Another trio of tournaments begin

SONG SELECTION:

“Street Level” by Neon Indian

Found on the Vega Intl. Night School album

Released October 16, 2015 from the Mom & Pop Music label.

Big South, Metro Atlantic, and Missouri Valley starts with afternoon sessions

The brand of hoops in these tournaments is usually highly spirited combined with high drama.  And yes, you can actually some of the games on cable television in addition to online.

Big South Conference, all games in Buies Creek, North Carolina

First three rounds available online via their conference site.

First Round:

8. Longwood vs. 9. Charleston Southern, 2 p.m. Eastern

7. Radford vs. 10. Presbyterian, 4:30 p.m.

6. Gardner-Webb vs. 11. Campbell, 7 p.m.

Quarterfinals to take place on Friday, March 4:

7/10 winner takes on 2. Winthrop

6/11 winner takes on 3. Coastal Carolina

8/9 winner takes on 1. High Point

4. North Carolina-Asheville vs. 5 Liberty, 2 p.m. ESPN3

Semifinals on Saturday, March 5

Championship game on Sunday, March 6 on ESPN

Skinny:  High Point has usually done very well during the regular season.  But they have not been able to cut down the nets, since they have fallen short of their ultimate goal each and every time.  Case in point:  They lost by one in 2013, two points in 2014, and by one point in overtime in 2015.  During this 20-9 regular season, 8 of their defeats have been by a combined margin of only 27 points.  Losing by four at Texas Tech and three points each at North Carolina State and Georgia might have raised some eyebrows in December, but Winthrop got the best of the Panthers last month whipping them by 20.  As you often hear media people say during Presidential election years, this conference is simply too close to call.  However, there is one runaway winner with the cutest nickname and logo–and that goes to the Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina.  So cute that bird is:).

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, all games in Albany, New York

Best to check ESPN3 and the conference website for streaming information.

First Round

8 Rider vs. 9. Quinnipiac, 5 p.m.

7. Canisius vs. 10. Niagara, 7 p.m.

6. Manhattan vs. 11. Marist, 9 p.m.

Quarterfinals to be staged over parts of two days, March 4 and 5

4. St. Peter’s vs. 5. Fairfield, 9:30 p.m. on Saturday

8/9 winner to take on 1. Monmouth

6/11 winner to take on 3. Siena

7/10 winner to take on 2. Iona

Skinny:  Monmouth is one of my subjects later today in my weekly “Under the Microscope” series, along with Ohio State of the Big Ten.  The Selection committee is not fooled by their 25-6 record, which includes a handful of quality wins.  But their 53 overall RPI raises a bit of head scratching, almost similar to the decision Playboy Magazine made in October 2015 to eliminate nudity in print starting with the March 2016 issue.  But look out for the Iona Gaels, since there is no love lost between these two rivals.  Iona pounded Monmouth in their last encounter by 16 points and they enter this MAAC Tournament winners of nine out of their last ten games.

Missouri Valley Conference, aka “Arch Madness”

All games to take place in St. Louis, Missouri

First two rounds to be televised by Comcast SportsNet Chicago and other affiliated Regional Sports Networks, plus ESPN3 online

8. Loyola (Chicago) vs. 9. Bradley, 7 p.m. Eastern

7. Missouri State vs. 10. Drake, 9:30 p.m.

Quarterfinals to take place on Friday, March 4

8/9 winner to take on 1. Wichita State, 1 p.m.

4. Northern Iowa vs. 5. Southern Illinois, 3:30 p.m.

7/10 winner vs. 2. Evansville, 7 p.m.

3. Illinois State vs. 6. Indiana State, 9:30 p.m.

Skinny:  After dropping four of their first six games, Wichita State has gone on their usual roll winning 21 out of their last 24 contests.  The conference race wasn’t even close, but get them in a close game and the Shockers might get a bit flustered.  Gregg Marshall’s bunch is only 1-5 in games decided by five points or less.  The definite darkhorse in this edition of “Arch Madness” is Evansville, finishing this high in the standings for the first time since the turn of the last century (1999).  Illinois State and Northern Iowa as we have found out before can turn up the screws defensively and come up huge with getting key rebounds at crucial times.  The true Jekyll and Hyde team here in 2016 has to be Northern Iowa.  Although the UNI Panthers have won 9 out of their last 10 games, they did manage to get some very quality wins earlier in the year against always tough North Carolina, Iowa State, and Wichita State in conference.  However, they have not solved the riddle that is Loyola–since a big cold dish of deep dish pizza was served against UNI in beating them twice.  Those two games now mean nothing as everybody starts out zero and zero.

Semifinal games on Saturday, March 6 to air on the CBS Sports Network

Championship game on Sunday, March 7 to air on CBS (without cable).

Friday, more action will tip off at the Colonial, Southern Conference, and the West Coast featuring many top flight teams from Gonzaga, St. Mary’s, and Brigham Young.

Continue to enjoy the games and please try to have a pleasant day.

 

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