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mr.nascar13

2014-15 NCAA Basketball Thread: March Madness

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Mango with the game-winner and the Cards beat the #2 'Hoos 59-57!

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We have our first automatic bid... Congrats to Belmont. Two OVC titles in their first three seasons. Not to mention that we get Harvard-Yale III next Saturday for the Ivy's auto bid.

Three more bids are up for grabs tomorrow...

Big South

#5 Winthrop Eagles vs. #3 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Records

WIN: 19-12 (12-6)

CCU: 23-9 (12-6)

If there was proof that March Madness can be a chaotic beast, then the 2015 Big South Tournament is living proof of that. The Quarterfinal round saw three of the top four seeds get upset and leave the conference with all odd numbered seeds in the semis. What remains is a rematch of last year's championship game won by the Chants. Does the rematch go the way of the home team or does chaos continue the reign in the Big South and crown Winthrop as it's champ?

Missouri Valley - St. Louis, MO

#4 Illinois State Redbirds vs. #2 Northern Iowa Panthers

Records

IL ST: 21-11 (11-7)

UNI: 29-3 (16-2)

A funny thing happened along the way towards a potential third and final clash between Northern Iowa and Wichita State... that funny thing was Illinois State. The Redbirds stunned the Shockers while the Panthers continue to roll along after getting tripped up a week ago in Wichita. Can the Redbirds go 2-for-2 against the big dogs of the Valley or can Northern Iowa take home the crown and prevent a bid thief from shrinking the bubble?

Atlantic Sun

#3 South Carolina Upstate Spartans at #1 North Florida Ospreys

Records:

USCU: 23-10 (8-6)

UNF: 22-11 (12-2)

These two schools have an intertwined history in Division I. Both programs moved up and joined the Atlantic Sun despite different times of entry (North Florida joined in 2005 and South Carolina Upstate joined in 2007). Both of them are part of the next generation of Division I schools that make up half of the Atlantic Sun (alongside Florida Gulf Coast and Northern Kentucky). Neither school has made the NCAA Tournament, so the winner here will make history. That history might be sweeter for North Florida if they can beat the only team to defeat them in conference play this season. Which school makes history in Jacksonville?

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I hate having to do a double post, but here goes.

Congrats to Coastal Carolina, Northern Iowa and North Florida on earning their bids to the Big Dance!

Three more bids are up for grabs on Monday.

CAA - Baltimore, MD

#3 Northeastern Huskies vs. #1 William and Mary Tribe

Records

NE: 22-11 (12-6)

W&M: 20-11 (12-6)

The top of the CAA this season resembled a log jam as four teams finished 12-6. Tiebreakers help give William and Mary the number 1 seed here, but they had to earn this trip after a double OT thriller against Hofstra in the semis. For the Tribe, they are one of the few who have never made the NCAA Tournament. Standing in the way of history is Northeastern, who hasn't been in the tournament since 1991. Can the Tribe make history or does the 24 year drought end for the Huskies?

Southern - Asheville, NC

#10 Furman Paladins vs. #1 Wofford Terriers

Records

FUR: 11-21 (5-13)

WOF: 27-6 (16-2)

March always brings out the famed story of David and Goliath. This year's SoCon final continues that legacy. Playing the role of David is 10th seeded Furman. The Paladins only have 11 wins this season, but they got three wins at the right time pulling off upsets of The Citadel, Chattanooga and newcomer Mercer to reach the finals. The role of Goliath is played by defending champ Wofford. The Terriers have only 6 losses this season... which is just one more then the amount of conference wins Furman has (5). Can Furman pull off one of the greatest upsets in recent memory or does Wofford crush the dream and return to the Big Dance?

Metro Atlantic - Albany, NY

#3 Manhattan Jaspers vs. #1 Iona Gaels

Records

MAN: 18-13 (13-7)

IONA: 26-7 (17-3)

Facing a team that is red hot can be a tricky situation and that is what Manhattan is getting themselves into as they take on Iona, who has lost only twice since the calendar switched to 2015. That's not to say that Manhattan can't be a threat to the Gaels, as they provided a good challenge to them in the two losses. Can the Jaspers cool off Iona and reach the Big Dance or does Iona continue it's year long hot streak?

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Look for Maryland to move up to at least #8 in National Rankings after both Kansas and Wichita State lost (yeesh, not a good weekend for the state of Kansas)

If they win the B1G tournament, they could potentially be a #2 seed for the NCAA Tournament.

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Started following this season a bit earlier than usual, just had a casual eye before a couple weeks ago. I've streamed a few of the mid-major conference tournament games over the past few days too. Man... this is fun stuff. Watched the whole W&M against Hofstra game, Murray State losing, the UNI-Illinois St game.

I feel that knowing a bit more about everyone is going to hurt my bracket... Blind picks have been good to me.

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North Florida is probably my mid major love affair this year. Anytime someone makes it in for the first time will get my attention.

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North Florida is probably my mid major love affair this year. Anytime someone makes it in for the first time will get my attention.

Let me add in something here about the Ospreys... This year's team is the best ever in school history. You see, they've had basketball since 1992 and they have never won more then 16 games in a season or been in a postseason tournament at all. This is a program that's only been in Division I for 10 years. This is a watershed moment for them.

