Last Update: 9:58 AM
*denotes recent update
Yesterday was an unbelievable day of wild finishes, blown leads, and lots of overtimes. Can today provide anything like that? Well, there are some more great games, and some huge CTC implications all day. Another day “lost” to the roundball…
BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP (80 points)
A great, crazy Big East tournament is down to two, including the 9-seed, UConn. Scoot is leading the Big East, but Stri (the only one with Louisville) will win the Big East title with a win by the ‘Ville. Scoot will hold on if UConn wins.
#3 Louisville vs. #9 Connecticut
Can Kemba do it again? Walker has been off-the-charts this week and watching him play is just amazing. The Cards have surprised people all year, so why not one more time? The Big East tournament never disappoints, so expect a great game in the Garden tonight. Either way, it should be a great coaching matchup between two of the best of all-time. Stri is the only one that even has a shot at this, as he has Louisville.
*FINAL SCORE: Connecticut 69 – Louisville 66
What have you done in the last 5 days? Well, Kemba Walker played 190 minutes of basketball (154 of them were in the past 4 days against ranked teams), scored 133 points (46 more than the previous Big East tournament record), won 5 games, and took home the MVP along with his team’s Big East championship trophy. Unbelievable! And, to all of those who say these conference tournaments don’t matter in the rich conferences because they’re only playing for seeding – you’re dead-wrong. No matter what happens the rest of the way, UConn has a banner to fly and ridiculous memories to hang on to, and THAT is why we have sports. For memories, for pride. And UConn has both of them to take away in spades from MSG. Oh, and they robbed Stri of being the only one to nail the Big East champ.
BIG XII CHAMPIONSHIP (80 points)
The best two teams in the Big XII survived the week to meet in a great Big XII final. Bry, the current Big XII leader, will win the conference with a Kansas win. Gersh will steal the crown if Texas wins today.
#1 Kansas vs. #2 Texas
A 6:00 pm start time for one of the best games of the year. A great KU team against an almost great UT team will battle for the Big XII title. Texas has not really been that tested, as they cruised by a bad OU team and then kept A&M at arm’s length all game yesterday. On the other hand, KU has had it rough this week. They survived a one-point game against Okie State in the quarters and then trailed for much of the game against Colorado yesterday. But, they are both here and the score is 0-0. The Morrises have been fantastic this week and we will see how they are against a good, athletic, and skilled frontline of UT. A huge game for CTC purposes, particularly at the very top, as the overall leader, J, has Texas, and his three closest pursuants – Bry, Rikey, and Lohse – all have Kansas. Stri, Alexi, KA, Dan, and Mac also have KU. Doogan, Gersh, and Gross have Texas here. Everyone else has already lost it.
FINAL SCORE: Kansas 85 – Texas 73
Today, Kansas looked like the Final Four favorite that they truly are. They pretty much dominated a good Texas team from start to finish and probably locked up a #1 seed in the pairings that will be announced tomorrow night. KU is now 8-1 in Big XII championship games, while Texas is 0-6 (4 were against KU). 8 people hit this game, and J falls to 0-2 in games that would have clinched him the overall title. He has one chance left (tomorrow’s SEC championship) or he is going to think back on what could have been.
PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIP (80 points)
The two most talented Pac-10 teams arrive in the finals today in LA. If Arizona wins today, Gersh will take the Pac-10 title. If Washington wins, Lynch will grab the crown.
#1 Arizona vs. #3 Washington
Arizona knocked off the suddenly-trendy bubble pick of USC yesterday, while UW got a break facing Oregon and took advantage. The inside game of Arizona and some guy named Derrick Williams will battle the guard-oriented Washington team and some guy named Isaiah Thomas. Both teams should be in The Dance, but UW would like to get the auto-bid, just in case. Lynch and Gross have UW here. Bry, J, both Lohses, KA, Teddy, Scoot, Rikey, Gersh, and Mac all have Arizona.
FINAL SCORE: Washington 77 – Arizona 75 (OT)
It’s probably not smart to say this before the Big East game has ended, but this was, by far, the best ending in a weekend that was jam-packed with great endings. And, it just so happens, the great Gus Johnson was on the mike. I thought he was going to explode when C.J. Wilcox hit a three for UW to send it to OT. Then, he took it to yet another level when Kevin Parrom hit a game-tying three for Arizona with :06 seconds left in OT. And, then I think he actually DID explode when Isaiah Thomas hit a ridiculous shot at the buzzer to win it for the Huskies. When the shot went in (and, trust me, I watched it about 87 times just to hear Gus), he just yelled, “OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!” Then, he composed himself (relatively) enough to scream at top volume “COLD-BLOODED!” Ya, it was amazing. Thanks, Gus, my life is better because of you. Lynch and Gross’s life is a little bit better, also, because they had the Huskies here.
