Monday, February 27, 2012

Dead or Alive!?!?!?!?!

Here we go, it's March Madness time.  Yep, you get three bonus days in February. Conference tournaments start today, Monday the 27th.  For the next 14 days, teams will be playing their conference tourneys and either continuing to chase their dream, or losing out and being forced to hope next year brings a different outcome.  Selection Sunday will then set the stage for the best tournament in sports, with 68 teams hoping this could be the year.  Finally Monday, April 2 will be the end of the journey and one team will stand tall as the Champion of College Basketball.  And for once, the game won't rival Opening Day, thank God.

As of Monday night, 35 teams are officially done, leaving 309 teams still with a shot at the title.  Here are your eliminated teams:

Atlantic Sun - Kennesaw State, Stetson
Big Sky - Northern Arizona, Sacramento State, Northern Colorado
Big West - Cal State Northridge
Northeast - Fairleigh Dickinson, Bryant University, Mount St. Mary’s, St. Francis, PA
Ohio Valley - Tennessee-Martin, Eastern Illinois, SIU-Edwardsville
Southland - Central Arkansas, Southeastern Louisiana, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Summit - UMKC, South Dakota
Sun Belt - Louisiana Monroe
Independents - Cal State Bakersfield, Seattle, Longwood
Great West - Utah Valley, Texas-Pan American, North Dakota, NJIT, Houston Baptist, Chicago State
Ivy - Brown, Dartmouth, Columbia, Cornell
Big South - Presbyterian, Radford, Gardner-Webb

Remember, there are 32 conferences, 31 of them have conference tourneys. The Great West Conference doesn't have an automatic bid and the Ivy League doesn't have a conference tourney.  The Ivy awards their regular season champion the auto bid.  So in the end, there are 31 automatic bids. That leaves 37 at large bids to be handed out on Sunday, March 11th.  I'll keep a tally of auto bids on the blog once we start getting some champions.  I will also post my prediction for each conference before each tourney starts.

Big South
This tourney started on Monday, so ya, I'm late, but I don't think the outcomes of the first games are going to sway my decision.  UNC Asheville is definitely my pick to win this one.  Not only are they the class of the conference, but the tourney will be held at their place if they make it to the final.   Their tourney to lose.  Just want to point out that they got rolled in Athens by the Bobcats a couple weeks ago, but hey, who doesn't?

Horizon League
This tourney starts on Tuesday.  This will be an interesting one.  Valpo is the best team and they will host the tourney.  But you know who is lurking; Butler is a five seed and will have to win four games to get back to the tourney.  We've all seen them win four games in a row before.  I'm going to pick Valpo though, it's at their place, the Drew family has some magic going in this one, and I don't think Butler can keep it going this year.

In all, 15 conferences start their tourneys this week, should be fun.  I'm going to the Marquette at Cincinnati game on Wednesday.  Big one for Cincy, they need it.  We are also going to Ohio at Miami on Friday.  Looks like Ohio will need to win to get the two seed and a double bye in the MAC tourney next week, they need that.  If you made it this far, thanks for reading.  Let me know your thoughts on the tourneys.


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