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RyanMcD29

2016-17 NCAA Basketball Thread: This is March.

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Congrats to the winners of today's games. Three more bids are up for grabs tomorrow night..

 

CAA - North Charleston, SC

 

#2 College of Charleston Cougars vs. #1 UNC-Wilmington Seahawks

 

Records:

CoC: 25-8 (14-4)

UNCW: 28-5 (15-3)

 

It's the rubber match between the two best in the league. For UNC Wilmington, it's about payback as they lost by one point to Charleston in the last meeting.. it's a blip of what has been be a season to remember for the program. Charleston recovered quickly from a two game skid with a six game winning streak that has then on the edge of their first trip to the Big Dance since 1999. Who will take home this rubber match?

 

Southern - Asheville, NC

 

#3 ETSU Buccaneers vs. #1 UNC-Greensboro Spartans

 

Records:

ETSU: 26-7 (14-4)

UNCG: 25-8 (14-4)

 

The race at the top of the SoCon turned into a dogfight in the end as East Tennessee State fell in the season finale against UNC Greensboro. This allowed the Spartans to take the 1 seed thanks to a season sweep and thanks to a 1-3 record against said Spartans and fellow co-champ Furman, ETSU had to fight their way through. Thanks to Samford taking down Furman, the Bucs had an easy road to this chance to finally beat the new nemesis. Can they do it or can Greensboro finish the job?

 

MAAC - Albany, NY

 

#4 Siena Saints vs. #3 Iona Gaels

 

Records:

SIE: 17-16 (12-8)

IONA: 21-12 (12-8)

 

For the second season in a row, Siena spoiled Monmouth's season by beating them... this time, it was in a semifinal game and not the league's title game. Standing in the way of a repeat is rival Iona. The two team split the regular season meetings... who takes this rematch between old rivals?

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Those colorful court designs from last year are back.  Looks very similar to last year, just updated a bit by trying to match the floor color of the team with the "primary" tenant of the arena.  

 

Sacramento (or SLC) - purple for Kings/Jazz , San Jose - Teal for Sharks, New York - Orange for Knicks, Milwaukee - Green for Bucks, etc.  It's hard to make them out. I take it the full reveal will happen probably on or around Selection Sunday.

 

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The Horizon League tournament this year is absolutely bananas. The first FIVE game of the tournament had the worse seed winning, with semifinal matchups featuring the 4 vs. 9 & 6 vs. 10.

 

The best seed remaining? My alma mater, Northern Kentucky University. In their first year eligible for the NCAA Tournament, the Norse are now one win away from the making the Tournament.

 

I interned in the athletic department in their first D-1 year and never dreamed it be this short of a time before they were within one game of the tournament.

 

!

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17 minutes ago, fnz said:

The Horizon League tournament this year is absolutely bananas. The first FIVE game of the tournament had the worse seed winning, with semifinal matchups featuring the 4 vs. 9 & 6 vs. 10.

 

The best seed remaining? My alma mater, Northern Kentucky University. In their first year eligible for the NCAA Tournament, the Norse are now one win away from the making the Tournament.

 

I interned in the athletic department in their first D-1 year and never dreamed it be this short of a time before they were within one game of the tournament.

 

!

Congrats to you! But wasn't NKU eligible last year? As a Valpo grad, I can't bear to watch this tournament. Two years in a row they haven't let top seeds practice in the Joe even though their first round opponent gets to play one or two full games.

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Congrats to the winners... four bids are up for grabs tonight.

 

Horizon - Detroit, MI

 

#10 Milwaukee Panthers vs. #4 Northern Kentucky Norse

 

Records:

UWM: 11-23 (4-14)

NKU: 23-10 (12-6)

 

To say that chaos took place here would be an understatement... the top three seeds - Oakland, Valparaiso and Green Bay - all fell in the quarterfinals leaving the 4 seed, Northern Kentucky, as the highest seed left. The Norse are at the doorstep of history... one win away from their first tournament trip in only their second year in the Horizon. In the way of that dream is the Cinderella of this tournament: Milwaukee. With only 11 wins, the Panthers would be assured a trip to Dayton with a win here. Can history be made here or does Cinderella keep on dancing?

 

Northeast

 

#4 St. Francis (PA) Red Flash vs. #1 Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers

 

Records:

SFU: 16-15 (11-7)

MSM: 18-15 (14-4)

 

The Northeast Conference tends to have quiet seasons and this is one of them... there is no real powerhouse team but a bunch of scrappy squads that can put up a fight. Case in point: St. Francis (PA). The Red Flash used a game winning three to take down Wagner on their home court while Mount St. Mary's had no issue with upset minded Robert Morris. Can the Red Flash deliver the upset or does the Mount stay on top?