ATLANTIC 10 SEMIFINALS (40 points each)
One game between two teams that had to win on the road on Tuesday just to get to AC, and another game between two of the league’s best teams. Bubble teams around the country have joined us here at BSB as die-hard Temple fans – at least for the next two days.
#9 Dayton vs. #12 St. Joe’s
One of these teams will be in the A-10 championship game – which is an amazing thing to think. Dayton, who eliminated their arch-rival and top-seed Xavier yesterday after winning big in UMass on Tuesday. St. Joe’s went into GW and beat the Colonials on Tuesday and then came to AC and ended Duquesne’s quest for a tournament berth. Chris Wright, Chris Johnson, and Jawan Staten (who is gonna be incredible) lead a very talented Dayton team that just underachieved all year. This is not your typical 9-seed. Clearly, no one has either of these teams even in this game, let alone winning it.
FINAL SCORE: Dayton 64 – St. Joe’s 61
A spirited finish to another disappointing season for the Hawks, but Chris Wright goes for 17 points, 15 boards, and 5 assists to send Dayton to the title game, where they’ll have a chance to steal a tourney bid.
#2 Temple vs. #3 Richmond
The Owls offense looked really, really good for the second straight game against LaSalle yesterday, dropping a cool 96 with a very balanced offense. It looks like Scootie Randall may miss another game today, so Aaron Brown may be in the starting lineup again, but Khalief Wyatt is really the third guard in crunch time. The Spiders – the only team with two first-team all-A10 players – probably need another win here to go back to the tournament to erase the memories of a disappointing first-round loss to St. Mary’s last year. The Spiders will need to play defense like they did yesterday when they held Rhode Island to less than half what Temple scored against LaSalle. A pretty big swing game here, especially for Rikey, who can gain on all the other leaders if Richmond wins here. Doogan, Alexi, Waters, and Scoot all have the Spiders along with Rikey. Waters is the only one with Richmond winning the title. Stri, Lil Lohse, Cheryl, Dave, Gersh, Primm, and Mac all have Temple winning here, but not in the finals. Bry, J, Lynch, Lohse, KA, Teddy, Dan, and Gross all have TU winning this tournament.
FINAL SCORE: Richmond 58 – Temple 54
The first A-10 tournament loss in the career of Temple senior Lavoy Allen comes today in the semis to a Richmond team that probably just put themselves in the Dance. The big two for Richmond – Kevin Anderson and Justin Harper – combined for 40 of the Spiders 58, and the defense held a Temple team to almost half of what they scored last night against LaSalle. Juan Fernandez was really bad for the Owls today, going just 3-17 from the floor and missing the front-end of a key 1-and-1 down the stretch. Waters keeps his champ alive, and 4 other people get this pick right.
ACC SEMIFINALS (40 points each)
With Chris Singleton out for FSU, we probably have the league’s four best teams in the semis today. Should be a pretty good double-header.
#1 North Carolina vs. #4 Clemson
UNC barely survived Miami yesterday, while Clemson took it to BC in an easy quarterfinal win. These two teams will now play for the right to go to the ACC championship game. This could be a big game because if Duke has to play without Nolan Smith, the winner of this game may enter the championship game as a favorite. Watch for which UNC guard Brad Brownell decides to guard with his great perimeter defender, Demontez Stitt. Teddy and Dave have already lost this game (BC); Lohse has the big upset pick with Clemson. Everyone else has UNC. Stri, Waters, Scoot, Cheryl, Dan, Primm, Gross, and Mac all have the Heels winning the tournament.
FINAL SCORE: North Carolina 92 – Clemson 87 (OT)
This game was reminiscent of a few already today and also UNC’s win yesterday, as Clemson leads all game until a Tar Heel comeback sends it to OT on a nice Tyler Zeller hook shot. The emergence of Harrison Barnes hit a new high point. The freshman looked Jimmer-esque, scoring 40. He’s now averaging nearly 20 points over the Heels’ last 13 games. Clemson will have to keep their fingers crossed trying to get into the field tomorrow night. Lohse just misses his upset pick.
