Congratulations to Eastern Kentucky who came out of the gates firing and then did just enough to hold off Belmont to win the OVC crown. The Colonels return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. Three more titles and bids to give away today as Championship Fortnight rolls on.
With apologies to the rest of the A-Fun we get treated to a rubber match between the best two teams in the league for the championship today. Mercer and FGCU split both held serve at home in the regular season and finished with identical 14-4 league records. The efficiency numbers favor Mercer, who have the best offense and defense per possession in the A-Sun. FGCU however gets the benefit of home court advantage. Can the Bears get payback for last year when Dunk City stole the league title from them on their home floor?
#1 Florida Gulf Coast vs. #2 Mercer 3:00 p.m. ESPN2
Winthrop, the fourth seed in the south, will be looking to win its fourth game in five days to take the Big South title. After knocking out High Point on a buzzer beating superhoop, the Eagles then beat Asheville by a single point to make it to the title game. Coastal Carolina needed 2 OT's to beat Charleston Southern in the semi's and then knocked out VMI by four to make it to the title game. After a wild regular season that saw more than half the league finish between 12-4 and 10-6 it is no surprise that the Big South is delivering the drama in the postseason as well.
#4 (South) Winthrop vs. #2 (South) Coastal Carolina 12:00 p.m. ESPN2
Hey I think this Wichita State team might be pretty good! Indiana State were the clear number two in this league and they got knocked around by the Shockers in both regular season meetings. Can TreeFever knock off undefeated Gluten?
#1 Wichita State vs. #2 Indiana State - 1:05 CBS
Top seeded Vermont got a scare early before turning on the afterburners and blowing away eight seeded New Hampshire. Everything else in Albany was chalk resulting in the top four seeds making the semis for the first time since 1999. Vermont has to now get through the 'home team' Great Danes to get to the Championship game, which will be on the 15th at the highest remaining seed. On the other side of the bracket Stony Brook and Hartford are looking for their NCAA Tournament bid in school history. Hartford broke a bizarre six game losing streak for #3 seeds in the AEast tournament.
#1 Vermont vs. #4 Albany 5 p.m.
#2 Stony Brook vs. #3 Hartford 7:30 p.m.
The cooky Badlands tournament schedule continues. Fort Wayne took care of business yesterday in the 2-7 game. Today we get the 4-5 and 3-6 contests.
#4 Denver vs. #5 South Dakota
#3 South Dakota State vs. #6 Western Illinois
Delaware and Wlliam & Mary both survived early upset bids to move onto the semis in the CAA. Northeastern provided the only 'upset' in a 5 over 4 game against Drexel.
#1 Delaware vs. #5 Northeastern -2:30 p.m.
#2 Towson vs. #3 William & Mary - 5:00 p.m.
As we talked about in this space yesterday the top four teams in the MAAC were a cut above everyone else and now it is down to just the top four in MAAChusetts. Iona and Canisius split the regular season series while Quinnipiac swept Manhattan. Anything could happen in Springfield today.
#1 Iona vs. #4 Canisius -4:30 p.m.
#2 Manhattan vs. #3 Quinnipiac - 7:00 p.m.
Final Four in the SoCo. Seven seed Georgia Southern is the Cinderella story here knocking off the 2 seed Chattanooga yesterday. Davidson is marching towards a third straight NCAA Tournament appearance and sixth in the 10 year history of this site.
#1 Davidson vs. #5 Western Carolina - 6 p.m.
#3 Wofford vs. #7 Georgia Southern - 8:30 p.m.
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