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College Basketball 2017-18: Road to the Alamo

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Well this scandal sucks. But we are now in the best part of the College Basketball season!

 

I am a big TCU Horned Frogs athletics supporter, so as you can imagine I am stoked. We are well on our way to a bid. But this should be a fun race to the dance! Strong bubble IMO. 

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Enough of the scandals, people. It's Champ Week!

 

BTW, not a fan of the music ESPN is using for Champ Week. I really liked what they had from the last couple of seasons.

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It's time for my championship game previews... one bid up for grabs tonight.

 

Ohio Valley - Evansville, IN

 

#2 Belmont Bruins vs. #1 Murray State Racers

 

Records:

BEL: 24-8 (15-3)

MURR: 25-5 (16-2)

 

The location may have changed, but some things don't change in the Ohio Valley. Murray State is back in the championship game after missing out a year ago. The same can be said for Belmont, who also lost in the semifinals a year ago as well. This year, the Bruins and the Racers are the class of the OVC. In fact, Belmont gave Murray State one of the two conference losses on the season... which has motivated the Racers to a season high 12 game winning streak. They've already vanquished one foe that they lost to (defending tournament champion Jacksonville State), can they get revenge on the Bruins or does Belmont ride high once again?

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Also, for at-large bids and seeding, the committee now uses quadrants to group wins/losses as opposed to a general "Strength of Schedule".

 

https://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball-men/bracketiq/2018-02-15/ncaa-selection-committee-adjusts-team-sheets-emphasizing

 

 

Quote

The selection committee will no longer use top 50, top 100, 200 and 201 and above as dividing categories. Instead, the new terminology will be quadrants 1, 2, 3 and 4. The decision is to get away from treating every team the same if the game was on the road, neutral or at home based on their power rating. Now the road/neutral games will matter more.

 

 

The breakdown will be as follows:
Quadrant 1: Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75
Quadrant 2: Home 31-75; Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135
Quadrant 3: Home 76-160; Neutral 101-200; Away 136-240
Quadrant 4: Home 161-plus; Neutral 201-plus; Away 241-plus.

 

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I feel like this UNC/Duke game should have Yakety Sax playing in the background the whole time.

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Congrats to Murray State, the first team in the Big Dance. Four bids are up for grabs tomorrow.

 

Big South

 

#5 Liberty Flames at #2 Radford Highlanders

 

Records

LIB: 20-13 (9-9)

RAD: 21-12 (12-6)

 

In what has been a down year for the Big South, Radford used a stingy defense to propel themselves to the finals where upset minded Liberty awaits. The Flames roared back against top seeded UNC-Asheville. Down 15, the Flames came back to win that game. Radford, though, has the Flames' number in taking both games in the season series. Liberty can take solace in the fact that the meeting at Radford was a close game. Can Liberty finally beat the Highlanders or does Radford clamp down and snuff the Flames out?

 

Missouri Valley - St. Louis, MO

 

#3 Illinois State Redbirds vs. #1 Loyola (Chicago) Ramblers

 

Records

ISU: 18-14 (10-8)

LOY: 27-5 (15-3)

 

In the first year without traditional power Wichita State, the Missouri Valley had themselves a nice little story in Loyola of Chicago. The Ramblers won at Florida early in the season, the biggest scalp on their resume. In fact, it's been a near fool proof season for them. Illinois State is now the team to try their luck with the Ramblers, coming off a 7 point loss to them a few weeks ago and a hard fought win against Southern Illinois in the semifinals. Can the Redbirds deliver the upset or does Loyola 'Ramble' on the the Big Dance?

 

Atlantic Sun

 

#2 Lipscomb Bisons at #1 Florida Gulf Coast Eagles

 

Records

LIP: 22-9 (10-4)

FGCU: 23-10 (12-2)

 

Dunk City is back. The Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast have owned the conference as of late. Standing in the way of a third straight trip to the Big Dance is Lipscomb, who defeated the Eagles two weeks ago in Fort Myers (one of the two losses in A-Sun play). In this rubber match, which team will stand tall at Alico Arena?

 

Big Ten - New York City, NY

 

#5 Michigan Wolverines vs. #3 Purdue Boilermakers

 

Records

MICH: 27-7 (13-5)

PUR: 28-5 (15-3)

 

The Big Ten playing this early in Champ Week? Well, it's because they're using Madison Square Garden a week before the Big East does. A strange move, to say the least. In the top heavy conference, Michigan continues it's recent dominance of the tournament with wins over Iowa, Nebraska and arch rival Michigan State. Purdue, on the other hand, was one of the favorites coming in. They took down Rutgers and Penn State to get here. Purdue swept Michigan, but the Wolverines kept it close in both games... a combined total of 5 points. Which team will come out on top in the Big Apple?

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Congrats to the winners. Two bids are up for grabs tomorrow...

 

Metro Atlantic - Albany, NY

 

#6 Fairfield Stags vs. #4 Iona Gaels

 

Records

FAIR: 17-15 (9-9)

IONA: 19-13 (11-7)

 

Chaos has reigned in the MAAC tournament as the top three seeds (Rider, Canisius and Niagara) were knocked out in the quarterfinal round leaving Iona as the highest seeded team left in the field, and even that was almost not good enough had they not come back against surprising St. Peter's. Standing in the way of the Gaels is Fairfield. The Stags took advantage of the chaos with wins over Niagara and Quinnipiac to get here. Who will take this game and move on?

 

Southern - Asheville, NC

 

#2 East Tennessee State Buccaneers vs. #1 UNC Greensboro Spartans

 

Records

ETSU: 25-8 (14-4)

UNCG: 26-7 (15-3)

 

Rarely do you get a game of two high caliber teams squaring off, so it comes as no surprise that ETSU and Greensboro are meeting for the third time. The two split the regular season series the home team winning at home in each game. Can the Bucs vault back to victory or does Greensboro and their 6th ranked defense (nationally, BTW) crush them?