#2 Duke vs. # 6 Virginia Tech
I’m not gonna lie, I was really hoping for that Derwin Kitchen shot to count and beat Va Tech, just for the humor of watching the Hokies on the bubble again. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind Seth Greenberg, and I really like this Va Tech team, but the humor of three straight years as the first one out would be too much. But, now, they are probably in. A win today will assure that. As for Duke, it should be interesting to see what they do without Nolan Smith (assuming he doesn’t play). Seth Curry did a good job with the offense at the end of the Maryland game yesterday, but if he the long-term answer? There is no doubt that he can run this team offensively – maybe almost as well as Smith – but he is quite a liability on defense, and this team is already a bit questionable on that end. I think that, if we focus on his three-pointers and offensive awareness, we may not notice a huge difference, but let’s pay attention to the points allowed difference with Curry in the lineup as opposed to Smith. Waters, Primm, and Gross have already lost this game (FSU). Lynch and Cheryl have the nice upset pick here of Va Tech, with Lynch having them win it all. Everyone else has Duke here. Bry, Doogan, J, Alexi, both Lohses, KA, Teddy, Rikey, Dave, and Gersh all have Duke winning the tournament.
FINAL SCORE: Duke 77 – Virginia Tech 63
In their third game in three days and after playing only 6 players in yesterday’s game, Virginia Tech didn’t have enough in the tank today against the Dukies and a not-so-hobbled Nolan Smith, who dropped 27 in a game where many thought he wouldn’t even play. The Blue Devils advance to the ACC finals against who else – UNC. Lynch and Cheryl missed this big upset pick, with Lynch losing his champ.
BIG TEN SEMIFINALS (40 points each)
A bit of an odd final four in the Big Ten comes together today. With Purdue and Wisconsin going down yesterday, the OT survival of OSU gives them a pretty wide open path to the title – but there is still that guy named Izzo.
#1 Ohio State vs. #4 Michigan
The best team in America needed OT to beat the 8th-best team in the Big Ten yesterday, but like last year, when the Buckeyes barely survived their quarterfinal, they can still cut down the nets. Speaking of that game last year, it was at the expense of a Michigan team that thought they had a huge win to put themselves into at-large conversation. This year, they already have that win – beating Illinois yesterday – and should be in regardless of today’s result. But, they are playing incredibly well right now and should be dangerous. Lynch had Illinois winning this game, so he has already lost it. Dave is the only one with Michigan. The other 18 all have OSU, with a dozen picking the Buckeyes to win it.
FINAL SCORE: Ohio St. 68 – Michigan 61
John Bielein is reminding everyone how good of a coach he is, getting the Wolverines back to the Dance, but the Buckeyes were too tough in this one, riding a Jared Sullinger double-double into tomorrow’s Big Ten title game. Dave misses his upset attempt.
#6 Penn State vs. #7 Michigan State
No one will argue that this MSU team is immensely talented and incredibly well-coached. The question is, then, why are they on the bubble? They have been very disappointing, but maybe finding their stride at the right time. Kalin Lucas look dynamic yesterday, which makes this team really tough to defend. Penn State scored 36 in an elimination game yesterday – and are playing again today. What?!? Well, this senior-laden team is trying to take one last shot at the tournament and might get themselves in with a win today. No one has PSU winning this game. J and Primm are the only two with MSU winning here. A Michigan State win might seal up the overall title for J.
FINAL SCORE: Penn State 61 – Michigan State 48
A day after holding the Badgers to 33 points, the Nittany Lions did it again – this time to Michigan State, holding the Spartans to 48 points on just 32% shooting. Taylor Battle had 25 for the Lions, who may have punched their ticket to the Dance, but have a chance to make it official tomorrow against OSU. J misses the first of three chances to officially clinch the overall title here, as he and Primm miss on this upset pick.
SEC SEMIFINALS (40 points each)
Alabama came from way down to crash the Eastern Division’s coronation today in the SEC semis.
#1W Alabama vs. #2E Kentucky
Alabama should be out and NIT-bound, but their NCAA hopes are still alive after a miracle comeback against Georgia yesterday. Joe Lunardi actually has the Tide (and their 82 RPI) in the field as of today. A win here against UK should cement that. Kentucky, who, as usual, is mostly freshmen, is starting to play some good basketball down the stretch, but they didn’t look dominant against Ole Miss yesterday. Everyone is alive here. Lynch and KA are the only two with Alabama. Everyone else has UK, with 12 having the Wildcats win the tournament. KA has the Tide rolling to the SEC title.
FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 72 – Alabama 58
An impressive performance by the Wildcats, as this game was not even as close as the score indicates. They’ll get Florida or Vandy tomorrow in what should be an excellent SEC title game. 18 of the 20 CTC’ers hit this “upset” pick.
#1E Florida vs. #3E Vanderbilt
This Florida team is very, very good and survived a really tough Tennessee team yesterday. Vandy held off Mississippi State as John Jenkins comes back in style. This should be a great game, as these two teams play for the shot at an SEC title and better seeding in tomorrow’s announcement. Alexi, Lynch, Lil Lohse, and Primm have already lost this game with either Tennessee or Mississippi State. Bry, Doogan, J, Lohse, Teddy, Gersh, and Gross all have Vandy. Everyone else has Florida, including Stri, Waters, Cheryl, and Mac, who have UF winning the title. Doogan and J both have Vandy cutting down the nets.
FINAL SCORE: Florida 77 – Vanderbilt 66
Down for nearly the entire first half, the Gators came out of the locker room on a mission and blew out Vandy in the second half, 49-30. This is the 7th time this year and twice in as many days that UF has turned a halftime deficit into a victory. Doogan and J lose their champ. Bry also loses this game, and Rikey gets it right.
MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP (64 points)
Round Three between two of the best teams in the history of the M-West should be fantastic today. I have been waiting for this game all week. There will be at least one champion here with a perfect bracket. Bry and J will both go perfect if SDSU wins. Stri will hit perfection with a BYU win.
#1 BYU vs. #2 San Diego State
With all due respect to the Kansas-Texas Big XII title game, this game here is the game of the day. And, that is really saying something for a game on the Versus Network. We all know now what The Jimmer did yesterday, so we will see if he has an encore in store. The key to this one – as it was in their first two meetings – will be the pace of play. SDSU is much more comfortable in the 50s, while BYU would like to run in the 80s. Last time they met, SDSU used Billy White on Fredette, and his athleticism did give him some trouble, but he got really worn out very quickly. Steve Fisher will have to recognize when White is gassed and switch him off or he could be staring at a 10-0 Jimmer run. Another huge storyline in this one is how different will BYU be this time around on the frontline without their leading rebounder in Davies. Can Leonard, White, and Malcolm Thomas take full advantage of their big size advantage now? It will probably change the dynamic of this game, at least. Another matchup that might decide this game is which point guard plays better – Jackson Emery for BYU or D.J. Gay for the Aztecs. Personally, I like Gay a lot more as a player, but it should be interesting because Gay is so incredibly good with the basketball, and Emery is so adept at taking it away. 18 of the 20 have a horse in this race. KA and Gross have lost with UNLV. Stri, Lohse, Teddy, Dan, and Gersh have BYU. The other 13 have SDSU.
FINAL SCORE: San Diego State 72 – BYU 54
Okay, I am going to make the case one more time: is it me or is it almost ridiculous to think SDSU is ANYTHING BUT a #1-seed in the NCAA tournament? I really don’t get it. They are 31-2. They tied for the regular season title and won the conference tournament in the 4th-rated conference in America. They beat UNLV three times, including twice on the road. Their ONLY 2 losses were against BYU – a top-10 team who they hammered here on the eve of Selection Sunday. For all those who say that they didn’t play anyone – their SOS is 46 and their RPI is 3. THREE! And, here’s the key part – can you name me four teams more deserving?
- Kansas? Sure.
- Ohio State? Definitely if they win tomorrow; but, even if they don’t, sure.
- The Carolina/Duke winner tomorrow? Okay.
- The Carolina/Duke loser? Definitely not if it’s Carolina. Probably not even Duke, either. The Dukies lost to Va Tech, St. John’s, and FSU this year. All tournament teams, to be sure, but BYU (the only team to beat SDSU) is a lot better than any of those three.
- Notre Dame? They have 6 losses, an RPI of 7, and they only won one game in their conference tournament and didn’t even make the finals.
- Pitt? They lost 5 games; their RPI is 9; and, they didn’t win a single game in their conference tournament.
- Texas? 13 RPI and got pounded by Kansas today. No way.