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North Florida is probably my mid major love affair this year. Anytime someone makes it in for the first time will get my attention.

Never again, will I have a mid-major love affair like I did with Florida Gulf Coast a couple of years ago.

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Gut feeling- what seeds do you think North Florida will be slotted for?

If they get the right draw against a potentially shaky team that's not easy to trust (Maryland/Oklahoma/Iowa State), who knows.

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Gut feeling- what seeds do you think North Florida will be slotted for?

If they get the right draw against a potentially shaky team that's not easy to trust (Maryland/Oklahoma/Iowa State), who knows.

I don't see why you think Maryland is a "shaky" team

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Gut feeling- what seeds do you think North Florida will be slotted for?

If they get the right draw against a potentially shaky team that's not easy to trust (Maryland/Oklahoma/Iowa State), who knows.

Both Lunardi (ESPN) and Palm (CBS) have North Florida as #16 seed, and will play in the Opening Round in Dayton.

Their SOS is under 320 and they have only one RPI Top 100 win (@Purdue).

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Gut feeling- what seeds do you think North Florida will be slotted for?

If they get the right draw against a potentially shaky team that's not easy to trust (Maryland/Oklahoma/Iowa State), who knows.

The one where you get bludgeoned to death by a 1 seed.

Assuming you survive the play in game.

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I was hoping (apart from Winthrop) that USC-Upstate and Wofford would win, so little Spartanburg, SC (Sparkle City, Sparkle City, Sparkle City, Sparkle City!) would have two teams in the tourney. Either way, South Carolina will be represented by at least 2 teams.

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Congrats to Northeastern, Wofford and Manhattan to making the Big Dance.

Four bids are up for grabs tonight.

Horizon League

#2 Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix at #1 Valparaiso Crusaders

Records:

UWGB: 24-7 (12-4)

VALPO: 27-5 (13-3)

When the two best teams in a conference meet in the final, it's usually a great matchup between two really good teams. The 2015 Horizon League Championship is no different. Green Bay provided the league it's signature moment when they defeated #15 Miami (Florida) in December. Valparaiso has been the best team all season long, and with that comes home court advantage for the championship game. Which mid-major power seizes the day?

Northeast

#2 Robert Morris Colonials at #1 St. Francis (New York) Terriers

Records:

RMU: 18-14 (12-6)

SFNY: 23-10 (15-3)

As part of the Not-So Famous Five, St. Francis of Brooklyn hasn't had much to show as of late. In fact, the last postseason trip for them was in 1963 and it was a trip to the NIT. It's been a rough road for them... now, they stand on the precipice of history. The only thing standing in the way is Robert Morris. The last two years, the Colonials have fallen and were sent to the NIT. Can Robert Morris win in their third attempt or do the Terriers make history?

Summit League - Sioux Falls, SD

#2 North Dakota State Bison vs. #1 South Dakota State Jackrabbits

Records:

NDSU: 22-9 (12-4)

SDSU: 23-9 (12-4)

If there is a model athletic program in the country, it might be North Dakota State. The Bison have won back to back to back championships in football and won the Summit League title last season AND stunned San Diego State in last season's tournament. Only thing standing in the way is rival South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits have been to the tournament as well. Which team wins and earns the auto bid?

West Coast - Las Vegas, NV

#2 BYU Cougars vs. #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs

Records

BYU: 25-8 (13-5)

GONZ: 31-2 (17-1)

Yawn. They meet again, blah blah blah.

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Summit League - Sioux Falls, SD

#2 North Dakota State Bison vs. #1 South Dakota State Jackrabbits

Records:

NDSU: 22-9 (12-4)

SDSU: 23-9 (12-4)

If there is a model athletic program in the country, it might be North Dakota State. The Bison have won back to back to back championships in football and won the Summit League title last season AND stunned San Diego State in last season's tournament. Only thing standing in the way is rival South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits have been to the tournament as well. Which team wins and earns the auto bid?

That would back to back to back to back (4x) championships. Also NDSU lost to San Diego St last year, but they beat Oklahoma.

BTW, Bison win :-)

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The sheer number of white people in the NDSU/SDSU postgame handshake line/court rush was astonishing.

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The sheer number of white people in the NDSU/SDSU postgame handshake line/court rush was astonishing.

Only to be matched by Gonzaga/BYU.

We did have our first kid tears aka "One Crying Moment", courtesy of the Horizon League.

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Congrats to Robert Morris, Valparaiso and North Dakota State for punching their tickets to the dance.... oh, you notice I left out Gonzaga. I don't want to congratulate the bastard stepson for doing what they do best: Bully the West Coast Conference, only to fold when real competition appears.

Now that my venting towards that school is done, one bid is up for grabs tomorrow before Saturday's Bid Bonanza.

Patriot League

#6 American Eagles vs. #4 Lafayette Leopards

Records

AU: 17-15 (8-10)

LAF: 19-12 (9-9)

Chaos has taken the Patriot League by storm as it's top two seeds, Bucknell and Colgate, were taken down by the two teams that will play tomorrow for the league's automatic bid. It's not like both teams are really bad, they're just hot at the right time. Which team finishes their Cinderella run with the automatic bid?

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I like Gary Parrish's idea of reserving the first four for regular season champs that lose their conference tournaments and the last four at-large bids. Just randomly throwing that out there...

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