 

West Coast - Las Vegas, NV

 

#2 St. Mary's Gaels vs. #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs

 

Records:

SMC: 28-3 (16-2)

GONZ: 31-1 (17-1)

 

As much as I rag on Gonzaga for being the bully in the WCC, this season has been very special for them... the last standing unbeaten team in the nation only to trip up in the season finale against BYU. They won't get a chance at revenge as St. Mary's, their equally as tough nemesis, took out BYU in emphatic fashion. This rivalry has now reached a fever pitch... Can the Bulldogs take a #1 seed with this win here?

 

Summit - Sioux Falls, SD

 

#4 South Dakota State Jackrabbits vs. #3 Omaha Mavericks

 

Records:

SDSU: 17-16 (8-8)

UNO: 18-13 (9-7)

 

The Summit League as become the D-I home for all of the old North Central Conference members, which will include North Dakota in two years. But, right now, it's about two former NCC rivals in South Dakota State and Omaha. The Jackrabbits used a game winning shot to stun top seed and arch rival South Dakota while Omaha rolled with ease against IUPUI. Can the Mavs make history or do the Jackrabbits have another trick up their sleeves?

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10 hours ago, rsaline said:

Congrats to you! But wasn't NKU eligible last year? As a Valpo grad, I can't bear to watch this tournament. Two years in a row they haven't let top seeds practice in the Joe even though their first round opponent gets to play one or two full games.

NKU was allowed to play in the Horizon League Tournament last year, but not the NCAA Tournament. Their old conference, the Atlantic-Sun allowed them to do the same.

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Sorry to see my Panthers came up short...but I feel SO good for Norse Nation right now, making it to the Big Dance in their first year of eligibility...I know @fnz is simply ELATED!

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Congrats to everyone who made it last night... except Gonzaga. They can bite my shiny metal ass.

 

One bid tonight before Super Saturday.

 

Patriot

 

#3 Lehigh Mountain Hawks at #1 Bucknell Bison

 

Records:

LEH: 20-11 (12-6)

BUCK: 25-8 (15-3)

 

Bucknell has proven itself to be a pretty good team this season... but one team has been able to get their collective goat. That team is Lehigh. They beat the Bison in both meetings this season, something nobody in the Patriot League can even say. Can the Bison finally break through this wall or is it three for three for Lehigh?

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Random thought, but I don't like seeing lower seeds in the mid-major conference tournaments get the auto-bids to the NCAAs. Since the tournaments aren't going away, here's what I would do to give the 1-seed and 2-seeds real advantages.

  • I'd top the conference tournaments at six teams
  • The top seed gets a bye to the final
  • The 2-seed gets a bye to the semifinal.
  • The 3-through-6 seeds play a mini-bracket (3 vs 6 & 4 vs 5), the winner of which plays the 2-seed in the semis, and the winner of the 2-vs-the-bracket gets the 1-seed in the final.

It'd put Belmont in the tourney final in the OVC, Valpo in the final in the Horizon, and things like that.

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At least two conferences have it set up where the top 2 are in the semifinals to start with: the Ohio Valley and the Southland.

 

Personally, I like it when upsets happen. It creates drama, and that is what March is all about to me... the upsets and the chaos it can create. Not to mention that if a top seed falls, they get an automatic bid to the NIT as the regular season champion.

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1 hour ago, Seadragon76 said:

At least two conferences have it set up where the top 2 are in the semifinals to start with: the Ohio Valley and the Southland.

 

Personally, I like it when upsets happen. It creates drama, and that is what March is all about to me... the upsets and the chaos it can create. Not to mention that if a top seed falls, they get an automatic bid to the NIT as the regular season champion.

Upsets, to me, are more relevant when they happen in the main NCAA bracket. They're much more unlikely when you have, say, Jacksonville State and S. Dakota State and Northern Kentucky versus Belmont, South Dakota, and Oakland/Valpo.

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I really don't like the existence of conference tournaments.  They nullify the entire regular season, particularly in one-bid conferences.  We all know that these tourneys do not exist for the integrity of the conference race (in fact they exist despite their negative impact on that).  They exist for TV revenue.  Therefore, since the early games in those conference don't get on TV, don't play them.  Just put the top two or four teams in, which at least provides the true conference champion with less opportunity to stumble.  It also would make, at least for some teams, the regular season mean something and assure that nobody with a sub-.500 conference record gets to the Dance.  Maybe even use the football model; two divisions and a conference championship game.

 

I'd also play the tournament at the regular season champ's gym.  It's about TV money, right?  Once again, that makes the regular season mean something and provides the best team with that advantage (a nod to the integrity of the race).  I believe the MAAC tournament was just played in Sienna's building...they are the 4 seed and nearly won the tourney in front of their home crowd.

 

As extreme as this is...