- The Big East winner tonight? Don’t even try and give me UConn – they were NINTH in their conference. And, Louisville as an RPI of 15 and a loss to Providence.
- Florida? Not terrible resume, but losses to Jacksonville, South Carolina, and Ole Miss probably kill any chance.
- BYU? Do I have to answer that?
My point: Give the Aztecs a #1-seed! But, they won’t. They will be a 3-seed and it’ll be a joke. Anyway, Jimmer had 30 tonight in a losing effort to Bill White and his 21 points, 12 rebound, and 5 steals. 13 people got this right.
CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP (48 points)
It is hard to say that these are not the two best teams in C-USA, regardless of their seedings. This should be a real war – starting at 11:30 am – on CBS. If Memphis wins, Lynch will take the C-USA title. Lil Lohse will be the 2011 C-USA champ if UTEP wins.
#3 UTEP vs. #4 Memphis
What a huge game here for these two teams. One of them will go to the tournament to erase the thought of this disappointing season. The other will be playing in the NIT with the constant memories of what could have been in 2011. Randy Culpepper, the senior star for UTEP, will try to go out with another trip to the Dance, while Joe Jackson, the highly-touted freshman for Memphis, will try and salvage what was otherwise a rather disappointing freshman season. This is another big CTC game. Bry, Doogan, Lil Lohse, Cheryl, Dave, and Gross all have UTEP winning the title. J, Waters, and Lynch all have Memphis winning it.
FINAL SCORE: Memphis 67 – UTEP 66
It just doesn’t stop this time of year. UTEP leads the entire game, but Joe Jackson gets fouled on a drive to the basket with 7 seconds left, makes both free throws to put the Tigers up by a point, and UTEP can’t get a bucket at the other end. Josh Pastner has his first NCAA bid as a head coach, and the Miners miss out on a second straight berth in heart-breaking fashion. J, Waters, and Lynch correctly pick the 4th-seeded Tigers for a nice pickup here.
WAC CHAMPIONSHIP (32 points)
Not surprising that USU is here, and the way the Aggies have played all year, it might not even matter. Waters has already clinched the 2011 WAC championship.
#1 Utah State vs. #2 Boise State
One team cruised through a blowout win yesterday, while the other struggled and was a long, late jumper away from maybe getting beat. Well, USU against #8 San Jose State is the latter – they almost lost. Boise State hammered #3 New Mexico State and enters this game with a lot of momentum. But, it might not matter, as 17th-ranked USU is clearly the best team in this conference. Bubble teams across the land are rooting for USU here because they will probably get in regardless. Boise has one shot and one shot only to steal a bid – win this game. KA was the only one of the 20 entries not to take USU to win this tournament, as she had Hawaii and is just hoping for a Boise win here to zero everyone out.
*FINAL SCORE: Utah State 77 – Boise State 69
You have to hand it to the Broncos – they really never gave up, even as the Aggies kept hitting them with seeming knockout punches. But, in the end, Boise just didn’t have the horses to take out the 17th-ranked team in America. WAC POY, Tai Wesley, led the Aggies with 19. Everyone except KA hit this champion.
MAC CHAMPIONSHIP (32 points)
Akron’s 5th straight trip to the MAC title game will end like 3 of the first 4 ended, unless they can upset Kent State today. Either way, J and Doogan will share the 2011 MAC title belt.
#1 Kent State vs. #6 Akron
Kent State arrives here with two workmanlike victories over Buffalo and Ball State. Akron arrives with anything but, as they needed two OTs to beat Miami (OH) in the quarters and then they shook off the fatigue to beat W. Michigan. The Zips are playing really well, but the Golden Flashes are the conference’s best team. No one has Akron winning this tournament. Bry, Doogan, J, Stri, Alexi, Waters, Dan, Rikey, Gersh, Primm, Gross, and Mac all have KSU.
FINAL SCORE: Akron 66 – Kent State 65 (OT)
In another chapter in a viscous rivalry ended with a flurry of blocked shots, the final buzzer, and a lot of pushing and shoving between players and coaches alike, but, when the smoke cleared, the Akron Zips were left standing and ready to dance. The last two minutes of this game were as good and exciting as any you will ever see, but Akron is used to that, as they have played countless OT sessions in this five-year run of going to the MAC title game every year. No one hit this and a lot of people missed on KSU.
