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Conference Tournament News and Notes

Conference Tournament News and Notes

Upsets on the Horizon
By Joe Nelson

The Horizon League tournament starts this week and the conference tourney offers great intrigue as the fate of Butler will be closely monitored. Butler will get overwhelming support in many areas around the country as bubble teams do not want to see an upset and a bubble spot stolen. The Horizon will certainly be a one-bid league unless someone pulls the upset and Butler and Hinkle Fieldhouse host the tournament this season after wining the regular season title with a 16-2 record.

The Bulldogs are a lock for the Big Dance and having climbed up to #12 in the latest national rankings. Butler could potentially equal or surpass the highest seed ever for a Horizon League team, a title owned currently by the 1985 Loyola team. Last season Butler earned a #5 seed and did not disappoint with two wins in the tournament and the Bulldogs will look to improve seeding with a strong showing in the conference tournament.

The Horizon League has featured a sweet sixteen team in three of the past five NCAA tournaments and the conference owns the best winning percentage in the nation among non-BCS conferences, placing 7th out of the 31 division I conferences with a .472 winning percentage. Butler will not be a team that anyone wants to see in their side of the bracket and the Horizon League has held its own in non-conference play.

One reason for success in the national tournament may be the timing of the conference tournament. The Horizon League championship game will be on Tuesday night, March 11 so the teams that advance to the NCAA tournament will have a bit of extra time to get ready for the games that really matter. By comparison teams coming out of some of the other mid-major conferences like the Big West, Mountain West, WAC, MAC all play into the Saturday before selection Sunday, leaving little time to recover form the high note of winning the conference tournament. The WCC, Colonial, and Missouri Valley all also finish conference tournaments well before the NCAA tournament, and there may be some correlation between that extra time and the success teams from those conferences have produced in the NCAA tournament.

The four first round games in the Horizon take place Tuesday, March 4th at the higher seed’s home court. Butler and Cleveland State both earned byes by taking the top two spots in regular season play. A bye is huge advantage in this 10-team bracket as Butler and Cleveland State will essentially receive two byes, automatically entering the semi-finals. Butler will be the overwhelming favorite in this tournament but a couple of teams can spoil things for some of the bubble teams from other mid-major conferences and some of the teams caught in the middle of the pack in major conferences.

Wright State: The Raiders tied for first place in regular season last season and by tie-breakers ended up hosting, and eventually winning the conference tournament. Wright State would have been a very unlikely at-large pick so it was a huge performance at home in a must-win tournament. This year the tie-breaker went against Wright State and the Raiders must play a 1st round game and Cleveland State gets the #2 seed and the bye to the semi-finals. Wright State looked like a candidate to climb into at-large discussion with eleven consecutive wins from mid-January to late February but the Raiders lost the final three games of the season with a Bracket Buster loss, a loss at Butler and a close loss at Valparaiso. Wright State did beat Butler at home early in the year as the teams played an unusual early December conference game. Wright won 43-42 in a defensive battle and played very close with Butler last week in Indianapolis. Wright State has had Butler’s number and the match-up would not occur until the final so the Raiders are a serious threat.

Cleveland State: Even though the Vikings faded in the middle of the season after a great start, they have to be considered a team that could steal the tournament and the automatic NCAA tournament bid. Cleveland State will only have to win two games and they will have a big advantage in the semi-final match-up as the opponent will have already have played two games in the week, including a game the night before the semi-final match-up on Saturday. Cleveland State did finish strong with wins in six of the final seven games and the Vikings went 6-2 against the four teams that could end up in the semi-final game. Cleveland State is also the only other Horizon team that beat Butler in the regular season, winning by four in mid-January. Butler took revenge late in the season but it was a very tight game.

Valparaiso: The Crusaders started the season 10-1 but a five-game losing streak in the heart of the conference season stole any momentum gained early in the year. Valparaiso was very competitive against Butler but ended up losing both games. The Crusaders would not play Butler unless they reach the conference final however and Valparaiso has the toughest tournament draw of the four teams hosting first-round games. Valparaiso did win its final four games of the season but a miracle run is likely not in the cards.

Illinois-Chicago: The Flames have been a bit inconsistent but injuries did play a role in a few losses this season and the poor record in the closing schedule was likely in part due to playing five of the final six games away from home. Four teams tied at 9-9 in Horizon play and the Flames earned the best of the tiebreakers and claim the most favorable seed at #4. Illinois-Chicago beat first-round opponent Youngstown State in both meetings this season but the likely second-round opponent UW-Milwaukee could provide a great challenge as the regular season meetings were split with both margins of victory being just two points. The Flames can live and die by long-range shooting so a hot shooting performance could lead to a big upset over Butler in the semi-finals if they are able to get there.

UW-Milwaukee: The Panthers struggled down the stretch losing seven of the final nine games but still held on to a home 1st round game. UW-M lost two overtime games in conference play including a game against Butler that they led almost the entire way so the Panthers were close to having an even stronger position. First-round opponent Loyola-Chicago lost in Milwaukee just a week ago so it might be a tougher than expected first round game facing revenge and the familiarity of the Ramblers having just played in the building and losing. The Panthers were NCAA tournament darlings in 2005 and 2006 however so anything is possible.

In a fairly balanced league, there certainly could be road upsets in the first-round. UW-Green Bay went 9-9 in league play so they are likely the best candidate although a run to the championship game would be hard to see happening. Loyola-Chicago was a much more competitive team than its record and Youngstown State and Detroit are both capable of a surprise win in the first round but given the advantage the top two seeds have in this bracket it should come down to Butler and one of the five teams listed above.

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Re: Conference Tournament News and Notes

ASA: Overrated/Underrated
March 4, 2008

March Madness is upon us and with that comes talks of brackets and teams on the bubble. What are often lost in the shuffle are those teams that have little hope of making the Big Dance but big aspirations of playing spoiler. There are numerous teams out there that aren’t even bubble teams but are playing well enough right now to burst the bubbles of other teams. Here are three that could burst bubbles with three others that could have their bubbles burst:


Virginia –
The Cavaliers have spent most of the season at the bottom of the ACC standings but a recent stretch of solid play has them out of the basement. They have gone 3-1 SU in their last four games and have covered five straight contests. Virginia lost by just one at home to now top-ranked North Carolina and lost by just two at Miami. Throw in road wins at Georgia Tech and Boston College and an 18-point home win over NC State and the Cavs are a viable spoiler down the stretch. Their only shot at the NCAA Tournament is winning the ACC Tourney so they have slim hopes of a berth to the Big Dance. That doesn’t mean the Cavs couldn’t pop a few bubbles along the way

Oklahoma State – The Cowboys have gone through a transformation similar to Virginia as they’ve overcome a slow start to the season to become a potential threat over the next couple of weeks. Oklahoma State was just 2-7 in Big 12 play and 11-12 overall three weeks ago but has rebounded to win five straight games to even its conference mark at 7-7. The Cowboys haven’t just been picking on the conference’s weaklings either as they’ve posted wins over Kansas, Texas A&M and Baylor, three teams very like bound for the NCAA Tournament. Wins in its final two regular-season games and a good showing in the conference tourney could propel Oklahoma State to an at-large bid for the Big Dance.

