Sunday, March 6, 2005

Conference Tournament Watch - 3/6/2005

Yesterday's Qualifiers

  • Atlantic Sun: Central Florida (A positive note to move to Conference USA on)
  • Big South: Winthrop (returning after a 3 year absence)
  • Ohio Valley: Eastern Kentucky (The last time this team was in the Tournament, Larry Bird's Indiana State was #1 and heading for a showdown with Magic Johnson and Michigan State.)
  • SoCon: Chattanooga (who have come so close the last 2 years)
Already in

  • Ivy League: Penn (Who won the Ivy title going away)
The rest of the conferences
(all times Central.
RPI of top seeds and bubble teams in parentheses. RPI numbers from Ken Pomeroy)

America East

Vermont(23) had no trouble with Maryland-Baltimore County. Taylor Coppenrath, the best player you've never heard of, had 33 points in the game to lead the Catamounts.
Vermont now takes on Tony Kornheiser's alma mater, Binghamton, later today in the semifinals. However, not even the pull of Kornheiser can get this game on TV.

Big Sky

Tournament Resumes Tuesday with #1 seed Portland State(161) in action.


The Tournament starts March 10, but we know that the top 4 seeds are, in order: Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech. Texas, however, is a solid #5, and may have played itself off the bubble yesterday with
a win at OSU.


Old Dominion(35) easily handles William and Mary. But that's what happens when you play 5 on 2. (rimshot)

On a more serious note, the Monarchs next face Hoftstra today(2:00 PM, ESPNU), a team that beat them two weeks ago.


Wisconsin-Milwaukee(60) hosts Dick Vitale's old school, The University of Detroit Tuesday. Vitale, of course, is doing the ACC Tournament.

Metro Atlantic

Niagra(101) takes on Iona in today's semifinals. No TV.


Their tournament kicks off tomorrow with 7 quality RPI teams fighting for the 1 automatic bid with the rest looking at the NIT if they don't win. Sad, really.


Oral Roberts(92), the team, beat Southern Utah and next faces the winner of today's game between IUPUI and Western Illinois. Oral Roberts, the televangelist, guarantees that God will help his team to victory if you send him money.


Tournament kicks off tomorrow, with the winner likely to be in the play-in game.
Top seed: Delaware State (134)
Top RPI: Coppin State (113)

Missouri Valley

Upset Alert: Did the bubble burst for Northern Iowa(32)?
The Panthers lose to Southwest Missouri State, and now, like Davidson and Arkansas-Little Rock, have perilously placed their fate in the hands of the Selection Committee.

Northern Iowa's loss may be a gain for Wichita State(37) and Creighton(66), who won their games easily and now face each other in the semifinals today. Either one can now can reach the finals and still get a tournament berth regardless of the outcome. That is, if Top seed Southern Illinois(12) can make the finals and avoid an upset at the hands of Southwest Missouri State, who have one high RPI scalp already.


As mentioned yesterday, Top seeded Monmouth(166) takes on Wagner today.

Trivia: Monmouth biggest pop culture claim to fame is a brief mention in the Kevin Smith cult classic Clerks. In the movie,
Veronica, Dante's girlfriend, tranferred from Princeton to Monmouth to be closer to him. Then they have the fight about... oh, heck, just rent it sometime...


The seeds are set, see
Sports and Bremertonians for details.


Holy Cross (43) takes on Lehigh today. No TV.

Sun Belt

Upset Alert:
Arkansas Little-Rock(38) loses to Florida International 69-64. Has the bubble burst for them also?

Top seed Denver U. (103) breezes past Arkanas State, much to the dismay of
S&B's Jeremy, who is transferring there next year.

Today's games:
  • Western Kentucky(58) takes on New Orleans (6:30 ESPNU), Winner plays Denver
  • Louisiana-Lafayette (49) faces Middle Tennessee State (9:00 ESPNU), Winner plays FIU

West Coast

Today's Semifinals:

  • Gonzaga(10) takes on San Diego today (8:00 P.M. ESPN2)
  • St. Mary's(31) takes on hosts Santa Clara (ESPNU 11:00).

I said yesterday John Kitna went to Eastern Washington, turns out he went to Central Washington instead. Thanks to Jeremy for pointing out the error.

Tomorrow: Big XII Championship Preview
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