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Five bids up for grabs tonight and congrats to Iona and UNC Greensboro

 

Colonial: Northeastern vs. College of Charleston (The league's two best teams meet in North Charleston)

Horizon: Cleveland State vs. Wright State (The Vikings have taken down the best team and the best player in back to back games. Can they finish the Cinderella run?)

Northeast: LIU Brooklyn at Wagner (All NYC battle for the automatic bid as it's Brooklyn vs. Staten Island)

West Coast: BYU vs. Gonzaga (Cougars aim to take down the bully)

Summit: South Dakota vs. South Dakota State (It's an All South Dakota battle in Sioux Falls)

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Conference USA...taking Jerry Jones' and Frisco's money for this look..

 

An1bGyc.jpg

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6 hours ago, dfwabel said:

Conference USA...taking Jerry Jones' and Frisco's money for this look..

 

An1bGyc.jpg

When the Sun Belt tournament was in Hot Springs, Arkansas they had two games running at the same time, but they were in separate rooms essentially. One was like a regular convention area with bleachers thrown in, while the other was a proper (if small) arena.There would be times you could kind of hear the other game going on, but nothing quite like this. 

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39 minutes ago, Red Wolf said:

When the Sun Belt tournament was in Hot Springs, Arkansas they had two games running at the same time, but they were in separate rooms essentially. One was like a regular convention area with bleachers thrown in, while the other was a proper (if small) arena.There would be times you could kind of hear the other game going on, but nothing quite like this. 

That is an AP pic which I saw on the Chicago Tribune story which had the pic.

 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/ct-spt-ncaa-conference-usa-tournament-20180308-story.html

 

From that article, there was this:

Quote

The dual-court setup is being used for the first two rounds of the league's men's and women's tournaments. Four teams, four pep bands and plenty of overlapping action on two courts.

 

Blair Reed, a Frisco resident who had never been inside the Ford Center that his tax dollars help build, had a 50-yard line seat Wednesday night. With no specific rooting interest, he sat in a permanent sideline seat directly in line with the curtain that split the building in half, where he could see both courts.

 

"It is sensory overload in a way, but if you're a student of the game, and you know when to change your focus — free throws, you can look here," Reed said, pointing from Court A on his left to Court B to the right. "Fast break, you want to stay with it. Timeouts, you can change your focus again. That's how I'm doing it right now. I'm enjoying every minute of it."

 

A $20 general admission ticket was good for the permanent seats, while $35 general admission got fans closer to their teams in temporary stands for about 3,500 people around each of the courts. Fans could go back and forth between courts.

The court to the left had a glare issue on TV as the replay screen was on the floor in the upper right corner of your set and it looked like there was an open Exit door during the day due the brightness.

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Anyone else not like the new format used for the selection show this year

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I was okay with them announcing the at-large bids before hand because that way, you know whose bubble got popped.

 

There's some decent match-ups there. I just know that Middle Tennessee and St. Mary's got hosed because they're mid-majors.

 

Oh, and am I the only one here who find it humorous that the two HBCU schools are playing in Dayton?

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Mid-Majors: Where the regular season is a waste of everybody's time. 

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As a Syracuse fan, I don't think Syracuse deserves to be here. That said, Oklahoma deserves it even less - they're only in for that sweet, sweet Trae Young money.

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2 minutes ago, Jimmy Lethal said:

As a Syracuse fan, I don't think Syracuse deserves to be here. That said, Oklahoma deserves it even less - they're only in for that sweet, sweet Trae Young money.

Arizona State as well. I don’t care if you beat two one seeds, they went 8-10 in a soft PAC-12 and USC finishes second, loses in the conference title game and gets snubbed? That ain’t right. 

 

I would’ve liked to see Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s make it in as well. 

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, DScruggy729 said:

Arizona State as well. I don’t care if you beat two one seeds, they went 8-10 in a soft PAC-12 and USC finishes second, loses in the conference title game and gets snubbed? That ain’t right. 

 

I would’ve liked to see Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s make it in as well. 

St. Mary's had just two Quad 1 wins and the second one came by losing to BYU in the WCC semis. Their non-conference schedule was 183.

 

Bottom line is they need to schedule better. This season, Randy Bennett bought his way out of a Nevada game and refused a home/home with Rhode Island with having the Rams go to Moraga this season. They also turned down a Creighton game.

 

USC went

0-2 vs. UCLA

0-2 vs. Arizona

0-1 vs. Oklahoma

0-1 vs. ASU

 

Their two best wins are New Mexico State and Middle Tennessee.

Edited by dfwabel

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This year, to sum up the tournament and how it looks, is simply "Every team has an easy, but also very difficult, road to the Final Four."

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1 hour ago, dfwabel said:

St. Mary's had just two Quad 1 wins and the second one came by losing to BYU in the WCC semis. Their non-conference schedule was 183.

 

Bottom line is they need to schedule better. This season, Randy Bennett bought his way out of a Nevada game and refused a home/home with Rhode Island with having the Rams go to Moraga this season. They also turned down a Creighton game.

 

USC went

0-2 vs. UCLA

0-2 vs. Arizona

0-1 vs. Oklahoma

0-1 vs. ASU

 

Their two best wins are New Mexico State and Middle Tennessee.

At least USC didn't go 8-10 in a very weak Pac-12. What has ASU done the past 2 months? At least USC made it to the Pac-12 title game. 

 

Oklahoma also hasn't won a game away from home in 2018. But of course it would be a travesty if Trae Young wasn't involved in the NCAA Tournament. 

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