Valparaiso – The Horizon League, as has become the norm, has been dominated by Butler this year. With that domination has loomed a huge shadow over the rest of the conference, including Valparaiso. The Crusaders started to garner some attention after a 10-1 start but a midseason swoon quickly eliminated that attention. They have recovered from that swoon in recent weeks, though. Starting with an overtime Bracket Buster win over Miami (OH), Valpo has run off four straight wins, including a win over second-place Wright State. The Crusaders are 12th in the country in three-point shooting and are capable of going off at any time. That makes them a dangerous squad over the season’s final month.


Mississippi –
Ole Miss looked like a viable contender in the SEC after starting the season 13-0 and taking Tennessee down to the wire on the road in the conference opener. SEC action has not been good to the Rebels, though, as they’ve gone just 5-9 SU and 4-10 ATS in conference play. These struggles have left Mississippi on the bubble after appearing like a shoo-in earlier this year. The Rebels have been predictably bad in SEC road games this year but they haven’t been that great at home this year. They are just 2-5 ATS at home against conference foes, losing outright to sub-.500 teams South Carolina and Auburn. Ole Miss is an extremely young team and it appears as though it has hit the wall.

Missouri – Leading-scorer Stefhon Hannah’s off-court issues and subsequent dismissal from the team were well-publicized yet the Tigers remain an overvalued team. The Tigers are 3-6 SU and 2-7 ATS since Hannah’s suspension, failing to cover all three games in which they were favored. Not only has Missouri’s offense fallen off without Hannah but its defense has gotten worse as well. The Tigers have twice allowed 100 points in the last nine games and are allowing 79.2 points per game over their last nine overall. It’s time to realize that Missouri isn’t going anywhere in its current state as an overrated squad.

UW-Milwaukee – Consecutive impressive NCAA Tournament runs during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons have left lasting impressions in bettor’s minds. This is not the same UW-Milwaukee team, though. Bruce Pearl is in Tennessee, players have graduated and the players that have replaced the departed aren’t nearly as good. Injuries and suspensions have left this year’s edition extremely thin as the roster has been trimmed from 18 to nine. A hard stretch of games in a short period of time has resulted in this team with little in the tank. The Panthers are just 2-7 SU and 3-6 ATS over their last nine and look like they’re just finishing out the season at this point.

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Re: Conference Tournament News and Notes

by Bruce Marshall

Is it that time already?

Yes it is. Folks, get ready for conference tournament action!

Hard as it is to believe, we are nearing the end of the college basketball regular season, but that doesn’t mean the fun is about to end. Instead, we suggest that it’s probably ready to crank up a few notches.

The college basketball calendar has pushed everything back a week this season, with Selection Sunday later than usual (March 16). Conference tourney action, as usual, gets going a couple of weeks sooner. And in this issue, we're providing an extra "heads up" on those lower-echelon Division I conferences that will be sending teams to the NCAA, NIT, and new CBI tourneys. These events, many of which take place at campus sites, are mostly held before the major conferences take center stage with their versions, and will provide extra wagering opportunities in early March. We will continue with more conference tournament previews over the next few weeks our big NCAA Tourney sub-regional edition three weeks hence.

And we’d suggest paying close attention to some of the early conference tourneys, because many of the winners in these events have been providing stiff NCAA first-round opposition for the “big boys” for several years. Some were in action during last weekend’s Bracket Buster, and others made their mark before New Year’s, with a collection of upsets vs. major conference foes that caught everyone’s attention. We’ve also been following many of these leagues and teams closely since November, and have seen some of these teams in person as well (the Texas-Arlington at TCU game in mid-December, which went into overtime, was one of the best of the many games we’ve seen this season). Plus, we’ve had many of our scouts and sources keeping us abreast of developments in these leagues. Thus, we’re certainly on alert to keep an eye on a number of these entries, particularly Davidson from the Southern Conference, Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State from the Southland Conference, Oral Roberts and IUPUI from the Summit League, and Niagara and Siena from the Metro-Atlantic Conference among many to watch. Stay tuned.

We've listed below, by conference alphabetical order, upcoming tournament specifics for those lower-profile Division I leagues. Also included are any teams that enjoy home-court tourney edges; the top contenders in each loop, noted by italics, with any clear-cut favorite or co-favorite accompanied by an *; and last season's conference results in the NCAA & NIT. In two weeks, we'll also review how these leagues have fared in recent Big Dance action.

Let’s go!

AMERICA EAST...First round, quarterfinals, and semis March 7-9 at Binghamton Events Center, Binghamton, NY (home court of Binghamton); final March 15 at home of highest remaining seed. Top contenders—UM-Baltimore County*, Hartford, Vermont, Albany, Binghamton, Boston U. Last year...NCAA-Albany (+8½) lost vs. Virginia, 84-57; NIT-Vermont (+12) lost, but covered, at Kansas State, 59-57.

ATLANTIC SUN...Tourney March 5-8 at Allen Arena, Nashville, TN (home court of Lipscomb). Top contenders-Belmont, Jacksonville, East Tennessee State, Gardner-Webb, Stetson. Florida Gulf Coast, Kennesaw State, North Florida, & USC-Upstate ineligible while completing transition to Division I. Last year...NCAA-Belmont (+16½) lost vs. Georgetown, 80-55; NIT-East Tennessee State (+16½) lost, but covered, at Clemson, 64-57.

BIG SKY...First round (3 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5) March 8 at home of higher-seeded team; regular-season champ (likely Portland State) will host semifinals and final March 11-12. Top contenders-Portland State*, Northern Arizona, Weber State, Montana State. Last year...NCAA-Weber State (+20) lost vs. UCLA, 70-42.

BIG SOUTH...Quarterfinals March 4 at home of highest seed; semis March 6 at regular-season champion; finals March 8 at home of highest-remaining seed. Top contenders-Winthrop, UNC-Asheville, Coastal Carolina, High Point, Liberty. Last year...NCAA-Winthrop (+3½) beat Notre Dame, 74-64; lost (+3) vs. Oregon, 75-61.

METRO ATLANTIC...Tourney March 7-10 at Times Union Center, Albany, NY. First round pits seeds 7 vs. 10 and 8 vs. 9; winners advance to quarterfinals, and so forth. Top contenders-Niagara, Rider, Siena, Loyola (Md.), Fairfield. Last year...NCAA-Niagara (-2½) beat Florida A&M, 77-69, in play-in game; lost (+19) vs. Kansas, 107-67; NIT-Marist (+10) won at Oklahoma State, 67-64; lost (+7) at NC State, 69-62.

MEAC...Tourney March 10-15 at RBC Center, Raleigh, NC. Top contenders-Morgan State, Norfolk State, Delaware State, Hampton. Last year...NCAA-Florida A&M (+2½) lost play-in game vs. Niagara, 77-69; NIT-Delaware State (+17) lost at West Virginia, 74-50.

