Mid-American: Bowling Green 57, Miami (Oh.) 56 (story)
- Despite the fact that the game's telecast was cancelled after an hour's delay because BGSU's Mawel Soler shattered a backboard
during pregame warmups, Falcon senior forward Josh Almanson's
jumper with six seconds remaining was a shot heard 'round the MAC.
Not only did it help the Falcons keep pace with Western Michigan
in the MAC West at 10-6, it took down a Miami team (17-8, 11-5 MAC) that had been streaking towards at-large consideration until last week. Now the RedHawks, losers of two straight, may not even win the MAC East - they have a four-strong squadron of teams ( Buffalo
and Kent State
) on their tail at 10-6 heading into the final week of the regular season. Bye bye, Bubble, bye bye?America East: Maine 87, Vermont 66 (story)
- The first thing you need to know about this result is that the Catamounts' inside-outside scoring tandem, Taylor Coppenrath (general discomfort) and T.J. Sorrentine (hamstring), were scratched just an hour before tipoff. The second is that this was a fantastic Senior Day win for a tragically-starred Black Bear team (13-14, 8-10 AE) that had been picked to fight it out with UVM at the top of the AE, but were stopped by broken bones and bad luck. The third thing is that Vermont has given the Selection Committee all it needs to form an excuse for at-large exclusion.Let's Get Tournament-al!Atlantic Sun: (top 8 of 11 qualify)
Quarterfinal action kicks off on Thursday in Nashville, Tennessee. Gardner-Webb
is top dog, and will play the eighth-seeded Troy State
Trojans. Two-seed and defending champion Central Florida
draws 7 Mercer
, host school Belmont
(#3) will take on 6 Georgia State
, and the final game of the night will be a 4-5 matchup between Jacksonville and Lipscomb. There is no reseeding after the first round, and play will resume on Friday in normal bracket-like fashion.
Fourth through seventh places finished with identical 11-9 records, and had to be extracted with a series of extremely messy tiebreakers. Good night, Florida Atlantic, Stetson and 0-20 Campbell. FAU finished ninth with a 10-10 conference record, but were trapped in a world they never made.
America East: (all 10 qualify) The first round, quarterfinals and semis will be held this weekend at the sparkling new Events Center in Binghamton, New York. Play begins on Friday with two first-round games: 8 New Hampshire takes on 9 Maryland-Baltimore County, and 7 Stony Brook plays 10 Hartford. The host Binghamton Bearcats (#5) will tip it off in the quarters against worst-to-fourth Albany, and the three other games on Saturday go like this: 8-9 winner against 1 Vermont (21-6, 16-2 AE); 2 Northeastern against the 7-10 survivor, and 3 Boston University against 6 Maine. And to follow up on the story from the other day, BU has indeed ducked the trap seed.
Horizon League: (all 9 qualify) The bracket is set in the league that challenges its member schools to "raise their sights." The two UW schools ( Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Wisconsin-Green Bay) get the one and two seeds, respectively, and get free passes to the semifinals. Tomorrow night sees three first-round knockout games at campus sites: 7 Butler will visit 6 Wright State; 4 Loyola (Ill.) hosts 9 Youngstown State; and 8 Cleveland State travels to fifth-seeded defending HL champions Illinois-Chicago. When action resumes in Milwaukee on Friday, three-seed Detroit will take on the 6-7 survivor and the winners of the other two first round games will square off. UWM awaits the latter game's result for a Saturday semi, and UWGB will get the former.
Metro Atlantic: (all 10 qualify) The MAAC will hold their festivities at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo this year. Niagara (18-9, 13-5 MAAC) is the one-seed, and will zoom straight to the semifinals. On First Round Thursday, there will be the traditional low-seed tripleheader: 5 Iona will play 10 Siena, 7 Canisius and 8 Marist will square off, and 6 Manhattan will take on 9 Loyola (Md.). The two-through-four seeds see action on Friday when 4 St. Peter's goes against the winner of Iona-Siena, 3 Fairfield plays the 7-8 survivor, and 2 Rider awaits the decision from the 6-9 game. Niagara will play the team that makes it out of the 4 vs. 5/10 tilt.
Sun Belt: (all 11 qualify) For the SBC tournament in Denton, Texas (hosted by the North Texas Mean Green at the Super Pit), Eastern division champion Arkansas-Little Rock and West winner Denver are the one-seeds. Action will kick off on Friday with three games: W4 South Alabama against E5 Florida International (winner gets UALR the next day); E4 (TBD) versus host W5 North Texas (winner takes on Denver); and E3 (TBD) against W6 New Mexico State. E2 Western Kentucky and W3 New Orleans will square off next Sunday in the quarterfinals, and W2 Louisiana-Lafayette will await the winner of the E3-W6 game.
The final game of the Sun Belt's regular season will be contested tonight between Middle Tennessee State (17-11, 6-7 SBC) and Florida International. If MTSU wins, they will be the Eastern three-seed; if not, Arkansas State (15-12, 7-7 SBC) will take that slot. It's somewhat important, because E4 gets that trap game against the tournament host.
Tomorrow, we inspect three not-quite-complete brackets: the Missouri Valley, Northeast and Mid-Continent.
Game! Of! The! Night!
The MEAC is advertising its conference tournament as "The Real Deal," but this late regular-season showdown between Delaware State (14-13, 12-4 MEAC) and Hampton (14-11, 12-4 MEAC) will certainly give the loser a dose of reality. Hampton has won five straight and eight of nine, and a win here would help their one-seed chances immeasurably. Coppin State (13-13, 13-4 MEAC) has the upper hand and one game remaining, but the Pirates hold the tiebreaker over them thanks to a 51-50 squeaker back in January. Del-State won their first meeting, a 66-64 overtime thriller in Dover; tonight, they're in Virginia. 7:00 Eastern, no webcast.
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