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Conference Tournaments

Conference Tournaments

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Published by Kyle Ross
Seven of 30 conference tourneys got underway Tuesday through Thursday (Atlantic Sun, Big South, Horizon League, MVC, Northeast Conference, OVC, and the Patriot League). The only league champ 'safe' for a tourney bid out of this group regardless of the tourney results is No. 12 Butler (26-4) from the Horizon. The Bulldogs were the lone school to go through its respective conference unbeaten (18-0) and the Bulldogs will take an 18-game winning streak into their game on Saturday (had bye into the semifinals). The Bulldogs also get to host any tourney game they play (13-0 TY and winners of 32 of their last 34 home games).

Northern Iowa of the MVC won the regular season title with a 15-3 mark (25-4 overall) but a late-season loss to pathetic Evansville has Panther fans worried. Northern Iowa can ill-afford a loss Friday afternoon to 14-18 Drake. The Atlantic Sun entered its eight-team tourney (bottom three schools didn't participate) with four schools at 14-6 and defending tourney champ East Tenn St seeded fifth at 13-7. Three of those four 14-6 schools lost, including preseason favorite Lipscomb (No. 1 seed). Jacksonville is the only 14-6 team to survive (won regular season title LY but then lost in the tourney) and will play Mercer while East Tenn St gets 13-19 Kennesaw St, which upset Lipscomb. It's definitely "tourney time."

In the Big South, Winthrop (No. 3 seed) easily took care of Radford (LY's regular and tourney champs) on Thursday to advance to Saturday's title game at this year's regular season champ Coastal Carolina (now 28-5 and seeking the school's third NCAA berth and first since 1993). The Chanticleers (can't make up that nickname) are 16-1 at home this year. The higher seeds all got home games in the NEC quarterfinals (four teams sat out the tourney) and all four advanced despite going 0-3-1 ATS. Play resumes Sunday with No. 1 seed Quinnipiac (22-8) hosting 14-16 LIU and No. 2 seed and defending champ Robert Morris (21-11) hosting 16-4 Mount St Mary's. The winners meet March 10 at the site of the higher seed.

The OVC resumes on Friday as No. 1 seed Murray State (17-1) takes on Eastern Illinois and No. 2 seed Morehead State (15-3) takes on Tenn Tech. Saturday's final figures to match the top-two seeds and would be a rematch (at a neutral site) of the Feb 25 game in which Morehead State beat Murray St 70-65, ending the Racers' 17-game overall winning streak (also Murray State's lone conference loss this season). Morehead St won this tourney last year and while Murray State has 13 all-time NCAA appearances, they last 'danced' in 2006. The Patriot League resumes play on Sunday (semis), after three of the four top seeds advanced this past Wednesday. No. 1 seed Lehigh is the favorite (will host American) but watch out for Holy Cross which upset Bucknell (No. 2 seed), as the 9-21 Crusaders could be wearing this year's 'slipper' in this league (will play at Lafayette, which it beat at Holy Cross 73-46 on Feb 6).

Binghamton had the No. 1 seed in last year's America East tourney and punched its ticket to the Big Dance by beating UMBC in the title game before losing 86-62 in the NCAA's opening round. Head coach Kevin Broadus was placed on paid leave last October after starting PG Tiki Mayben was arrested on drug charges and five teammates were dismissed for unspecified violations. Mark Macon (former Temple star) was named interim coach but the Bearcats finished 13-18 (8-8) this year. Earlier this week the school announced it was voluntarily withdrawing from the America East Conference tournament, citing "possible distractions" while the school addresses a review of the troubled program. The No. 8 vs. No. 9 game (scheduled for Thursday) was eliminated from the bracket and the teams finishing lower than Binghamton (No. 5 seed) in the conference standings were all moved up one slot with the tourney now beginning on Saturday.

Nine more conference tourneys get started this weekend (Friday through Sunday). I mentioned the
Seven of 30 conference tourneys got underway Tuesday through Thursday (Atlantic Sun, Big South, Horizon League, MVC, Northeast Conference, OVC, and the Patriot League). The only league champ 'safe' for a tourney bid out of this group regardless of the tourney results is No. 12 Butler (26-4) from the Horizon. The Bulldogs were the lone school to go through its respective conference unbeaten (18-0) and the Bulldogs will take an 18-game winning streak into their game on Saturday (had bye into the semifinals). The Bulldogs also get to host any tourney game they play (13-0 TY and winners of 32 of their last 34 home games).

