Conference Tourney Games, and other NCAA News and Notes

Conference Tourney Games, and other NCAA News and Notes
Mar 01, 2007, 06:24 am

-No real surprises so far. The #1 seed is still alive in all the tournaments that are being played, although Austin Peay did have a little trouble with Tennessee State in the Ohio Valley quarterfinals, and needed overtime to beat them.


-5. UNC Asheville @ 1. Winthrop
-6. VMI vs 2. High Point

Winthrop will get strong consideration for an at-large bid if they win tonight, but fail to win the championship. The chances of anyone beating them aren’t all that good. They have had some close calls, but they are clearly the best team in the league, and since they have home court advantage it would be a major upset if someone were to beat them.


-10. Indiana State vs 7. Illinois State (winner gets Creighton)

-9. Drake vs 8. Evansville (winner gets Southern Illinois)

This is a very tough conference, but the big games really don’t get underway until tomorrow. Some of these teams could end up being dangerous, though. Evansville really hung in there with Southern Illinois when the two faced each other last week, and Indiana State has some really big wins this season as well. Illinois State recently beat Creighton as well, so whever advances to the quarterfinals could be a very tough out.


-8. Chattanooga vs 1. Davidson
-5. Furman vs 4. UNC Greensboro

-7. Georgia Southern vs 2. Appalachian State
-6. Western Carolina @ 3. College of Charleston

Davidson and Appalachian State are the two best teams in the league, and I’d really like to see the two square off in the final. Both of those teams are good enough to pull an upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, or at the very least really put a scare into some of the teams. Winning this tournament won’t be easy, though. Appalachian State could have some trouble with College of Charleston in the semis if both teams were to advance that far. Davidson and Appalachian State may get some consideration from the committee if they lose in the championship game, but neither are likely to receive an at-large, so they’ll need to win this tournament in order to get in.


-8. Stetson @ 1. East Tennessee State
-5. Mercer vs 4. Lipscomb

-7. Gardner Webb vs 2. Belmont
-6. Campbell vs 3. Jacksonville

East Tennessee State clearly looks to be the best team, and since they’re hosting the tournament it’s going to be difficult for anyone to beat them. Belmont did win at ETSU earlier this season, so it’s by no means a given. Chances are that the winner of this league is looking at a #15 seed at best, but it will be interesting to see what ETSU does against a top team if they go on to win this.


-8. Saint Francis @ 1. Central Connecticut
-7. Wagner @ 2. Sacred Heart
-6. Fairleigh Dickinson @ 3. Quinnipiac
-5. Mount Saint Mary’s @ 4. Robert Morris

The teams will be reseeded in the semifinals so the best remaining seed will play the worst. All games are being played on the home court of the better seeded team. Central Connecticut finished the season on a tear and are the hands down favorite to win the tournament. Whoever wins this tourney is looking at a #16 seed and could even be headed to the play-in game.


-ARIZONA AT CALIFORNIA (Pac Ten). Arizona struggled in their last game against rival Arizona State, but managed to get it done. They’re in a tie for fourth place in the conference, so these last two games are big. They should be able to take care of Cal on the road and add another conference road win to their resume.

-NORTH CAROLINA AT GEORGIA TECH (ACC). North Carolina is still in the hunt for a #1 seed, but they’re coming off a tough road loss to Maryland. This would be another quality road win on their resume if they can pull it off, and it also keeps them in the hunt to finish first in the ACC. They have a big game against Duke coming up and don’t want to get caught looking ahead. Georgia Tech is also coming off of a tough road loss against Virginia, but still has a pretty solid resume. A win in this game pretty much punches their ticket, as well as improves their potential seed.

-ARIZONA STATE AT STANFORD (Pac Ten). Stanford is in the field right now and appears to be pretty safe, but they don’t want a bad RPI loss like this on their resume, especially considering that they’ve lost four of their last six. They are in a three way tie for fourth place, and will face Arizona on Saturday, so it’s important that they take care of business against a team they should beat.

-NEVADA AT UTAH STATE (WAC). This is a tough road game for Nevada. They don’t have any quality wins on their resume, but this is as good a win as they’re going to get. Utah State is not an at-large caliber team, but they are still pretty tough, especially at home, so this is one of Nevada’s best chances to make a statement to the committee. A loss doesn’t even come close to knocking them out of the field, but it will likely hurt their seed.

-USC AT WASHINGTON (Pac Ten). Washington has lost four straight games and is most likley headed to the NIT unless they can get really hot in the conference tournament. USC is in third place right now, and I believe they can still get into the pod system if they finish the season strong. They probably need to win at least one of these last two road games and give a strong showing in the conference tournament in order for that to happen, though.

-VIRGINIA TECH AT VIRGINIA (ACC). This is a hugely important game between two bitter rivals. Both are currently tied for first place in the ACC, so a #1 seed in the ACC Tournament is on the line. Both are looking to make the pod system, and a win in this game would go a long way toward that. Virginia Tech won the first meeting in a blowout, but they won’t have such an easy time with them tonight seeing as how they’re the road team.

-UCLA AT WASHINGTON STATE (Pac Ten). The first time these two teams met back in January, the game was one a classic, which is one of the many we’ve seen in the Pac Ten this year. A road win like this for UCLA could be their most impressive win of the season, and go a long way toward earning them a #1 seed. Wazzu appears to be headed for a #4 seed or better so long as they don’t collapse in these last few games.


-Maryland continues to play out of their minds. Their win at Duke last night was their sixth straight, and all but one of those came against the RPI top 50. They are looking like a solid pod system team right now.

-Kentucky got a much needed win against Georgia. Their final regular season game is at Florida, and a loss in that game would have meant going 1-6 in their final seven games had the Cats not beaten Georgia last night.

-Texas got a big win over Texas A&M in yet another Big Twelve thriller. We’ve had quite a few of those this year. This is a great win on Texas’s resume and should boost their seed.

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