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College Basketball 2016: Houston, we have a full court press

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Congrats to Austin Peay and to Yale... the first two to make the big dance. Yale is in for the first time since 1962.

 

Tomorrow, three more bids are given out.

 

Missouri Valley - St. Louis, MO

 

#4 Northern Iowa Panthers vs. #2 Evansville Purple Aces

 

Records

UNI: 21-12 (11-7)

EVAN: 25-8 (12-6)

 

It's going to be a great day for anyone wearing purple in St. Louis. The Panthers of Northern Iowa has the league's two signature wins of the season: A win over ACC power North Carolina at home and a neutral site victory over in state foe Iowa State. Evansville doesn't have that kind of signature victory, but they are the higher seed and has been able to stand toe-to-toe with UNI with both games being close battles

 

Big South - Buies Creek, NC

 

#4 UNC-Asheville Bulldogs vs. #2 Winthrop Eagles

 

Records

UNCA: 21-11 (12-6)

WIN: 23-8 (13-5)

 

Even with the venue change (The tournament was scheduled to be held at Coastal Carolina until they made their announcement to join the Sun Belt. League rules state that anyone who leaves with less then two years notice is ineligible to host league championships), the players on the main stage remain the same. Winthrop has been at this spot only to be denied by Coastal Carolina... well, the Chants are gone and now the only team standing between them and number 11 is UNC-Asheville, who hasn't been in the title game since 2012, when they won it all

 

Atlantic Sun

 

#7 Stetson Hatters at #4 Florida Gulf Coast Eagles

 

Records

STET: 12-21 (4-10)

FGCU: 19-13 (8-6)

 

March Madness wouldn't be what it is without something insane happening, and it's playing out in the Atlantic Sun as Stetson is in the final... but a win for them means little for the Hatters as they are ineligible for the NCAA Tournament thanks to a low APR score. A win for Stetson means North Florida, the regular season champion and recent victim of 'Dunk City', goes dancing. In order to prevent this chaotic scenario from playing out, Florida Gulf Coast must win

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Handicapping the state's chances of getting a school into the tournament:

 

Kennesaw State/Mercer: Already eliminated from their conference tournaments.

Savannah State: 5th seed in Mid-Eastern conference. Likely not getting past Hampton or South Carolina State.

GA State/GA Southern: The #5 and #6 seeds in the Fun Belt. Doubtful either wins the conference.

Georgia Tech: Enters as the #10 seed in the ACC. On the edge of the bubble....likely needs to win the conference tourney.  The ACC Final maybe gets them in due to schedule strength.  Anything less, they're NIT-bound.

Georgia: The 6th-seed in the SEC. Probably the state's best chance to get in, and they'll probably need to reach the SEC Final to put themselves in.  They need a signature win...beating #2-seed Kentucky could be that. Taking three from South Carolina could help, too.

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And apparently Ben Simmons has a 1.8 GPA, meaning he's ineligible for the Naismith. And instead of saying Simmons and LSU owe an apology for this, Pat Forde says they should apologize for being a horrible team.

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Never before has so much depended on a lowly conference's championship game.

FGCU is the blue pill, where the controversy ends, and we wake up in our beds and believe what the NCAA wants us to believe...Stetson is the red pill, where we stay in Wonderland and find out how deep that ambiguously-racist APR rule goes (I say ambiguously because it might not actually be racist-I  just think it needs to be mended so the schools being targeted aren't predominantly the HBCUs and other colleges with a primarily African-American student body)

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2 hours ago, MBurmy said:

Never before has so much depended on a lowly conference's championship game.

FGCU is the blue pill, where the controversy ends, and we wake up in our beds and believe what the NCAA wants us to believe...Stetson is the red pill, where we stay in Wonderland and find out how deep that ambiguously-racist APR rule goes (I say ambiguously because it might not actually be racist-I  just think it needs to be mended so the schools being targeted aren't predominantly the HBCUs and other colleges with a primarily African-American student body)

Stetson isn't even a predominantly black school anyway. And how can that rule really be racist? I mean c'mon, 99.5% of the D1 basketball players won't even make the NBA. They need to focus on school and make sure they can graduate in order to have a life beyond basketball. 

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1 hour ago, Griffinmarlins said:

Stetson isn't even a predominantly black school anyway. And how can that rule really be racist? I mean c'mon, 99.5% of the D1 basketball players won't even make the NBA. They need to focus on school and make sure they can graduate in order to have a life beyond basketball. 