Northern Iowa of the MVC won the regular season title with a 15-3 mark (25-4 overall) but a late-season loss to pathetic Evansville has Panther fans worried. Northern Iowa can ill-afford a loss Friday afternoon to 14-18 Drake. The Atlantic Sun entered its eight-team tourney (bottom three schools didn't participate) with four schools at 14-6 and defending tourney champ East Tenn St seeded fifth at 13-7. Three of those four 14-6 schools lost, including preseason favorite Lipscomb (No. 1 seed). Jacksonville is the only 14-6 team to survive (won regular season title LY but then lost in the tourney) and will play Mercer while East Tenn St gets 13-19 Kennesaw St, which upset Lipscomb. It's definitely "tourney time."

In the Big South, Winthrop (No. 3 seed) easily took care of Radford (LY's regular and tourney champs) on Thursday to advance to Saturday's title game at this year's regular season champ Coastal Carolina (now 28-5 and seeking the school's third NCAA berth and first since 1993). The Chanticleers (can't make up that nickname) are 16-1 at home this year. The higher seeds all got home games in the NEC quarterfinals (four teams sat out the tourney) and all four advanced despite going 0-3-1 ATS. Play resumes Sunday with No. 1 seed Quinnipiac (22-8) hosting 14-16 LIU and No. 2 seed and defending champ Robert Morris (21-11) hosting 16-4 Mount St Mary's. The winners meet March 10 at the site of the higher seed.

The OVC resumes on Friday as No. 1 seed Murray State (17-1) takes on Eastern Illinois and No. 2 seed Morehead State (15-3) takes on Tenn Tech. Saturday's final figures to match the top-two seeds and would be a rematch (at a neutral site) of the Feb 25 game in which Morehead State beat Murray St 70-65, ending the Racers' 17-game overall winning streak (also Murray State's lone conference loss this season). Morehead St won this tourney last year and while Murray State has 13 all-time NCAA appearances, they last 'danced' in 2006. The Patriot League resumes play on Sunday (semis), after three of the four top seeds advanced this past Wednesday. No. 1 seed Lehigh is the favorite (will host American) but watch out for Holy Cross which upset Bucknell (No. 2 seed), as the 9-21 Crusaders could be wearing this year's 'slipper' in this league (will play at Lafayette, which it beat at Holy Cross 73-46 on Feb 6).

Binghamton had the No. 1 seed in last year's America East tourney and punched its ticket to the Big Dance by beating UMBC in the title game before losing 86-62 in the NCAA's opening round. Head coach Kevin Broadus was placed on paid leave last October after starting PG Tiki Mayben was arrested on drug charges and five teammates were dismissed for unspecified violations. Mark Macon (former Temple star) was named interim coach but the Bearcats finished 13-18 (8-8) this year. Earlier this week the school announced it was voluntarily withdrawing from the America East Conference tournament, citing "possible distractions" while the school addresses a review of the troubled program. The No. 8 vs. No. 9 game (scheduled for Thursday) was eliminated from the bracket and the teams finishing lower than Binghamton (No. 5 seed) in the conference standings were all moved up one slot with the tourney now beginning on Saturday.

Nine more conference tourneys get started this weekend (Friday through Sunday). I mentioned the

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Published by: Kyle Ross on Mar 09, 2010
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03/08/2010

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Conference Tournaments
By Larry Ness
 
