Bracket WrapNortheast: (1) Fairleigh Dickinson 58, (6) Wagner 52 (story)
- Two more Dance tickets were printed and punched last night: Fairleigh-Dickinson out of the NEC, and Montana from the Big Sky.
- Defending champion Florida A&M was ousted from the MEAC tournament.
- After a last-second bracket reshuffling due to three forfeited games, the SWAC gets it going today.
- The Knights aren't all about Steed and Stallion
, you know. Italian big-boy Andrea Crosariol had 18, and guard Chad Timberlake justified himself with an 11-point performance after an oh-fer in the semis. FDU fought off a brave bunch of Seahwaks, who dug themselves out of a 2-15 start and rode a six-seed all the way to the title game. But, just like in the comic - er, graphic novel - the Horse-Men
prevailed.Big Sky: (3) Montana 63, (5) Weber State 61 (story)
- Montana grabbed the lead and held off the hard-charging Wildcats, Heisman-style, after an 11-0 run put them up by ten with four minutes left. Weber had used two late runs to upset the four and one, but this one fell short - the Grizzlies are the champions of the little northwestern conference with the big name.Big West:
The first round is done; if you wear the gold and blue of the UC system, it was a good day in Anaheim.(5) California-Irvine 80, (8) Idaho 67 (story)(7) California-Santa Barbara 55, (6) Long Beach State 49 (story)
A scruffy junior Anteater guard from the Northwest named Aaron Fitzgerald scored a season-high 30 points, as UCI showed the Vandals the door - whether they tagged it with a Krylon can on their way out is not known. LBSU made their exit in a minor upset, mostly because they kept turning the ball over (19 times) and shot 37%.
So two more teams enter the fray this evening, and after reshuffling the bracket to ensure maxiumum top-seed goodness, here's how today's second round goes: UCI will take on Cal State Northridge
, the three-seed; UCSB will try their luck against 3 Cal State Fullerton
Now that the CAA's out of Richmond, the MEAC takes over the Coliseum. Two quarters took place last night, and the two top seeds get to take a day off to watch their respective bracket pairings play out.(1) Delaware State 66, Bethune-Cookman 43 (story)(2) Hampton 81, (7) Florida A&M 72 (story)
When Del-State is good, they get multi-dimensional production - in this game, all three of their main backcourters were in slight double figures. the Pirates used a three-man show (guards Jeff Granger and Devin Green had 26 and 24, respectively; center Bruce Brown added 15) to remove the defending conference champs.Let's Get Tournament-al! (once more, with feeling)Southwestern Athletic: (top 8 of 10 qualify) Our final bracket breakdown is the Southwestern Athletic Conference, who's "Taking It Downtown" this year. This league overwhelmingly led the nation in close games but still doesn't get any love. But if you're in Birmingham, Alabama today, have your breakfast with the SWAC: 4 Mississippi Valley State and 5 Jackson State tip things off at 10 a.m. Eastern, followed by 3 Grambling and 6 Southern for the 12:30 lunch game. The afternoon session starts at 5 p.m. with 2 Alabama State against 7 Prairie View A&M, and the top seed comes out to play in the final game: Alabama A&M will take on 8 Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
The bracket was reshuffled at the last moment. Alcorn State had thought they'd clinched the eight-seed last weekend, and Texas Southern had to forfeit three league games to Jackson State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Prairie View for using an ineligible player. Those vacated games led to new life for the lower division and a four-way tie at 6-12, but the league announced that PVAM had won an invisible "mini-tournament" during the year because of their 4-2 record against the other three schools. "I guess I ate my Lucky Charms," Prairie View coach Jerome Francis Jr. said.
Crazy, wacky SWAC.
What's On Tap
Okay, deep breath, we're getting ready for the stretch here. Big West second round, SWAC quarters start, the MEAC's quarters continue. In the swingin' state of Ohio, the Atlantic 10 (Cincinnati) and Mid-American (Cleveland) plays out four-game quarterfinal slates.
Pennsylvania (19-8, 12-1 Ivy) clinched the Ivy League regular season title on February 27.
Winthrop (27-5, 18-1 BSC) won the Big South tournament on March 5.
Eastern Kentucky (21-8, 13-5 OVC) won the Ohio Valley tournament on March 5.
Chattanooga (20-13, 13-6 SoCon) won the Southern tournament on March 5.
Central Florida (24-8, 15-7 A-Sun) won the Atlantic Sun tournament on March 5.
Creighton (23-10, 13-7 MVC) won the Missouri Valley tournament on March 7.
Niagara (20-9, 15-5 MAAC) won the Metro Atlantic tournament on March 7.
Old Dominion (28-5, 18-3 CAA) won the Colonial tournament on March 7.
UMPFN (25-4, 14-2 WCC) won the West Coast tournament on March 7.
Oakland (12-18, 9-9 Mid-Con) won the Mid-Continent tournament on March 8.
Louisiana-Lafayette (20-10, 14-4 SBC) won the Sun Belt tournament on March 8.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee (24-5, 16-2 HL) won the Horizon tournament on March 8.
Fairleigh Dickinson (20-12, 14-5 NEC) won the Northeast tournament on March 9.
Montana (18-12, 12-5 BSky) won the Big Sky tournament on March 9.