IVY LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP (20 bonus points)
In a CTC-first, we are adding a bonus for the Ivy League’s one-game playoff (partially inspired by the CTC veteran who is a Harvard alum who may be witnessing the first NCAA appearance for the Crimson since 1946). I have to say that the Ivy League does it right (granted, they have the advantage of not needing any revenue from sports, so money is never a motivation, leaving all decision strictly for competition purposes). They play the true round-robin on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the year. They have long-standing travel partners, which creates real good rivalries. And, as much as I love the conference tournaments, they decide their auto-bid the fairest way – over a full year. And, if a regular season isn’t enough, they play a one-game playoff on a neutral site. And, that neutral site is the Ivy school that is most equidistant between the two. Today, it will be played in Yale – for all the marbles. Fantastic!
Harvard (12-2) vs. Princeton (12-2)
The preseason predictions pegged Princeton as the Ivy favorites, but only slightly above Harvard. I think that history may have weighed upon that decision, as Princeton has a phenomenal basketball history, and Harvard, well, doesn’t. Princeton has made 23 NCAA tournament, and actually won 13 tournament games. Harvard has made ONE, and that was 65 years ago. They went 0-2 in that tournament (not really sure how that worked, we weren’t exactly running a CTC back then). So, it all comes down to this. As for the bonus, J, Stri, Waters, Lynch, and Cheryl are the only 5 entries that went with Princeton. The rest of the field thinks that the Harvard drought is going to end today.
FINAL SCORE: Princeton 63 – Harvard 62
An absolute stomach-punch game, to say the least, for the Crimson. Having not made the NCAA tournament in 65 years, they took a 62-61 lead with :11 seconds left on a Brandyn Curry layup. They just needed one stop and they appeared to get it, but the ball was knocked out of bounds and remained Princeton’s ball with 2.8 seconds left. Douglas Davis took the inbounds play, pump-faked his defender in the air and hit a fallaway jumper that just beat the buzzer and sends the Tigers to the tournament. The Crimson may still have an outside shot at an at-large bid, but their chances may be slim. J, Stri, Waters, Lynch, and Cheryl earned the first ever bonus points in CTC history.
BIG WEST CHAMPIONSHIP (16 points)
The best team in the regular season will take on the preseason favorites in a pretty good Big West final. With all 20 entries having LBSU winning here, the current leader, J, will take the 2011 Big West title.
#1 Long Beach State vs. #5 UC-Santa Barbara
This game should actually be really good. Orlando Johnson and the UCSB Gouchos are playing their best ball, and they were the preseason pick to win this conference. But, LBSU is a fantastic team, led by a trio of super juniors in Ware, Anderson, and Robinson. Next year was supposed to be the year for The Beach, but why not now? Everyone has LBSU winning this tournament.
FINAL SCORE: UC-Santa Barbara 64 – Long Beach State 56
Personally, I am a little upset about this result because I loved watching The Beach play and was looking forward to see what Dan Monson’s team could do next week in the Big Dance. Instead, we’ll have to pick them as an NIT sleeper, as the Gouchos, led by their star (who you might hear a lot about in the next 4-5 days), Orlando Johnson, flat-out beat the 49ers. Everyone got this one wrong.
AMERICA EAST CHAMPIONSHIP (16 points)
This league has been dark for almost a week now, but it is time to pick it back up with the championship game in Boston. Doogan, who has already wrapped up the 2011 Am-East title, will get it with perfection if BU can win.
#2 Boston U vs. #5 Stony Brook
Stony Brook pulled off the big upset of Vermont last Sunday in Hartford in the semifinals to advance to the finals today. BU benefitted almost as much as SB with the UVM upset because that means that the Terriers, after beating the hosts Hartford, get to host the championship game today. No one has Stony Brook winning the Am East, but 7 people do have BU – Doogan, J, Waters, Lohse, Lil Lohse, KA, and Dave.
FINAL SCORE: Boston U 56- Stony Brook 54
Maybe not a “good” game here, but yet another that came right down to the final seconds. BU started the game shooting 3-21 from the field and trailed by 15 in the 2nd half before launching a comeback. A pretty bogus foul call with the game tied and 2.5 seconds left put the Terriers on the line, where they took their first lead of the game and the conference championship. It’s a sad day in Eastern Long Island and for Nickname Bracket fans, as the Sea Wolves fall just short. 7 entries, including our leader J, pick BU to win this tournament and are rewarded.