3 hours ago, stumpygremlin said:

Random thought, but I don't like seeing lower seeds in the mid-major conference tournaments get the auto-bids to the NCAAs. Since the tournaments aren't going away, here's what I would do to give the 1-seed and 2-seeds real advantages.

  • I'd top the conference tournaments at six teams
  • The top seed gets a bye to the final
  • The 2-seed gets a bye to the semifinal.
  • The 3-through-6 seeds play a mini-bracket (3 vs 6 & 4 vs 5), the winner of which plays the 2-seed in the semis, and the winner of the 2-vs-the-bracket gets the 1-seed in the final.

It'd put Belmont in the tourney final in the OVC, Valpo in the final in the Horizon, and things like that.

...I like it.  They still get their game on TV and helps put the better teams in.

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3 hours ago, Seadragon76 said:

At least two conferences have it set up where the top 2 are in the semifinals to start with: the Ohio Valley and the Southland.

 

Personally, I like it when upsets happen. It creates drama, and that is what March is all about to me... the upsets and the chaos it can create. Not to mention that if a top seed falls, they get an automatic bid to the NIT as the regular season champion.

That is exactly what Parrish and Norlander of the CBSSports.com podcast stated.  College basketball has fallen off a cliff already, but at least "Championship Week" provided another 7-10 days of interest. Otherwise, you are down to only 10 days days of action: First round Thursday through Championship Monday.

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2 hours ago, OnWis97 said:

I'd also play the tournament at the regular season champ's gym.  It's about TV money, right?  Once again, that makes the regular season mean something and provides the best team with that advantage (a nod to the integrity of the race).  I believe the MAAC tournament was just played in Sienna's building...they are the 4 seed and nearly won the tourney in front of their home crowd.

 

Along those same lines, when I was at Lafayette in the '80s, the East Coast Conference tournament was played at Towson State every year (presumably because it was in suburban Baltimore and thus the closest site to a major media market).  Towson was generally terrible, but they were relatively tough at home and almost always managed to pull an upset or two in the tournament.  They made the finals in 1987 and 1988 after going 12-15 in the regular season both years (and I'm only a little bitter about No. 2 seeded Lafayette losing to them in the 1987 semifinals).

 

The Patriot League plays the entire tournament at the gyms of the higher seeded teams.  It plays more like a playoff bracket than a tournament and takes 8-9 days for all four rounds (including the 7-10 and 8-9 games).  However, the regular season maintains value because home court is in play for everyone and affects every round (even if it's just trying to finish 8th instead of 9th).  You lose out on the tournament feel of 9 games in 4 days, but it is a much more equitable system in my opinion.

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20 minutes ago, leopard88 said:

 

Along those same lines, when I was at Lafayette in the '80s, the East Coast Conference tournament was played at Towson State every year (presumably because it was in suburban Baltimore and thus the closest site to a major media market).  Towson was generally terrible, but they were relatively tough at home and almost always managed to pull an upset or two in the tournament.  They made the finals in 1987 and 1988 after going 12-15 in the regular season both years (and I'm only a little bitter about No. 2 seeded Lafayette losing to them in the 1987 semifinals).

 

The Patriot League plays the entire tournament at the gyms of the higher seeded teams.  It plays more like a playoff bracket than a tournament and takes 8-9 days for all four rounds (including the 7-10 and 8-9 games).  However, the regular season maintains value because home court is in play for everyone and affects every round (even if it's just trying to finish 8th instead of 9th).  You lose out on the tournament feel of 9 games in 4 days, but it is a much more equitable system in my opinion.

My idea about top 6 with the byes solves the one problem that the Patriot League has here. In this setup, it's possible, however unlikely, that 8-22 (5-13) American can win out and get into the tournament that decides the sport's national championship. On the other hand, 25-8 (15-3) Bucknell could get left out of that tournament. It didn't happen here, but it nearly happened in the Horizon, with UWM almost getting in despite being 11-23 (4-14). UWM shouldn't have the ability to get into the national tournament with that bad of a season.

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36 minutes ago, leopard88 said:

 

Along those same lines, when I was at Lafayette in the '80s, the East Coast Conference tournament was played at Towson State every year (presumably because it was in suburban Baltimore and thus the closest site to a major media market).  Towson was generally terrible, but they were relatively tough at home and almost always managed to pull an upset or two in the tournament.  They made the finals in 1987 and 1988 after going 12-15 in the regular season both years (and I'm only a little bitter about No. 2 seeded Lafayette losing to them in the 1987 semifinals).

 

The Patriot League plays the entire tournament at the gyms of the higher seeded teams.  It plays more like a playoff bracket than a tournament and takes 8-9 days for all four rounds (including the 7-10 and 8-9 games).  However, the regular season maintains value because home court is in play for everyone and affects every round (even if it's just trying to finish 8th instead of 9th).  You lose out on the tournament feel of 9 games in 4 days, but it is a much more equitable system in my opinion.