 

APR isn't racist, but it is REALLY poorly implemented and does seem to disproportionately punish schools that have less resources than the pro-sports factories the rule was supposed to hold in check.

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Northern Iowa at the buzzer beats Evansville to win Arch Madness. Kurt Warner's alma mater will be back in the dance.

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10 minutes ago, ninersdd said:

Northern Iowa at the buzzer beats Evansville to win Arch Madness. Kurt Warner's alma mater will be back in the dance.

You just gotta feel TERRIBLE for the Purple Aces...they put together an awesome comeback and just ran out of time after that lucky bounce...if their bubble has indeed been burst, I think they're gonna coast in the NIT.

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I don't think Evansville was even in the hunt for at-large bid, Burmy. The best win they have is Belmont, which is a good team, but not the kind of resume building win you need to have to get into the conversation. They don't have the kind of wins that teams like Little Rock, Monmouth, Wichita or even THAT school have. Will the Aces get into the NIT? Possibly, depending on how many auto bids are given out, but I would think they won't be an easy out.

 

As for the APR: It's not really racist, but the goals are sometimes too high for the HBCU's to reach... not to mention that anyone who says that it is even borderline racist is shot down when you look at the facts... Of the four ineligible teams via APR, two are HBCU's (Florida A&M and Alcorn State). The other two? Stetson (Who, BTW, missed the threshold by one point) and Central Arkansas. OK, so that's 50%... But, when you expand the view to add in all the ineligible teams... well, that 50% all of a sudden becomes 14%... only 2 of the 14 ineligible. Of the remaining 11, one (SMU) is dealing with other NCAA issues, 4 (CS Northridge, Louisville, Missouri and Southern Miss) have given themselves self-imposed bans and the remaining teams are still classifying to Division I.

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1 hour ago, HedleyLamarr said:

Wasn't Connecticut ineligible due to low APR a couple years ago?

 

Yup.  The one time a pro sports "factory" actually got punished by it.

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Dunk City is back...Florida Gulf Coast is goin' to the Big Dance again, so you are spared my ol' race card parlor tricks.

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Love seeing Dunk City back in the tourney. That '13 run was special. Between Gulf Coast-Stetson, Austin Peay-Belmont and Evansville-Northern Iow these small conference tourneys have been darn entertaining.

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Congrats to Northern Iowa, UNC Asheville and Florida Gulf Coast on taking home bids. Three more are up for grabs today..

 

Colonial - Baltimore, MD

 

#2 UNC Wilmington Seahawks vs. #1 Hofstra Pride

 

Records

UNCW: 24-7 (14-4)

HOF: 24-8 (14-4)

 

The CAA tends to be a dog fight year in and year out and this year is no exception as the co-champs face off for the auto bid. The teams split the season series with each team winning on the other side's home court and the games being close battles. With all the marbles on the line, it should be much like those two games

 

Metro Atlantic - Albany, NY

 

#2 Iona Gaels vs. #1 Monmouth Hawks

 

Records

IONA: 21-10 (16-4)

MON: 27-6 (17-3)

 

In the early part of the season, Monmouth took the nation by storm with it's good team, signature victories and a fun loving bench that enjoyed life. This didn't sit all that well with Iona, one of the league's stalwarts. That came to head in the first meeting where the benches cleared after Monmouth won. The second game saw Iona smack the Hawks around on their home turf... now comes the rubber match between these two newly minted rivals.

 

Southern - Asheville, NC

 

#2 ETSU Buccaneers vs. #1 Chattanooga Mocs

 

Records

ETSU: 23-10 (14-4)

CHATT: 28-5 (15-3)

 

They say it's never easy to beat a team three times in a season, a challenge that Chattanooga is willing to face head on against East Tennessee State. For the Mocs, it's a chance to snag the auto bid after a stellar season... for the Bucs, it's a chance to regain glory in their old stomping grounds

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Monmouth, Valpo and Wichita State are all Mid Majors on the bubble after losing in the conference tournament. It will be interesting to see how the committee treats these teams compared to teand that finished 6th in a bigger conference on the bubble. If you ask me, I think Wichita and Monmouth have done enough to get in, while Valpo will have to tear up the NIT. 

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Congrats to Iona, UNC Wilmington and Chattanooga on getting their bids. Four bids are up for grabs tonight.