NORTHEAST...Quarterfinals March 6, semis March 9, final March 12, all at home of highest seeds. Top contenders-Robert Morris, Wagner, Sacred Heart, Quinnipiac. Last year...NCAA-Central Connecticut State (+21) lost vs. Ohio State, 78-57.

OHIO VALLEY...Quarterfinals March 4 at campus sites; semifinals and final March 7-8 at Sommet Center, Nashville, TN (home of NHL Nashville Predators, but not the home court of Nashville-based Tennessee State, which plays at the Gentry Complex). Top contenders-Austin Peay, Murray State, Morehead State, UT-Martin, Eastern Kentucky. Last Year...NCAA-Eastern Kentucky (+27½) lost, but covered, vs. North Carolina, 86-65; NIT-Austin Peay (+14½) lost at Air Force, 75-51.

PATRIOT...Quarterfinals March 5, semifinals March 9, final March 14, all at home of higher seed. Top contenders-American, Navy, Lafayette, Bucknell. Last Year...NCAA-Holy Cross (+7 ½) lost vs. Southern Illinois, 61-51.

SOUTHERN...Tourney March 7-10 at North Charleston Coliseum, Charleston, SC (not the home court of either College of Charleston, which plays at the Kresse Center, or The Citadel, which plays at McAlister Field House). Top contenders-Davidson*, Appalachian State, Chattanooga, Georgia Southern. Last year...NCAA-Davidson (+7) lost vs. Ohio State, 82-70; NIT-Appalachian State (+7½) lost at Ole Miss, 73-59.

SUMMIT...Tourney March 8-11 at John Q. Hammons Arena, Tulsa, OK (not the home court of Tulsa-based Oral Roberts, which plays its home games at Mabee Center). The Summit League was formerly known as Mid-Continent Conference. Top contenders-Oral Roberts, IUPUI, Oakland. Last year...NCAA-Oral Roberts (+6½) lost vs. Washington State, 70-54.

SOUTHLAND...Tourney March 13-14, 16 at M.O. Campbell Center, Houston, TX. Top contenders-Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston State, Lamar, Texas-Arlington. Last Year...NCAA-Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (+13) lost vs. Wisconsin, 76-63.

SWAC...Tourney March 12-15 at FairPark Arena, Birmingham, AL. Top contenders-Alabama State, Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Last year...NCAA-Jackson State (+28) lost vs. Florida, 112-69; NIT-Mississippi Valley State (+21½) lost, but covered, at Mississippi State, 82-63.

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Re: Conference Tournament News and Notes

Bubble teams not worth the trouble

Few teams that have struggled to get into the NCAA tournament have had success in the Big Dance.

Here's the truth about most of the bubble teams people will be obsessing about for the next week and a half.

They're losers.

Over the last five seasons, only nine teams seeded No. 9 through No. 12 -- your typical seeding for a major-conference bubble team -- made it to the Sweet 16, and last season no team seeded lower then seventh made it.

Take a closer look and you'll see that the ones in that seeding range that manage to win a couple of games are usually so-called mid-majors, or at least not from the power conferences -- teams such as Butler in 2003, Alabama Birmingham and Nevada in 2004, Wisconsin Milwaukee in 2005, and Bradley and the famous George Mason team that made it to the Final Four in 2006.

So track teams such as Kentucky, Maryland, Syracuse, Texas A&M, Ohio State and even two-time defending champion Florida if you'd like, but they probably aren't going to make it out of the first weekend even if they do make the field.

USC -- by taking a split on the Arizona trip with a victory over Arizona -- appears safely out of that territory with an 18-10 record against a challenging schedule, and a 9-7 Pacific 10 mark (with two games remaining) that includes a victory over UCLA. That season-opening loss to Mercer is so long ago, it didn't even save the job of Bears Coach Mark Slonaker, whose contract isn't being renewed after a losing season.

Arizona is a more interesting case, partly because of the Wildcats' 23-year NCAA tournament streak and the unfolding saga over whether Lute Olson or Kevin O'Neill will coach the team next season.

When O'Neill calls it the toughest year of his coaching career, that's saying something: He was an assistant with the Indiana Pacers the season of the brawl with the Detroit Pistons.

Arizona (17-12, 7-9) needs to solidify its case against the Oregon schools and in the Pac-10 tournament next week at Staples Center. But the Wildcats probably will make the field because of a difficult schedule that contributes to a No. 23 Rating Percentage Index ranking and because they played significant stretches without Jerryd Bayless earlier and, more recently, Nic Wise because of injury. Wise is returning to practice this week.

"I think it's probably been trying for everybody, so what I totally admire and respect about our players is how they've handled not only [the coaching] situation but this injury thing and the makeshift lineups," O'Neill said. "It's been an interesting year, is all I can say."

It probably will get more interesting, with the school trying to get through the season before addressing a delicate situation with Olson, 73.

If he wants to return as planned, the Hall of Fame coach has earned the right after taking the season off to deal with undisclosed personal matters. But if Olson comes back, O'Neill, a frankly pragmatic coach who has grown accustomed to running the team, would probably return to the NBA instead of waiting to replace Olson as he and the school informally agreed to this season.

Expect the situation to be defined after the season, if Arizona can hold off, with Athletic Director Jim Livengood well aware how disruptive it could be no matter what the decision is -- and how the Wildcats' finish might be a factor.

"Right now, I'm focused on supporting the current team," Livengood said.

One negative for Arizona is if the Wildcats are compared to Arizona State (18-10, 8-8). That's because despite losing eight of its last 12 and having a non-conference schedule that contributed to a No. 68 RPI, Arizona State defeated Xavier, Stanford and USC -- and swept Arizona.

That leaves the Pac-10, with UCLA, Stanford, Washington State and probably USC solid, hoping for six berths, which would match last season.

Is it just coincidence that Arizona State Coach Herb Sendek -- like Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim, who is in danger of missing the tournament a second year in a row -- is one who thinks the NCAA ought to expand the field of 65?

Neither the NCAA basketball committee nor the organization's brass is biting.

"You have to appreciate and respect everybody's opinion," said Tom O'Connor, the chairman of the selection committee and athletic director at George Mason. "But at this time the committee and the NCAA board has deemed that the current bracket is appropriate. We feel, coming out of our meetings this summer, that where we are right now is fine."

Maybe that's because they know the bubble generates plenty of hype for weeks before the NCAA tournament even begins.

Around the rim

The tournaments for some of the so-called one-bid leagues have begun, but one conference that doesn't look as if it will get merely one is the West Coast Conference, whose tournament begins Friday at the University of San Diego. With Gonzaga in the top 25 and St. Mary's recently in the top 25, coaches expect two berths -- and if there is an upset in the title game Monday, possibly three, which would be a record for the WCC. "If anybody wins besides Gonzaga and St. Mary's, there are going to be three teams getting in," Santa Clara Coach Kerry Keating said. "It's not just San Diego, but there's certainly a lot of attention on San Diego because they're playing on their home floor." . . . The Big West, by contrast, is in one-bid territory, even though Cal State Northridge already has 19 wins and Cal State Fullerton, UC Santa Barbara and Pacific have clinched 20-win seasons. That tournament is next week in Anaheim. . . . The latest name in the renew-and-recycle coaching world: Nolan Richardson is a candidate for the job at Arkansas State.