Seven of 30 conference tourneys got underway Tuesday through Thursday (Atlantic Sun, Big South, Horizon League, MVC,Northeast Conference, OVC, and the Patriot League). The only league champ 'safe' for a tourney bid out of this groupregardless of the tourney results is No. 12 Butler (26-4) from the Horizon. The Bulldogs were the lone school to go through itsrespective conference unbeaten (18-0) and the Bulldogs will take an 18-game winning streak into their game on Saturday(had bye into the semifinals). The Bulldogs also get to host any tourney game they play (13-0 TY and winners of 32 of their last 34 home games).Northern Iowa of the MVC won the regular season title with a 15-3 mark (25-4 overall) but a late-season loss to patheticEvansville has Panther fans worried. Northern Iowa can ill-afford a loss Friday afternoon to 14-18 Drake. The Atlantic Sunentered its eight-team tourney (bottom three schools didn't participate) with four schools at 14-6 and defending tourneychamp East Tenn St seeded fifth at 13-7. Three of those four 14-6 schools lost, including preseason favorite Lipscomb (No. 1seed). Jacksonville is the only 14-6 team to survive (won regular season title LY but then lost in the tourney) and will playMercer while East Tenn St gets 13-19 Kennesaw St, which upset Lipscomb. It's definitely "tourney time."In the Big South, Winthrop (No. 3 seed) easily took care of Radford (LY's regular and tourney champs) on Thursday toadvance to Saturday's title game at this year's regular season champ Coastal Carolina (now 28-5 and seeking the school'sthird NCAA berth and first since 1993). The Chanticleers (can't make up that nickname) are 16-1 at home this year. Thehigher seeds all got home games in the NEC quarterfinals (four teams sat out the tourney) and all four advanced despitegoing 0-3-1 ATS. Play resumes Sunday with No. 1 seed Quinnipiac (22-8) hosting 14-16 LIU and No. 2 seed and defendingchamp Robert Morris (21-11) hosting 16-4 Mount St Mary's. The winners meet March 10 at the site of the higher seed.The OVC resumes on Friday as No. 1 seed Murray State (17-1) takes on Eastern Illinois and No. 2 seed Morehead State(15-3) takes on Tenn Tech. Saturday's final figures to match the top-two seeds and would be a rematch (at a neutral site) of the Feb 25 game in which Morehead State beat Murray St 70-65, ending the Racers' 17-game overall winning streak (alsoMurray State's lone conference loss this season). Morehead St won this tourney last year and while Murray State has 13 all-time NCAA appearances, they last 'danced' in 2006. The Patriot League resumes play on Sunday (semis), after three of thefour top seeds advanced this past Wednesday. No. 1 seed Lehigh is the favorite (will host American) but watch out for HolyCross which upset Bucknell (No. 2 seed), as the 9-21 Crusaders could be wearing this year's 'slipper' in this league (will playat Lafayette, which it beat at Holy Cross 73-46 on Feb 6).Binghamton had the No. 1 seed in last year's America East tourney and punched its ticket to the Big Dance by beatingUMBC in the title game before losing 86-62 in the NCAA's opening round. Head coach Kevin Broadus was placed on paidleave last October after starting PG Tiki Mayben was arrested on drug charges and five teammates were dismissed for unspecified violations. Mark Macon (former Temple star) was named interim coach but the Bearcats finished 13-18 (8-8) thisyear. Earlier this week the school announced it was voluntarily withdrawing from the America East Conference tournament,citing "possible distractions" while the school addresses a review of the troubled program. The No. 8 vs. No. 9 game(scheduled for Thursday) was eliminated from the bracket and the teams finishing lower than Binghamton (No. 5 seed) in theconference standings were all moved up one slot with the tourney now beginning on Saturday.Nine more conference tourneys get started this weekend (Friday through Sunday). I mentioned the America East tourney inmy earlier article this week and here will comment on the other eight, listed in alphabetical order by conference. Weber Stwon the
Big Sky
tourney in 2007, making the school's 14th NCAA appearance. The Wildcats won the regular season lastyear (15-1) but lost on its home court in the tourney to Portland St. Weber State (13-3) is back as the No. 1 seed and willonce again host the tourney where the Eagles have won 12 straight since losing heir season opener at the Dee EventsCenter 66-60 to Utah. Portland St, which has won this tourney the last two years, comes in just 12-17 (7-9) and Weber State's biggest threat comes from Northern Colorado in just its third season as a Division I member. The Bears went 5-24 in2005-06 and 4-24 the following year but this year come in 24-6 and at 12-4 in league play, as the No. 2 seed (top-two seedsget byes into the semifinals).A number of experts seem to think that Old Dominion (23-8 / 15-3) will get an at-large invite even if the Monarchs don't winthe
Colonial Athletic Association
tourney but I'm not convinced. The top four seeds get byes into the quarterfinals and thatdoesn't include last year's regular season and tourney champ Virginia Commonwealth (20-8 / 11-7) which this year is seeded just fifth. VCU has won the last three regular season titles with two NCAA appearances in 2007 and 2009 (nine all-time).ODU last 'danced' in 2007 (its 9th NCAA trip) but there is some sentiment for both No. 2 seed Northeastern (19-11 / 14-4)which last danced in 1991 (Jim Calhoun led the Huskies to five NCAA appearances from 1981-1986) and No. 3 William &Mary (20-9 / 12-6) which has never danced (lone postseason appearance was an NIT invite back in 1982-83).Siena head coach Fran McCaffery leads the Saints into the
Metro Athletic Association
tourney with a 24-6 overall recordand the No. 1 seed with a 17-1 league mark. Siena has won both the MAAC’s regular season and tournament titles the lasttwo years, crushing 4th-seeded Vanderbilt 83-62 in the 2008 NCAA tournament and then last season beating Ohio State 74-72 in double overtime. When McCaffery led the Saints to the 2008 NCAA tourney, he became just the 31st coach to takethree different programs to the Big Dance and he is the first to do so with three programs from one-bid leagues (conference's

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