First wave of conference tournaments begin


My Morning Jacket, “Believe (Nobody Knows)”

From The Waterfall album, released May 4, 2015 on Capitol Records.

Happy March!  This really kicks off one of my favorite times of the year, and I hope and wish it will become one of your favorite times of the year also.

Two conference tournaments tip off today, with the first of 31 automatic bids to be decided on Saturday, March 5.

Rather than give you an oversized blog featuring when every tournament game takes place, I will instead be giving you smaller capsules so you will have a better grasp on when everybody plays and where you can catch the games, either online (usually on ESPN3 or the individual conference websites) or on cable television, except where CBS will do a handful of games the weekends of March 5-6 and 12-13.

Atlantic Sun Conference, at campus sites

First Round, all games online on ESPN3

1) North Florida vs. 8) South Carolina Upstate, 7:30 pm

4) Florida Gulf Coast. vs. 5) Kennesaw State, 7:05 pm

3) Jacksonville vs. 6) Lipscomb, 7 pm

2) New Jersey Tech or NJIT vs. 7) Stetson, 7:30 pm

Skinny:  The North Florida Ospreys love to use the three point shot a lot, evoking memories of Loyola Marymount in 1989-1990 currently leading the nation at a whopping 12.5 long distance attempts per game.  However, if NJIT pulls off the upset–what a story this could be.  Jim Engels took over when they were the newest entrant to Division I in 2008.  A sad 51 game losing streak later, they might see the light at the end of the tunnel in the form of an NCAA Tournament berth.

Semifinals–Thursday, March 3

Championship game–Sunday, March 6 on ESPN2

Patriot League, at campus sites

Best to check conference website for live video streaming.

First Round:

8. Loyola (Maryland) vs. 9. Holy Cross, 7:30 p.m.

7. Navy vs. 10. Lafayette (Pennsylvania), 7 p.m.

Quarterfinals on Thursday, March 3:

Winner of 8/9 game vs. 1. Bucknell, time TBD

4. Army vs. 5. Colgate, 7 p.m.

3. Boston Univ. vs. 6. American University, 7 p.m.

Winner of 7/10 game vs. 2. Lehigh, time TBD

Remainder of tournament to air on CBS Sports Network:

Semifinals on Sunday, March 6

Championship game on Tuesday, March 9

Skinny:  The top three seeds are the ones to watch, with Bucknell looking to go back for the third time in the last six years.  Also, don’t be surprised by Leigh–who shocked Bucknell by 15 points three weeks ago.  The darkhorse in this tournament definitely is the 3 seed in the Lafayette Leopards.  How about that double overtime finish last week before finally losing to Bucknell?  After all, in the 2015 postseason tournament, it was the Leopards who crashed the Bison’s party plans and forced them to do some NIT picking instead.

Tomorrow, after most of the nation recovers from Super Tuesday where 13 states are voting in Presidential primaries–action gets underway in the America East, Northeast, and Ohio Valley conference tournaments featuring the likes of Albany, Fairleigh-Dickinson, and Belmont.

I will try to chime in if any major upsets occur over the next 13 days.  See you soon.



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