgia 59  ot

2E  Kentucky  75  3W  Ole Miss 66

1E  Florida  85  5E  Tennessee  74

3E  Vanderbilt  87  2W  Mississippi State  81

 

Semifinal Round

1W  Alabama (21-10)  vs. 2E  Kentucky (23-8)  1 PM  ABC

1E  Florida (25-6)  vs.  3E  Vanderbilt (23-9)  3:30 PM  ABC

 

Alabama played themselves into position to get one of the final at-large bids.  The Crimson Tide fans need to route against a Dayton or St. Joseph’s tournament championship in the Atlantic 10, because there is still little room for error for ‘Bama.

 

Kentucky looks unstoppable at times and then looks like a team that doesn’t belong in the tournament at others.  That’s what you get with a bunch of underclassmen and with no depth.

 

We believe this game will be close for most of the day, but the Wildcats will enjoy one nice spurt in both halves to hold off the Tide by six to 12 points.

 

Florida is playing about as well as either of their two National Champion teams.  It is hard to stop a team with five guys capable of scoring 20 points.  The Gators’ have few weaknesses.

 

Vanderbilt is a lot like Florida, but not as talented.  The Commodores have excellent outside shooters, but they cannot create their own shot like Florida’s outside shooters.  They have a couple of excellent inside scorers, but they can disappear against Florida’s inside players.  We look for the Gators to dominate this one from the beginning and win by double digits.

 

Southland Conference—Katy, TX

Championship Game

#1 McNeese State (21-10)  vs. #7 UT-San Antonio (18-13)  4 PM  ESPN2

 

S W A C—Garland, TX

Semifinal Round

#4 Alabama State  73  #1 Texas Southern  66

#6 Grambling  81  #2 Jackson State  75  ot

 

Championship Game

#4 Alabama State (16-17)  vs. #6 Grambling (12-20)  8:30 PM  ESPNU

 

The winner of this game can definitely plan on heading to Dayton for a First Four game.

 

W A C—Las Vegas

Semifinal Round

#1 Utah State  58  #8 San Jose State  54

#2 Boise State 81  #3 New Mexico State  63

 

Championship Game

#1 Utah State (29-3)  vs. #2 Boise State (20-11) 10 PM  ESPN2

 

Utah State is definitely in the Dance, so if the Broncos can pull off the big upset, another bubble will burst somewhere else.

 

Note: St. Mary’s defeated Weber State Friday night 77-54 in a non-conference game that was scheduled only two months ago.  The Gaels appear to be safe as an at-large team.

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