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Re: Conference Tournament News and Notes

Tournament Trends - Part I
By Marc Lawrence

Part I - Part II

Numerology is an art unto itself. According to Webster it is the study of occult meanings of numbers and their supposed influence on human life. To a basketball handicapper it's something that is actually closer to life and death. That's because numbers transcend into probability, which leads to percentages that ultimately, determines our bottom line - winning and losing.

Having been a professional handicapper for more than 30 years, numbers have certainly become the foundation of what I do best. I can't tell you the nuclear equation required in the design makeup of a patriot missile, but I can tell you the names of the #1 seeds in each of the upcoming college basketball conference tournaments. Heck, I can even tell you how higher seeded underdogs do against sub .500 teams in post season play. Because, that's what I do. Handicapping games for a living.

It's these types of numbers that keep me up at night. Like a practicing pharmacist determining proper dosages, I'm always looking for the right prescription, or formula, when it comes to working up the games.

With the NCAA tournament race to Atlanta right around the corner and set to tip off March 20th, let's do some pre-dance 'number crunching' as we look inside the conference tourneys. Listed below are relevant team trends and technical notes that have occurred in conference tournament play of late. Meanwhile, we present stats and facts for the first FIVE Conference Tourneys. Note that all trends are Conference Tournament results. Enjoy these numbers. Next week we'll conclude with the remaining TWELVE Conference Tourneys...



DELAWARE: 1-4-1 ATS off SUATS win, 0-4 ATS off DD win, 0-4 ATS vs #3 or higher seed, 4-1 vs #4 or lower seed…

DREXEL: 1-5 ATS vs opp off BB SU wins, 1-4 ATS as #4 seed or lower…

GEORGE MASON: 8-1 ATS vs opp off DD win, 5-1 vs opp off SU dog win, 6-2-1 ATS vs #1 or #2 seed, 1-4 ATS off DD ATS loss...

GEORGIA ST: 4-0 ATS in this tourney, 3-0 ATS with same-season double revenge…

HOFSTRA: 3-1 SUATS vs #6 or lower seed, 3-0 ATS L3 as favs, 1-4 ATS vs op off DD SU win, 0-3 SUATS vs #1 seed, 0-4 ATS off SU dog win...

JAMES MADISON: 5-0 ATS w/ > 3 days rest vs opp off SUATS loss, 7-1-1 ATS fav 9 < points, 6-2 ATS vs opp off BB wins...

NC WILMINGTON: 10-1 SU & 8-2-1 ATS 1st game, 10-3 ATS vs opp off DD SU win, 4-1 ATS w/ same-season double revenge, 20-7-3 ATS in all conference tourney games S/96...

NORTHEASTERN: 3-1 ATS off DD win, 2-0 ATS w/4+ days of rest…

OLD DOMINION: 5-1-1 ATS vs #5 seed, 8-2 ATS as favs vs opp off DD SU win, 0-4 ATS vs opp off SU favorite loss, 2-7 ATS 1st game...

TOWSON ST: 3-0 ATS DD dog, 3-1 ATS off SU win, 2-0 ATS vs #1 or #2 seed…VCU: 8-2 ATS as favs vs opp off DD SU win, 1-6-1 ATS dog, 2-8 ATS off win 9 > points, 2-7 ATS off SU win vs opp off BB SU wins...

WILLIAM & MARY: 0-10 ATS dog 7 < points, 0-8 SU & 1-6 ATS vs #1-3 seeds, 0-6 ATS vs opp off BB losses, 2-17 SU & 4-15 ATS L19 games, 2-7 ATS with revenge, 3-13 ATS 1st game.

Teams off SU fav loss are 12-4 ATS… DD favs off win 15 > points are 3-9 ATS… #1 seeds are 18-0 SU & 13-4-1 ATS… #3 seeds are 11-3 ATS as dogs or favorites 3 < points… #4 seeds are 2-6 ATS as favorites 4 > points… #6 seeds are 2-9 ATS L11 games… #8 seeds are 1-10 ATS L11 games.



BUTLER: 1-6 ATS dog or favorite < 8 points, 0-4 ATS off BB SU wins, 1-5-1 ATS as #1 or #2 seed, 2-7 ATS vs opp off SU win...

CLEVELAND ST: 0-6 SUATS in this tourney...

DETROIT: 4-0-1 ATS vs opp off SUATS loss, 6-1 ATS favs 2 > pts, 0-2 ATS vs opp off SU dog win...

ILLINOIS CHICAGO: 10-3 ATS in this tourney, including 6-0 ATS as a dog...

4-0 ATS vs opp off SU loss...

LOYOLA CHI: 3-0 ATS vs opp off SUATS loss, 4-1 ATS as #5 or lowers seed, 4-1 ATS off DD SU win, 0-2 ATS as DD dogs...

VALPARAISO: incomplete (joined conference this season)…

WISCONSIN-GREEN BAY: 3-1 ATS L4 as favs, 3-1 ATS vs opp off BB SU wins, 0-3 ATS off BB SU wins, 0-3 ATS vs #3 or higher seed, 1-3 ATS w/ revenge…

WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE: 3-0 ATS vs revenge, 3-0 ATS vs opp off SU dog win, 1-3 ATS vs #2 or #3 seed…

WRIGHT ST: 2-0 ATS off DD SU win, 0-2 ATS off BB SU wins, 1-3 ATS L4 as dogs, 1-3 ATS vs opp off DD SU win, 1-5 ATS as #4 or lower seed…

YOUNGSTOWN ST: 0-3 ATS dogs off SU win, 0-3 dogs < 10 pts, 1-3 ATS vs #4 or higher seed.

Teams off win 14 > points are 18-9-1… dogs with revenge are 3-17-1 ATS… #1 seeds are 5-1 ATS L3Y… #2 seeds are 4-1 ATS as dogs or favorites < 3 points… #9 seeds are 1-7 ATS L8 games.



BRADLEY: 2-11 ATS off a win of 8 or more points, 1-6 ATS vs opp off SUATS win, 6-12 ATS off a SUATS win, 3-5 SUATS vs .750 > opp…

CREIGHTON: 7-0 SUATS vs #1 or #2 seed, 11-2 ATS vs > .666 opp, 16-3 ATS off BB wins, 18-3 SU & 16-5 ATS S/99, 11-1 off BB SUATS wins… DRAKE: 6-2 ATS L8 with DD loss revenge, 0-8 SU & 2-6 ATS vs #1-2 seeds, 0-6 SU & 1-5 ATS vs > .700 opp, 2-8 SU L10 games...

EVANSVILLE: 2-8-1 ATS off a win, 1-6-1 ATS L9 off BB wins, 1-6-1 ATS L6 w/ same-season double revenge, 1-6 SU & 2-5 ATS vs opp off a loss...

ILLINOIS ST: 7-1-1 ATS off a win with 3+ days of rest, 10-3 SU & 9-4 ATS vs #7-10 seeds, 2-7-2 ATS L11 games, 1-4-1 ATS vs #1 or #2 seed...

