Conference Tourney News, Notes & Match-up, and other Games for Sun 3/4

Conference Tourney News, Notes & Match-up, and other Games for Sun 3/4
Mar 04, 2007, 08:34 am


-2. CREIGHTON VS 1. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS. Both of these teams are in the NCAA Tournament, so this game is just for their potential seeding, as well as for bragging rights in regards to who won the conference championship. Southern Illinois won both regular season meetings, but both were very close games. This one could be another thriller. SIU is looking at a #3 or #4 seed in the NCAAs regardless of what happens in this game, and Creighton can improve their potential seed with a big time quality win such as this.


-4. DREXEL VS 1. VCU. Both of these teams are right on the bubble. Drexel probably has a better case for an at-large than VCU does despite the fact that VCU won the regular season title. Drexel’s OOC wins are just much more impressive, but neither are solidly in right now. This is a hugely important game from that aspect. Both teams won their quarterfinal games somewhat handily, but they’ll have a much tougher time against each other today.

-6. GEORGE MASON VS 2. OLD DOMINION. George Mason has made it to the Final Four for the second year in a row!!!! Granted, this is the final four of their conference tournament, but they didn’t advance past the semis of their conference tourney last year either. They got here by pulling a somewhat surprising victory against Hofstra. They’ve actually played Old Dominion pretty tough on two occassions this series. ODU won the first meeting by just two points, and needed overtime to win the second game, so it’s not unthinkable for George Mason to pull the upset and advance to the finals. Old Dominion really struggled against Towson in their quarterfinal game, and a loss may have knocked them out of the NCAAs, but they took care of business and are relatively safe regardless of what happens the rest of the way. The more games they win, the safer they’ll be, so this is a big game for them as well.


-5. San Diego vs 1. Gonzaga
-3. Saint Mary’s vs 2. Santa Clara

Saint Mary’s defeated the host team the other night, so they have some momentum coming into this game. Santa Clara had been playing out of their minds, but really didn’t look good at all in their final two regular season games. They need to win this tournament to make the NCAA Tournament, so they need to snap out of their funk. Gonzaga defeated San Diego on both occassions during the regular season, but fell to both Saint Mary’s and Santa Clara, so this is by no means a walk in the park for them. They need to win this tournament to make the NCAAs as well.


-4. American @ 1. Holy Cross
-6. Army @ 2. Bucknell

Bucknell and Holy Cross have dominated this league, and most likely will advance to meet each other in the championship game. Both teams would likely be seeded in the 13-14 range if they win the tournament. Both Army and American would likely be #16 seeds.


-5. UMBC vs 1. Vermont
-3. Boston University vs 2. Albany

Boston U is hosting these games, but they won’t host the championship game unless they’re the highest remaining seed. Vermont can clinch home court advantage with a win over UMBC, which is a team they beat rather handily on two occassions during the season.


-4. Siena vs 1. Marist
-3 Loyola, MD vs 2. Niagara

The Siena vs Marist game should be a battle. The two are big rivals, and Marist needed overtime to beat them just last week, so they match up rather well. They’re both red hot right now as well, so that should be a good game. Loyola knocked off the host team last night in a good win for them.


-5. Mount Saint Mary’s @ 1. Central Connecticut
-3. Quinnipiac @ 2. Sacred Heart

The highest remaining seed will host the conference championship game. The winner of this league is most definitely looking at a #16 seed. Central Connecticut has been on fire lately and won their quarterfinal game rather easily.


-9. Middle Tennessee vs 1. South Alabama
-5. North Texas vs 4. Louisiana Monroe

-6. Florida Atlantic vs 3. Western Kentucky
-7 New Orleans vs 2. Arkansas State

South Alabama really limped into this tournament by losing three games unexpectedly. Before that they had been absolutely dominant. They need to snap out of that funk because a loss will end their season. Western Kentucky is playing really well to and is one of the favorites to win this despite being a #3 seed.


-6. UMKC vs 3. Valparaiso
-5. Southern Utah vs 4. IUPUI

Oral Roberts and Oakland have already advanced to the semis and will face each other tomorrow. The winners of today’s games will face each other tomorrow as well.