 

Horizon - Detroit, MI

 

#4 Green Bay Phoenix vs. #3 Wright State Raiders

 

Records

GB: 22-12 (11-7)

WRST: 22-12 (13-5)

 

Anyone expecting a showdown between Valparaiso and Oakland got a rude awakening last night as Green Bay stunned the Crusaders in OT, followed by the Raiders' upset victory over Oakland. Now, the 3 and 4 seeds meet and they might be tired out... both teams have played three games in three days to get here.

 

Northeast

 

#2 Fairleigh Dickinson Knights at #1 Wagner Seahawks

 

Records

FDU: 17-14 (11-7)

WAG: 22-9 (13-5)

 

It's been a quiet year in the NEC... which is more often then not the case in this league. Wagner took advantage of that and won the conference title and, with that, home court advantage for the title bout with FDU. The Knights aren't scared though: They won on Staten Island by 3 in overtime only to see the Seahawks beat them down on their home court. Now, for the rubber match and all the marbles, they meet

 

Summit - Sioux Falls, SD

 

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

 

Records

NDSU: 20-12 (8-8)

SDSU: 25-7 (12-4)

 

It's been a crazy road for both teams to get to the final tonight. For the Bison, it's been two upsets of IUPUI and Fort Wayne that has helped them. For the Jackrabbits, it's been a come from behind win against Oral Roberts and a nail biting finish against Denver that saw the Pioneers' last hopes dashed on a missed free throw. Now, they face each other... which run will continue on?

 

West Coast - Las Vegas, NV

 

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

 

Records

GONZ: 25-7 (15-3)

SMC: 27-4 (15-3)

 

For the first time in a long time, Gonzaga isn't a shoo-in to make the tournament. It sounds weird to the Bulldog faithful, but such is the case this year, which means they have to win the tournament to get in. Standing in their way is arch rival St. Mary's. The Gaels took care of the Bulldogs in their regular season meetings and took care of the one team that has given them fits this season, Pepperdine, in route to this game. They also have a much better resume, so this game may not matter as much to them as it does for Gonzaga... on a side note: Can anyone ELSE win this league?!?!?

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13 hours ago, Germanshepherd said:

Monmouth, Valpo and Wichita State are all Mid Majors on the bubble after losing in the conference tournament. It will be interesting to see how the committee treats these teams compared to teand that finished 6th in a bigger conference on the bubble. If you ask me, I think Wichita and Monmouth have done enough to get in, while Valpo will have to tear up the NIT. 

Monmouth is really the team in question since their victories over major conference foes are against teams which were disappointing this season: Georgetown and UCLA.  Their losses are really bad in terms of KenPom:#226 Canisius, #233 Manhattan, #256 Army.

 

Wichita State has the home win against Utah plus they a little tournament history, but there are 4-7 against top 100 teams.  Van Vleet injury at the start of the season will also be talked about in the committee room.  Lunardi as them as a 7 seed while CBS's Jerry Palm has them out. 

 

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Congrats to Fairleigh Dickinson, Green Bay and South Dakota State on getting their auto bids... What? NO! I will NOT congratulate a bully like Gonzaga. All I say to them is that I hope those dancing shoes get shoved up their ass.

 

One bid up for grabs tomorrow night.

 

Patriot League

 

#9 Holy Cross Crusaders at #2 Lehigh Mountain Hawks

 

HC: 13-19 (5-13)

LEH: 17-14 (13-5)

 

March is about who can get hot at the right time, and Holy Cross is an example of that. A team that went 0-9 on the road in conference play and had only two road wins all season long has just got three road wins, including a monster upset of top seed Bucknell in the quarterfinals, to get here. Lehigh, on the other hand, is on a 11 game winning streak. Which team can extinguish the others hot streak?

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On 3/8/2016 at 8:54 PM, Germanshepherd said:

Monmouth, Valpo and Wichita State are all Mid Majors on the bubble after losing in the conference tournament. It will be interesting to see how the committee treats these teams compared to teand that finished 6th in a bigger conference on the bubble. If you ask me, I think Wichita and Monmouth have done enough to get in, while Valpo will have to tear up the NIT. 

I really hope Monmouth gets in. They did just about all they could other than win a conference tourney. If you want small teams to beat the big opponents they schedule, what message do you send when they do that and still don't get in?

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