I did not know this about the Patriot League.  That's definitely better than the neutral site that happens to be best situated to sell tickets to random fans.  I am sure it makes the regular season more interesting; a couple more wins = one more round at home.  And it's probably a decent way to get fans (particularly students) to the games.  I guess it means their regular season ends a bit earlier, but so be it.  If there HAS to be a tournament, I like this model much, much better.  It would probably be even better if they could re-seed after each round but maybe that's not logistically realistic.  I took a look at the last couple and it appears 9-seed Holy Cross won last year.  LOL, but at least they had to go on the road four times to do it, as opposed to holding the tournament down the road from them in Springfield or something.  And the #1 and #2 teams were at home, which means they were given a better shot than at a neutral site.  I am guessing that was an unusual scenario.  That's an impressive run.

 

It matters less in big conferences.  I don't even care that Maryland is the home team for this year's B1G Tourney.  I do wish they'd hold it in Minnesota; maybe I'd go (even though I am opposed to the concept :) )

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43 minutes ago, stumpygremlin said:

My idea about top 6 with the byes solves the one problem that the Patriot League has here. In this setup, it's possible, however unlikely, that 8-22 (5-13) American can win out and get into the tournament that decides the sport's national championship. On the other hand, 25-8 (15-3) Bucknell could get left out of that tournament. It didn't happen here, but it nearly happened in the Horizon, with UWM almost getting in despite being 11-23 (4-14). UWM shouldn't have the ability to get into the national tournament with that bad of a season.

 

I don't mind the idea of limiting the number of teams.  It can even be done with an all-campus tournament.  That would provide even more meaning to the regular season, since it would determine qualification and game location. 

 

22 minutes ago, OnWis97 said:

I did not know this about the Patriot League.  That's definitely better than the neutral site that happens to be best situated to sell tickets to random fans.  I am sure it makes the regular season more interesting; a couple more wins = one more round at home.  And it's probably a decent way to get fans (particularly students) to the games.  I guess it means their regular season ends a bit earlier, but so be it.  If there HAS to be a tournament, I like this model much, much better.  It would probably be even better if they could re-seed after each round but maybe that's not logistically realistic.  I took a look at the last couple and it appears 9-seed Holy Cross won last year.  LOL, but at least they had to go on the road four times to do it, as opposed to holding the tournament down the road from them in Springfield or something.  And the #1 and #2 teams were at home, which means they were given a better shot than at a neutral site.  I am guessing that was an unusual scenario.  That's an impressive run.

 

It matters less in big conferences.  I don't even care that Maryland is the home team for this year's B1G Tourney.  I do wish they'd hold it in Minnesota; maybe I'd go (even though I am opposed to the concept :) )

 

Lafayette won the Patriot League tournament in 2015 as the No. 4 seed.  They hosted a quarterfinal game against Boston U. because of a tiebreaker (better record against No. 1 Bucknell), then beat Bucknell on the road.  Since No. 6 American went on a run, including beating No. 2 Colgate on the road in the semis, Lafayette hosted American in the final.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Patriot_League_Men's_Basketball_Tournament

 

That scenario is good example of the pros of the all-campus system.  The site of the 4-5 game was decided by a tiebreaker, then Lafayette was rewarded for its road win at Bucknell by getting to host American, who finished in a three-way tie for 6th . . . one game ahead of Lafayette and BU and one game ahead of No. 9 Loyola.  You couldn't make the regular season much more meaningful than that for most of the teams . . . three games separating 3rd from 9th.

 

 

Oh, yeah . . . Fear the Turtle!

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My idea is simple enough here...

 

Trim the tournament back to 64 teams and each conference gets two automatic bids. The regular season champion gets one and then the tournament champion gets the other. This way, teams like Belmont, Oakland, Monmouth and South Dakota all get in while keeping the door open for the upsets that can happen.

 

If the regular season champ wins the tournament, you give the second bid to the 2nd place team in the regular season.

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5 minutes ago, Seadragon76 said:

My idea is simple enough here...

 

Trim the tournament back to 64 teams and each conference gets two automatic bids. The regular season champion gets one and then the tournament champion gets the other. This way, teams like Belmont, Oakland, Monmouth and South Dakota all get in while keeping the door open for the upsets that can happen.

 

If the regular season champ wins the tournament, you give the second bid to the 2nd place team in the regular season.

Too many conferences have imbalanced schedules (four of the Power 5, MWC, CUSA, A-10, AAC) to allow the 2nd place finisher an automatic bid. ACC will go to 20 in 2019-20, and that will really throw off RPI and other ranking systems which use SOS.

 

The committee has three mantras:

Who did you play?

Who did you beat?

Where did you play?

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