-KENTUCKY AT FLORIDA (SEC). Florida has been sliding lately, but that could be due to the fact that they’re somewhat bored with the regular season. I don’t believe they’ll be bored with this game. Kentucky is a lock for the NCAAs, as is Florida, but a win for either team would boost their profile. It would be the biggest win of the season for Kentucky, and for Florida it would end their slump and give them another quality win, which is important if they want a #1 seed.

-BOSTON COLLEGE AT GEORGIA TECH (ACC). Georgia Tech had gone into a major slump in midseason, but is playing much better now. They’re 6-2 in their last eight games and just got a huge win against North Carolina in their last game. A win today gets them to 8-8 in league play and pretty much locks them into the NCAA Tournament regardless of what happens in the ACC. BC just got a big win against Clemson, which ended a three game losing streak. They still appear to be a lock for the NCAAs, and a win today on the road would really help their seeds. In short, this is a game between two likely NCAA Tournament teams who are looking to improve their resumes.

-SETON HALL AT LOUISVILLE (Big East). Louisville is a lock for the NCAAs, and is just playing for seeding. As hot as they are, they’re looking at getting a very good seed, but a loss to a poor quality Seton Hall team would hurt their chances. A win for Louisville also puts them at 12-4 in the Big East and assures them at least a tie for third place.

-ALABAMA AT MISSISSIPPI STATE (SEC). Alabama is on the outside looking in, and needs to win this game along with some games in the SEC Tournament in order to get a spot. Mississippi State has had a relatively good season, but isn’t in strong contention for an NCAA bid at this point. The winner of this game will finish 8-8 in SEC play, and clinch a tie for first place in the SEC West, so in terms of that this game is important.

-DUKE AT NORTH CAROLINA (ACC). North Carolina has already locked up a spot in the pod system and is fighting to get a #1 seed. Duke has been playing well lately and can still play their way into the pod system with a strong finish. UNC is also in a four way tie for first place, and a win clinches at least a share of the regular season ACC Title. Obviously, this is also one of the biggest rivlaries in college basketball, so this game probably means more off paper than it does on. A win for UNC gives them a sweep of the regular season series and the bragging rights that come along with it.

-CLEMSON AT VIRGINIA TECH (ACC). Virginia Tech is part of the four way tie for first place, and can clinch at least a share of the league title with a win today. Clemson has just completely gone into the tank and needs some big wins to pull themselves out. They probably need to win today and advance to the semis of the ACC Tournament to get any serious consideration so this is hugely important for them. Virginia Tech is a lock for the NCAAs and is just playing for seeding.


-The new bracket projections will be posted some time today, and will be updated every day throughout championship week. The current one was done last week, and does not reflect the teams who have clinched bids to the NCAA Tournament just yet. Speaking of which…

-Congradulations to Penn, Eastern Kentucky, Davidson, Winthrop and Belmont who all won their conference championships and clinched bids in the NCAA Tournament. The nice thing about the leagues that play their conference tournaments early is that the winners get some time to enjoy winning a conference championship before they have to turn around and worry about playing in the National Championship Tournament. It also gives them some time to rest up. They’re in the NCAA Tournament and get to stay home and watch the other conference tournaments like the rest of us.

-Old Dominion really struggled with Towson yesterday. A loss would have been extremely damaging to their resume and could have knocked them out of the NCAA Tournament picture. They took care of business and narrowly escaped with a three point win.

-Butler needed overtime to get past Loyola, IL, but managed to get it done in an absolute thriller. It doesn’t look as if Loyola will go to the NIT, so that game most likely ended their season. Butler will face Wright State, who won handily against Wisconsin Green Bay.

-Bradley fell to rival Southern Illinois in a big time thriller. Bradley led for a good deal of the game, but SIU hit a shot in the final seconds to give them a two point win. Bradley really needed a big time win on their resume to get into the discussion, so this loss most likely ends their NCAA Tournament hopes.

-Winthrop got a real scare from a VMI team that didn’t look all impressive this season, but who really caught fire in the conference tournament and almost won an automatic bid to the NCAAs. There was serious debate on whether or not Winthrop would get an at-large. I believe they would have, but now they don’t have to worry about it. They’re going to be a dangerous NCAA Tournament team.

-Davidson’s win over College of Charleston was their 28th of the year. They will also be a tough match up for someone in the first round. Davidson is a young team that has just gotten better and better as the year has progressed.

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