INDIANA ST: 6-1 ATS off loss, 5-1 ATS vs opp off SUATS loss, 3-9 ATS off SUATS win...

MISSOURI ST: 5-0 ATS w/ 3 + days rest vs opp off SUATS win, 4-0 SUATS vs #7 or lower seed, 12-1 SU & 8-4 ATS 1st game, 2-5 SU & 1-6 ATS vs #2 seed...

NORTHERN IOWA: 5-2-1 ATS off BB wins, 9-4 (1-3 L4) ATS vs opp off a win, 1-4-1 ATS vs #8 or lower seed, 2-7 vs foe off SU loss...

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: 13-1 SU & 9-4-1 ATS vs #6 or lower seed, 1-5 SU & 1-5 ATS w/ revenge, 1-5 SUATS off SUATS win vs .700 > opp...

WICHITA ST: 6-17 SU & 9-14 ATS L23G games, 0-13 SU & 4-9 ATS vs #1-4 seeds, 0-6 SU & 1-5 ATS vs > .660 and < .725 opp, 0-6 SU & 1-5 ATS off DD win.

Higher seeded favorites are 57-5 SU & 41-19 ATS in first round games (no Donkey games)… .700 > teams are 29-0 SU & 21-6-2 ATS vs < .555 opponents… teams that are 3-0 SUATS L3 games are 18-9 ATS, including 11-2 ATS as dogs… teams with win percentage .280 < are 10-4 ATS… teams off BB losses are 1-7 ATS with revenge vs opp off BB wins...#2 seeds are 11-1 ATS L12 games and 25-11 ATS as dogs or favorites of < 10 points...#7 seeds are 6-16-1 ATS L23 games...#9 seeds are 7-12-1 ATS L20 games...#9 Seeds 0-6 ATS off a SU win.



ARKANSAS-LITTLE ROCK: 0-6 SUATS vs higher seeded teams, 1-8 ATS off a win...

ARKANSAS ST: 3-8 ATS L11 games, 0-4 ATS w/ revenge…

DENVER: 3-1 ATS off SUATS loss, 4-2 ATS dog 5 > points, 4-2 ATS vs #4 or lower seeds…

FLORIDA ATLANTIC: incomplete (joined conference last season)…

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL: 5-2 ATS 7 games, 0-5 SU & 1-4 ATS vs foe that was favored last game…

LA LAFAYETTE: 13-5 SU & 9-7 ATS all games, 6-2 ATS dog or favorite < 3 points...

LA MONROE: incomplete (joined conference last season)…

MIDDLE TENN ST: 5-2 ATS vs opp off win, 6-2 ATS vs < 600 opp…

NEW ORLEANS: 0-5 SUATS vs .625 > opp, 3-11 ATS (2-5 ATS as a favorite) all games...

NORTH TEXAS: 8-1 ATS off loss or win 18 < points, 4-2 ATS pick or dog …

SOUTH ALABAMA: 6-0 ATS fav > 6 points, 8-4 ATS vs #2 or lower seed...

TROY: 2-0 ATS dogs, 2-0 ATS off DD win, 2-0 ATS as #6 seed…

WESTERN KENTUCKY: 10-5 ATS vs opp off BB SU wins (4-0 ATS as DD favorite).

.730 > teams are 13-5 ATS (8-1 ATS w/ rest)...DD favorites are 8-2 ATS...#3 seeds are 5-18 ATS (2-10 ATS pick or dog)… #4 seeds are 5-15 ATS… #5 seeds are 11-4 ATS as dogs.



GONZAGA: 18-1 SU all games, 4-0 SUATS after scoring 72 < points, 4-0 SUATS vs opp scored 61 < points last game…

LOYOLA MARYMOUNT: 3-0 ATS vs opp favored -12 > last game, 1-4 SUATS vs #2-5 seeds…

PEPPERDINE: 0-5 ATS vs opp off ATS loss > 1 point, 1-5 ATS 1st game, 1-4 ATS off BB SUATS wins...

PORTLAND: 3-1 ATS vs a opp off a DD win, 1-8 SU all games, 1-5 ATS vs opp off loss or win 6 < points...

SANTA CLARA: 8-1 ATS vs opp off ATS loss or win < 3 points...

6-1 ATS a favorite, 6-1-1 ATS off BB wins...

SAN DIEGO 5-0 ATS off SUATS loss, 1-5 ATS vs opp off win 16 > points...

SAN FRANCISCO: 0-8 SU & 1-7 ATS vs #5 or higher seed, 1-6 ATS dog, 1-5 SUATS off loss or win < 6 points…

SAINT MARYS: 7-0 SU & 6-0-1 ATS vs #3 or lower seed, 0-8 SUATS vs #1-2 seed, 0-5 ATS DD dog, 0-5 SUATS w/ same-season single revenge 10 > points, 0-4-1 ATS vs opp off BB wins.

Teams off BB SUATS losses are 7-4 ATS...dogs are 8-47 SU & 18-36-1 ATS (6-23-1 ATS +7 <) in this tourney...teams with win percentage of .425 < are 4-20 SU & 8-16 ATS… #8 seeds are 0-8 SU & 1-7 ATS.

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Re: Conference Tournament News and Notes

Tournament Trends - Part II
By Marc Lawrence

Part I - Part II

With the NCAA tournament race to the Alamodome in San Antonio set to tip off March 20th, let's do some pre-dance 'number crunching' as we look inside the conference tourneys. Listed below are relevant team trends and technical notes that have occurred in conference tournament play of late. Meanwhile, we present stats and facts for the remaining 12 Conference Tourneys. Note that all trends are Conference Tournament results. Enjoy these numbers…



BOSTON COLLEGE: 6-1 ATS vs opp off SU dog win, 8-2 ATS vs opp off BB SUATS wins, 10-3-1 ATS w/ 3+ days rest, 12-4 ATS vs #5-12 seeds...

CLEMSON: 0-8 SU vs .750 > opp, 0-7 SU 2nd game, 2-8 ATS when allow > 75 points...

DUKE: 0-4 SUATS as a dog or favorite of 3 < points, 1-6 ATS vs #5 or #6 seeds, 1-6 ATS after score < 74 points, 2-7 ATS off ATS win > 4 points, 5-12 ATS off a SUATS win...

FLORIDA ST: 7-3 ATS with a win percentage of .600, 0-5 ATS as a Double Digit dog, 0-10 SU vs #1-3 seeds...

GEORGIA TECH: 7-1 ATS in 2nd game, 0-4 ATS vs opp off SU fav loss, 1-9 SUATS when win percentage < .600, 1-7 ATS off a loss, 3-10 ATS in 1st game...

MARYLAND: 5-1 ATS vs opp off SUATS loss, 7-2 ATS 1st game off win with 3 + days rest, 1-6 ATS vs opp off BB SUATS wins, 2-10 ATS 2nd game, 1-6 ATS vs foe off BB SUATS wins...

MIAMI FLA: 5-0 ATS off SU dog win, 5-2 ATS vs #2 and #3 seeds, 0-5 SUATS as a #4-6 seed, 2-12 SU as a tourney dog 3 > points...

