Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Conference Tournament Watch - 3/8/2005

(All times Central. RPI of top seeds and bubble teams in parentheses, courtesy Ken Pomeroy)

Yesterday's Qualifiers

Already in

  • Atlantic Sun: Central Florida
  • Big South: Winthrop
  • Ivy League: Penn
  • Ohio Valley: Eastern Kentucky
  • SoCon: Chattanooga

Waiting to hear from the committee

  • Southern Illinois(16)
  • St. Mary's of California(30)
  • Northern Iowa(37)
  • Wichita State(47)
  • Davidson(59)
  • Arkansas-Little Rock(60)
  • Western Kentucky (63)
The Rest of the Conference Tournaments

America East

Vermont(23) takes on Northeastern(44) Saturday in the championship

ACC

No games until Thurday, but one news item that impacts the tournament

Wake Forest's Chris Paul is suspended for their second-round tournament game for fisting Julius Jones in the yarbles in Saturday's game between the Demon Deacons and N.C. State.

And there's a possibility that Wake's opponent in that game could be N.C. State.

Atlantic 10

Once upon a time, the Atlantic 10 was the best mid-major conference. Some even said it was a major conference. Temple was Temple back then, and UMass, George Washington, Xavier, St. Joseph's, Rhode Island, and Dayton all fielded good teams.

Now? The only real contenders this year are George Washington(79) and St. Joseph's(62), and even St. Joes may not merit inclusion as an at-large. Making the A-10, for the first time in a long time, a one-bid league.

How the mighty have fallen.

Tomorrow, the fight begins for that one bid.

Big XII

Cheap Seats' Big XII Tournament Preview, Part II
Cheap Seats' Big XII Tournament Preview, Part I

Big West

The tournament gets underway today, but like the West Coast and Horizon leagues, the top seeds, Pacific(20) and Utah State(78) get byes all the way to Friday's semifinals.

Conference USA

The last tournament of Conference USA as we now know it (before all the teams north of the Kentucky-Tennessee state line shift to the Big East), kicks off tomorrow. None of the three "lock teams", Louisville, Cincinnati, and Charlotte, are in action.

The ascendancy of mid-majors like the Missouri Valley, and West Coast Conference may hurt Conference USA the most as the profile of bubble teams from this league may be the weakest of the multiple bid leagues and the committee will more than likely pass over one mid-major for another rather than take from a power conference. And as their power teams move on to the Big East, C-USA may experience a decline similar to the Atlantic 10.

Horizon

Tonight's Championship: The Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers(55) take on the University of Detroit Titans(8:00 P.M. ESPN)

Mid-American

Opening round was played at campus sites. Bubble teams Ohio(61), Kent State(41), Akron(43), and Buffalo(35) all advanced. Bubbles could burst Thursday as tournament play resumes.

Mid-Contintent

Championship Game: #1 Oral Roberts(67) vs #6 Oakland. Should be a mismatch, but stranger things have happened in tournament finals.

MEAC

Top seed Delaware State(132) is in action tomorrow, playing Bethune-Cookman, who beat North Carolina A&T while I was typing this up.

Northeast

Farleigh Dickinson(165), the highest remaining seed, takes on Wagner tomorrow for the championship.

Patriot

Holy Cross(45) hosts Bucknell(58) Friday for the Patriot League championship.

Southland

Tournament kicks off tonight at campus sites
#8 UT-Arlington at #1 Northwestern State(115)
#5 Lamar at #4 UT-San Antonio
#7 Texas State at #2 Southeast Louisiana
#6 McNeese State at #3 Sam Houston State

Sun Belt

Denver(85) avenges it last regular season loss, and takes on Louisiana-Lafayette(48) tonight for the Sun Belt title.(8:00 P.M. ESPN2)

You know, since it is the Sun Belt Conference, why not give the winning coach a championship belt instead of a trophy, You know, like boxers and sports entertainment figures get?

Let your imagination run wild with that one.

WAC

The tournament starts tonight. UTEP(50) and Nevada(26) will face the winners of today's play-in games Thursday.

Tomorrow: Part 3 of the Big XII Conference Tournament Preview (AM); Conference Tournament Watch (PM)
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