Sunday, 6 March 2011

Early Conference Tournaments

On Saturday, three conference tournaments played their championship game, meaning 3 teams clinched their spot in The Big Dance. A quick look at all of them.

Big South - UNC-Asheville
They took care of top seeded Coastal Carolina, who was decimated by injuries and suspensions (they had 8 active players). UNC-Asheville was the 3 seed out of the Big South, and they took out 6th seed Charleston Southern and 7th seed High Point before taking down Coastal Carolina. Despite being a 19 win team, look for them to potentially be in the play-in game. They could win that, but their chances of winning a Tourney game are minimal.

Atlantic-Sun - Belmont
The Bruins are about to become very popular in America. That is because they are a 30 win team that has lost to Tennessee twice, Vanderbilt, and one fluky conference loss to Lipscomb. Other than that, they are unblemished on the season, and won their conference championship by 41 points over North Florida (who was the 6 seed in the conference). Look for Belmont to a be about a 13 seed and a popular upset choice in the first round.

Ohio Valley - Morehead St.
The Eagles are led by Kenneth Faried, one of the best big men in college basketball and one of the best rebounders in recent college basketball history. Though the much anticipated rematch with Murray St. did not happen, it was still an entertaining game in their win over Tennessee Tech. While I am not sure if they have the guard play to spring an upset (Demonte Harper notwithstanding), I don't think any team is going to be eager to take on Kenneth Faried in the first round of the Tournament. It is fitting for the OVC Player of the Year to end his career playing in the Tourney.

Do any of these teams have a chance to win a game in The Big Dance?