NC STATE: 11-1 ATS1st game, 5-1 ATS off loss vs opp off win, 8-2 ATS pick-or-favorite, 7-2 ATS off SUATS loss...

NORTH CAROLINA: 11-3 ATS 1st game, 10-0 SU & 7-2-1 ATS vs #7 or lower seed, 6-3 ATS dog, 5-1 ATS off DD SU loss, 6-2 ATS fav off DD SU win...

VIRGINIA: 5-1 ATS favorite, 4-1-1 ATS L6 games, 0-4-1 ATS vs opp off BB SUATS wins, 3-8 ATS1st game...

VIRGINIA TECH: 5-0-1 w/ same-season single revenge, 4-0-1 ATS DD dog, 1-5 ATS favorite > 3 points, 2-5 ATS vs revenge…

WAKE FOREST: 0-11 SU & 2-9 ATS vs opp fav > 7 points last game, 1-6 ATS favorite > 2 points, 2-5 ATS vs revenge, 1-4 w/ same-season double revenge.

Favorites off 3-0 SU & ATS L3 games are 0-5-1 ATS...the SU winner of games in this tourney is 117-28-2 ATS since 1991...teams who score 90 > points in this tourney are 20-2 SU & 19-3 ATS… #1 seeds are 6-1 ATS as favorites of > 17 points… #5 seeds are 1-6 ATS as favorites...#7 seeds are 3-1 ATS off a loss 13 > points and 1-5 ATS off a win 9 > points...#9 seeds are 1-6 ATS as dogs 10 > pts.



CHARLOTTE: 8-2 ATS vs opp off BB SUATS wins, 1-7 ATS L8 games, 1-6 ATS off a loss, 1-6 ATS with revenge…

DAYTON: 5-0 ATS DD favorite, 7-1-1 ATS 1st game, 1-11 ATS as a dog…

DUQUESNE: 0-6 SU 2nd game, 2-8 ATS w/ revenge, 6-2 ATS L8 as favorite, 1-6 ATS off a SU win...

FORDHAM: 2-10 SU 1st game, 0-6 dog > 3 pts, 1-5 as #5 or higher seed...

GEORGE WASHINGTON: 13-2 ATS off DD win, 5-1 SUATS as a #1 seed, 10-2 ATS as a favorite, 12-3 ATS overall L4Y, 8-3 ATS 1st game...

LA SALLE: 4-1 ATS vs revenge, 1-6-1 ATS as a dog 5 > points, 2-10 SUATS vs #1-4 seeds…

MASSACHUSETTS: 6-1 ATS vs a foe off BB SUATS wins, 6-1 ATS vs Temple in L7 games, 5-1 ATS vs opp off SU dog win, 12-6 ATS as a dog...

RHODE ISLAND: 6-2 ATS as a favorite, 3-8 ATS L11 games, 2-8 ATS off a SU dog win, 1-5 ATS off BB SUATS wins...

RICHMOND: 4-2 ATS 1st game, 1-8-1 ATS as a dog 2 > points…

ST. BONAVENTURE: 5-1 ATS off a loss of 8 > points, 0-4 ATS vs opp off SU dog win, 1-7 ATS as 2nd Round dog < 10 points, 2-7 ATS as a dog < 7 points...

ST. JOSEPH'S: 5-1 ATS vs opp off BB losses, 17-6-1 ATS vs opp off a loss or win of 13 < points, 3-9-1 ATS as a dog, 2-9-1 ATS 2nd game...

SAINT LOUIS: 7-2 ATS off a loss, 11-5 ATS 1st game...

TEMPLE: 17-2 SU 1st game, 2-9 ATS off BB SUATS wins, 6-12 SUATS as a favorite < 4 points, 2-7 SUATS as a dog, 0-4 w/ same-season double revenge, 6-2 vs opp off SU dog win...

XAVIER: 10-2 ATS L12 games, 2-7 ATS w/ 3 + days rest vs opp off DD win, 1-6 ATS vs opp with revenge off DD SU win.

Dogs off a SU dog win are 3-34 SU & 10-27 ATS...favs of < 13 points are 100-50-3 ATS (48-17-2 ATS vs opp off BB wins, including 24-6 ATS vs opp off a SUATS loss - 13-2 ATS if opp off BB SUATS losses)...#2 seeds are 8-1 ATS L9 as favorite but 0-4 SUATS L4 as dog)...#5 seeds are 5-18 ATS L23 as dog.



CINCINNATI: 11-2-1 ATS vs #1-4 seed, 10-2 ATS home, 8-2 ATS off a SUATS win...

CONNECTICUT: 19-7 SU L22 games, 4-1 ATS vs #1 or #2 seed, 0-6 ATS w/ 3+ days rest vs opp off BB SUATS wins, 0-5 ATS w/ revenge, 1-4 off SUATS loss...

DEPAUL: 4-0 ATS vs #6-7 seeds, 4-0-1 ATS vs opp w/ revenge off BB SUATS wins, 8-2 ATS off SU loss...

GEORGETOWN: 16-1 SU 1st game, 3-12 ATS w/ revenge (0-6 ATS favorite), 4-12 ATS off BB wins (0-6 ATS w/ revenge)...

LOUISVILLE: 0-5 ATS vs .800 > opp, 1-10-2 ATS off ATS win 5 > points, 1-9 ATS 2nd game, 3-11-1 ATS off SUATS win (1-7 ATS off BB wins)...

MARQUETTE: 1-10 vs opp off loss, 3-13 ATS w/ 3+ days rest, 3-10-1 L14 games, 4-10 ATS 1st game...

NOTRE DAME: 4-12 SU & 5-11 ATS in this tourney, including 1-7 ATS vs #4-9 seed, 1-6 ATS vs revenge, 2-7 ATS as a dog...

PITTSBURGH: 8-1 ATS off ATS win > 9 points, 9-1 SU & 8-2 ATS off DD win...

PROVIDENCE: 3-0 ATS vs .850 > opp, 6-1 ATS as favs, 5-2 ATS vs revenge, 6-1 ATS off DD win...

RUTGERS: 5-0 ATS off loss 12 > points, 0-6 ATS vs opp off loss 12 > points, 0-4 SUATS vs .800 > opp...

SETON HALL: 1-6 ATS L7 games, 1-5 ATS dog > 5 points, 2-7 ATS off SU dog win...

ST JOHN'S: 5-0 SUATS off ATS loss > 9 points, 0-9 ATS 2nd game, 1-7 ATS off ATS win 3 > points, 2-13 ATS off win...

SOUTH FLORIDA: 7-1 ATS as a #10-11 seed, 0-5 ATS vs < .480 opp...

SYRACUSE: 6-0 ATS vs opp off SU loss, 5-0 w/ same-season double revenge, 9-3 off SU dog win, 2-6 off BB SU wins vs opp off BB SUATS wins...

VILLANOVA: 4-0 SUATS off loss 12 > points, 8-1 ATS 1st game, 6-1 w/ same-season revenge, 0-3 SUATS vs opp off win 30 > points...

