March 16, 2008 9:27 am ET by Kyle Whelliston
UMBC joins D.C.-based American of the Patriot League as first-time DelMarVa NCAA participants. The Retrievers jumped out to a 22-6 lead and never let go, and former Coppin Stater Darryl Proctor scored 23 on 10-for-14 shooting. Hartford made a few runs, but all they were able to manage was to cut the lead from the 20's to the low teens.
Deonte Christmas capped off a tourney MVP week with a 22-point performance, and Owl guard Ryan Brooks rebounded from a mistake-filled first half to give Temple the 15-point spark it needed to overcome the Joes.
Just when you thought the MEAC had an upset candidate, they get upset themselves in the title game. Tywain McKee was the last-minute hero for the third day in a row, scoring his final two of 33 points on a runner with three seconds to go. A lot of team's Dayton bubbles just burst -- Coppin is the first 20-loss team to ever make the NCAA Tournament.
Delta Devils leading scorer Carl Lucas nailed a pair of free throws with less than a a second remaining to pull MVSU to its first SWAC championship since 1996.
A day after looking spent and exhausted, Kent State put the clamps on Akron's running game, shot 51 percent, and cruised to a blowout win in the MAC championship. The victory not only sent the Golden Flashes back to the Dance, it sealed a three-game sweep of the crosstown rival Zips.
Don't worry if you missed the game, ESPN Classic will boil it down to two hours and play it for years to come. Boise State was up 17-3 early on, and a furious second half rally brought the Aggies back close, capped by a Jonathan Gibson 3 with 17 seconds left in regulation put the Aggies on top temporarily. Boise State took a lead in the first OT only to have NMSU tie it on free throws. In the second OT, as the number of big man foul-outs escalated, the Aggies jumped out in front before the Broncos reeled them back in. Finally, in the third session, NMSU had no more gas, and Boise built a five-point lead it never relinquished.
The Titans shot 53 percent from the floor and built an early lead, leaving the Anteaters in the dust. Fullerton hasn't been where it is now since 1978, before several of its players were born.
On Tap Tonight
The final mid-major championship game is between the Southland's March magicians and a team looking to Dance for the first time. NWSU is appearing in its fourth straight title game, and could be on the Dayton bubble with its sub-.500 record. UTA looked like a team that could storm the league with eight straight nonconference wins, before a wrist injury to guard Brandon Long hurt the team's overall backcourt play.
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