MEAC CHAMPIONSHIP (16 points)
Probably the best final the MEAC could give us is between a highly talented Hampton team against the two-time defending champs, Morgan State. If Hampton wins, Doogan will take this title. If Morgan State wins, Lynch will come from behind to steal the belt.
#2 Hampton vs. #4 Morgan State
Hampton has absolutely rolled through this tournament with a pair of 24-point wins over some of the MEAC’s weaker competition. Morgan State has won two straight game 61-48 against some of the better competition in this conference. Now, the two teams who have been on a collision course to this game all year, will settle it all on the court. As I said above, this is probably the best the MEAC has to offer, so it could be, well, watchable, at least. Alexi, Waters, and Lynch have Morgan State winning this tournament. Bry, Doogan, J, Teddy, Dan, Rikey, Gersh, and Primm all have Hampton. Everyone else had someone already eliminated.
FINAL SCORE: Hampton 60 – Morgan State 55
The three straight regular season titles ended this year for Morgan State, and now the two straight tournament title streak is over as well. Brandon Tunnell basically took this game over for the Pirates, and they are going dancing – probably in Dayton in the First Four. 8 people got this champ correct.
SOUTHLAND CHAMPIONSHIP (16 points)
A crazy SL regular season might end up with the top-seed winning the tournament. No matter what, Dave will take this title here in 2011.
#1 McNeese State vs. #7 UT-San Antonio
McNeese has shown some versatility in this tournament, winning their quarterfinal 61-54 and then turning around and beating Texas State 91-83 in the semis. The Roadrunners like to run, upsetting Northwestern State 97-96 in the quarters and then stopping a very good Sam Houston State team in the semis. It is not surprising that no one has the #7-seed winning this tournament, but it is very surprising that only 2 people (Stri and Scoot) have the #1-seed, McNeese State.
FINAL SCORE: UT-San Antonio 75 – McNeese State 72
The craziness of the SL season ends with the #7-seed winning the tournament. Welcome to the First Four, UTSA! Jeromie Hill, a freshman, was the star, scoring 25 for the Roadrunners. Stri and Scoot miss out on hitting a champion pick.
SWAC CHAMPIONSHIP (16 points)
A crazy SWAC tournament (after a non-crazy regular season) has a First Four play-in game today between two teams that never even competed for a bad conference in the regular season. If Alabama State wins this game, Lynch will take the SWAC title in 2011. If Grambling wins, there will be a three-way tie between KA, Teddy, and Dave.
#4 Alabama State vs. #6 Grambling State
Not exactly the final SWAC followers expected, as this league was dominated by three teams all year, and none of them are here in the finals. The winner of this game will advance to Dayton to play in the inaugural First Four. Everyone is out of this game, except one – Lynch – who has Alabama State.
FINAL SCORE: Alabama State 65 – Grambling State 48
Grambling actually had a 2-point lead at halftime in this game, but ASU scored 28 of the first 32 points scored in the second half to put it away and clinch a spot in the First Four. We can now probably guarantee Alabama State, AR-Little Rock, and UT-San Antonio in the First Four. The big question is who will be the 4th auto bid there? It is probably between UC-Santa Barbara, Hampton, St. Peter’s, and Long Island. I don’t think it’ll be LIU because they, at least, won their league. I think it will either be UCSB or Hampton. Lynch nailed this great champion pick to win the SWAC.
GREAT WEST CHAMPIONSHIP (16 points)
The battle of the Dakotas in a tournament that must have been incredibly exciting all week. Lohse, the current leader, will win the title if SD wins. If ND wins, there will be a four-way split of this title between J, Dan, Gersh, and Mac.
#3 North Dakota vs. #4 South Dakota
There is no NCAA tournament berth on the line (First Four or not), but the prestigious Great West tournament title is. South Dakota survived an OT game against Chicago State in the quarters, and then beat the host and 1-seed Utah Valley yesterday. North Dakota is here after beating two of the three worst teams in Division-I (by a combined 3 points). Only one entry (Lohse) has South Dakota, but 6 have North Dakota (J, KA, Scoot, Dan, Gersh, and Mac).
*FINAL SCORE: North Dakota 77 – South Dakota 76 (2 OTs)
Honestly, how amazing must the Great West tournament have been? You know, other than the bad basketball. This one went to double-OT and Josh Schuler hit a three with :04 seconds left in the second OT to give the Fighting Sioux the title and the auto-bid…to the CBI. 6 people hit the champ here.