WEST VIRGINIA: 4-1 ATS vs #1-2 seed, 1-7 ATS vs opp off loss, 1-8 SUATS vs #3-5 seed, 3-11 SU & 4-10 ATS 1st game.

.760 > teams are 12-5 ATS as dogs and 6-1 ATS off a loss...favs w/ revenge went 5-0 ATS last year… #4 seeds are 8-2-1 ATS as favs > 4 points...#5 seeds are 8-2 ATS as dogs of 3 < points… #1 seeds are 1-4 as favs 4 > pts… #3 seeds are 9-3 ATS L12.



ILLINOIS: 10-0 SU & 7-3 ATS vs < .645 opp, 14-2 SU & 11-5 ATS previous game team score 73 < points, 0-5 SUATS vs > .780 opp, 1-5 SUATS vs #1-2 seed, 2-8 ATS previous game team score 74 > points...

INDIANA: 5-2 ATS 1st game, 1-6 SUATS when win-loss percentage is .655 >, 1-4 ATS fav of 6 > points...

IOWA: 8-0 ATS off ATS win > 9 points, 8-0 ATS off BB SUATS wins, 6-1 ATS vs opp off DD win, 6-0 ATS dog 4 > points, 8-1 ATS as #6-7 seed, 14-4 ATS L18 games...

MICHIGAN: 4-0 ATS off DD win, 4-0 ATS with win percentage .700 >, 6-1 ATS favorite or dog 3 < points...

MICHIGAN ST: 7-2 ATS vs #6 or higher seed, 0-5 ATS previous game team score > 75 points, 0-4 ATS fav 12 > points, 1-8 ATS vs #7 or lowers seed, 2-8 ATS w/ 3+ days rest...

MINNESOTA: 7-1 ATS off ATS loss or ATS win 2 < points, 0-4 ATS vs opp off BB wins, 1-4 SUATS vs #2-4 seed, 0-3 off BB SUATS wins...

NORTHWESTERN: 3-0 ATS vs opp off BB wins, 0-4 ATS vs sub .500 opp, 2-7 ATS as a favorite or dog < 16 points, 4-1 as DD dog w/ revenge...

OHIO STATE: 3-7 ATS L10 games, 0-5 ATS vs .500 < opp, 1-5 ATS off SU win w/ 3+ days of rest, 1-5 ATS vs revenge w/ 3+ days of rest…

PENN STATE: 8-0 ATS w/ same-season revenge 6 > points, 1-4 ATS off DD ATS win, 0-3 ATS off BB wins, 1-5 ATS off SU dog win...

PURDUE: 2-10 SU & 3-9 ATS L12 games, 0-6 SUATS vs opp off win 10 > points, 1-5 ATS vs opp off SUATS win, 1-4 vs opp w/ revenge...

WISCONSIN: 1-6 ATS vs .645 < opp, 2-8 ATS off ATS win, 1-4 vs #3 or higher seed.

Teams off BB losses w /revenge are 11-2 ATS (7-1 ATS off BB SUATS losses)...#10 and #11 seeds are 20-9 ATS (14-2 ATS off a loss, 17-4 ATS w /revenge)...#7 seeds are 1-10 ATS as favs… dogs are 10-3 ATS vs opp off SU dog win… dogs are 5-1 ATS off DD SU loss vs opp off SUATS loss.



BAYLOR: 0-7 ATS as favs, 0-7 ATS as #7 or higher seed, 2-9 ATS off ATS loss or ATS win < 3 points, 2-8 SUATS vs opp off ATS win > 2 points, 5-0 ATS vs opp off SU loss, 4-1 ATS off SU dog win...

COLORADO: 0-7 ATS vs opp off win 8 > points, 0-8 ATS if win-loss percentage .600 >, 4-12 ATS as a dog (2-10 ATS off win), 6-16 SU in 1st game...

IOWA ST: 6-1 ATS vs .800 > opp, 0-7 SU & 1-6 ATS if win-loss percentage is < .550, 4-1 ATS w/ revenge, 1-4 vs opp w/ revenge off SU win...

KANSAS: 9-0 SUATS vs .535 < opp, 10-0 SU & 9-1 ATS off loss or win 3 < points, 13-0 SU & 10-3 ATS vs #8-12 seed, 10-2 ATS DD favorite, 12-4 ATS 1st game, 1-6 SUATS vs .785 > opp, 1-4 SUATS dog or favorite < 3 points...

KANSAS ST: 9-2-1 ATS 2nd game, 10-2 ATS when win-loss percentage .615 >, 4-1 SUATS vs .500 < opp, 12-4 ATS 1st game...

MISSOURI: 6-2 ATS off SU dog win, 4-1 ATS vs #4 or higher seed, 6-2 ATS if win-loss percentage < .500, 17-7-1 ATS as dogs (12-4-1 ATS +2.5 > points)...

NEBRASKA: 0-4 ATS off DD ATS win, 0-5 ATS off SUATS loss, 1-10 SU & 3-8 ATS when win-loss percentage is < .600...

OKLAHOMA: 3-1 SU & 4-0 ATS as a dog of +3 to +10 pts, 0-4 ATS w/ same-season DD loss revenge, 1-4 off BB SUATS wins, 0-5 ATS L5 as favs...

OKLAHOMA ST: 4-0 ATS vs opp off win 20 > points, 4-0 ATS vs opp off SU loss, 12-2 ATS if win-loss percentage is .705 <, 10-1 ATS 2nd game, 12-5 ATS 1st game...

TEXAS: 4-1 ATS vs opp w/ revenge off BB SUATS wins, 1-5 w/ revenge, 1-7 ATS as #1 or #2 seed, 3-10 ATS off SUATS win...

TEXAS A&M: 3-1 ATS w/ revenge, 3-1 ATS as dog vs opp off SU win, 1-5 ATS vs revenge, 4-8-1 ATS dog > 7 points...

TEXAS TECH: 7-2 ATS L9 games, 1-5ATS off BB losses, 3-7 ATS as #7-12 seed, 6-1 ATS vs #5 or higher seed, 5-1 ATS vs opp off BB SU wins, 1-4 ATS w/ > 3 rest vs opp off SU loss.

Teams who are 3-0 SU & ATS L3 games are 1-7 ATS with revenge and 2-8 ATS as dogs… #1 seeds are 2-12 ATS L14 games… #3 seeds are 13-1 SU as favorites… #4 seeds are 7-0 ATS L7 games...#5 seeds are 1-5 ATS L6 games… #6 seeds are 2-8 ATS L10 games… favs off BB SU losses are 2-10 ATS… dogs off a SU dog win are 11-3 ATS.



CAL DAVIS: incomplete (joined conference this season)…

CAL IRVINE: 4-1 ATS off a DD loss, 4-1 ATS off a SUATS loss, 4-1 ATS vs opp off SU dog win, 4-9 SUATS L13 games, 1-4 ATS as favs vs revenge...

CAL POLY SLO: 5-0 ATS dog > 5 points, 6-2 ATS vs opp off win...

CAL RIVERSIDE: 0-2 ATS off win, 2-0 ATS off loss…

CAL SANTA BARBARA: 0-5 SUATS vs foe off DD win, 0-4 ATS dog 4 > points, 6-2 ATS w/ > 3 rest vs opp off SU loss, 1-4 ATS favs off BB SUATS wins…

CS NORTHRIDGE: 6-2 ATS L8 games, 5-1 ATS vs opp off BB wins, 4-1 ATS vs #1-3 seed…

FULLERTON ST: 3-0 ATS L3 as favs, 0-4 SUATS off ATS win 9 > points, 1-6 ATS vs opp off loss, 2-9-1 ATS as #4-9 seed, 2-12 SU & 3-10-1 ATS if win-loss percentage < .666…

LONG BEACH ST: 4-1 ATS vs .750 > opp, 6-1-1 ATS if win-loss percentage is .650 >, 4-1 ATS L5 games, 1-4 ATS w/ > 3 days rest vs opp off SU loss...

PACIFIC: 4-13 ATS L17 games, 0-4 ATS dog 5 > points, 1-5 SUATS vs .760 > opp, 0-4 w/ revenge off SU Loss, 0-4 ATS w/ > 3 days rest off SU win.

Teams off BB wins are 2-11-1 ATS vs foe off DD loss… favorites > 10 points are 3-11-1 ATS...teams with one-only same season loss revenge are 2-10-2 ATS...#4 seeds are 11-2 ATS L13 games… #6 seeds are 11-5 ATS L16 games… #7 seeds are 2-10 ATS L12 games… #8 seeds are 1-5 ATS L6 games...#9 and #10 seeds are 7-0-1 ATS.



EAST CAROLINA: 0-3 ATS vs opp off SU win, 1-3 ATS L4 as dogs, 1-3 ATS w/ 3+ days rest…

CENTRAL FLORIDA: incomplete (joined conference 2005-2006 season)…

HOUSTON: 3-1 ATS vs opp off SU loss, 3-1-1 ATS L5 as favs, 5-2 ATS as #6 or lower seed, 2-5 ATS vs opp off win > 10 points…

MARSHALL: 2-0 ATS as dogs, 0-1 ATS as favs...

MEMPHIS: 6-1 ATS vs #4 or higher seed, 0-4-1 ATS off ATS win 18 > points, 1-5 ATS off SU win, 2-6 ATS vs opp off SUATS win, 3-8 ATS w/ > 3 days rest...

RICE: 2-0 ATS as dogs 6 < pts...

SMU: 0-2 ATS as dogs, 0-2 ATS w/ revenge, 0-2 ATS vs opp off BB SU wins...

SOUTHERN MISS: 3-0 ATS as favs, 4-1 ATS vs .600 < opp, 3-1 ATS off DD SU win, 0-4 ATS off SU dog win…

TEXAS EL PASO: 2-0 ATS w/ revenge, 2-0 ATS vs opp off SU win, 2-0 ATS as #3 or higher seed...

TULANE: 5-0 ATS as dogs 11 < pts, 6-1 ATS as #8 or lower seed, 1-5 ATS off BB SU wins, 1-4 ATS vs opp off DD SU win...

TULSA: 4-0 ATS as a dog, 5-1 ATS off ATS win > 10 points, 8-3 ATS dog or favorite < 3 points, 0-2 ATS vs opp off SU win...

UAB: 13-3 ATS L16 as dogs, 9-3 ATS w/ > 3 rest, 5-1 ATS off DD ATS win vs opp off BB SU wins, 4-1 ATS w/ revenge, 1-5 ATS as favs < 9 pts.

Teams off SUATS loss are 12-4 ATS L16… 'Home' teams are 10-3 ATS… teams off BB SU wins are 1-6 ATS vs opp off SUATS loss… #2 seeds are 2-7-1 ATS L10 games… #3 seeds are 12-4 SU L16 games… #4 seeds are 1-4 ATS as DD dogs...#5 seeds are 3-10 ATS L13 games… #9 seed dogs are 8-2 ATS L10 games.



AKRON: 0-4 SUATS vs opp off loss 9 > points, 4-8 SUATS if seeded #9 or higher (0-5 vs foe off SUATS loss), 4-7 SUATS if a winning team, 3-7 SUATS off win or loss 4 < points, 5-10 SU in this tourney, 4-6 SUATS as a favorite...

BALL ST: 4-0-1 ATS w/ 3+ days rest, 6-1-1 ATS off BB wins vs opp off ATS win 4 > points, 5-1-1 ATS vs opp off SU dog win, 5-1-1 ATS vs opp off BB SUATS wins, 18-12-3 ATS S/ 91 (11-4-1 ATS as a favorite of 2 or more points)…

BOWLING GREEN: 0-7 SU vs #1 seed, 0-6 ATS vs opp off SU dog win, 0-5 ATS off ATS win 13 > points, 1-11 ATS as # 6 or lower seed, 0-9 SU & 1-8 ATS vs .700 > opp, 1-8 SUATS dog 6 > points, 1-6 ATS off SUATS loss, 0-7 L7 / 2-12 L14 games, 3-14 ATS when win percentage < .650, 2-8 ATS vs #1-2 seed, 4-13 ATS vs opp off win...

BUFFALO: 1-7-1 ATS w/ revenge, 1-4 ATS as dog > 7 points, 2-7-1 ATS vs #4-12 seeds…

CENTRAL MICHIGAN: 3-0 ATS favorites, 4-1 ATS if win-loss percentage < .333, 4-1 ATS as #12-13 seed, 1-4 ATS dog < 9 points…

EASTERN MICHIGAN: 4-0 ATS vs .730 > opp, 4-0 ATS off win 14 > points, 4-0 ATS vs #1 seed, 6-1 ATS vs foe off DD win, 13-2 SU & 11-4 ATS if #1-4 seed, 1-5 ATS vs opp off loss 4 > points, 1-8 SU & 2-7 ATS L9 games, 1-11 SU & 3-9 ATS if #6-13 seed, 2-7 ATS dog 6 > points, 2-7 ATS vs < .570 opp, 2-6 ATS with revenge, 2-13 SU & 4-11 ATS if win-loss percentage > .600...

KENT ST: 14-0 SU & 12-2 ATS favorites 5 > points, 9-1 ATS vs < .600 opp, 8-2 ATS w/ revenge vs opp off BB wins, 13-4 ATS off a win, 16-2 SU & 14-4 ATS as a #1 or #2 seed, 15-4 SUATS vs #3 or lower seed...

MIAMI OHIO: 4-0 SUATS off ATS loss 8 > points, 6-1 ATS home, 0-6 ATS off win 20 > points, 3-8 ATS vs #1-2 seed…

NORTHERN ILLINOIS: 5-0-1 ATS off win or loss 6 < points, 4-0-1 ATS vs #7 or lower seeds, 6-1-1 ATS favorite or dog < 10 points, 5-1-1 ATS if win-loss percentage .400 >, 5-1 ATS as #10 or higher seed…

OHIO: 5-1 ATS DD favs, 10-3 ATS dogs (5-1 ATS off SU dog win), 4-0 ATS with same-season revenge, 1-4 ATS with same-season double revenge…

TOLEDO: 1-8 SU & 1-7-1 ATS vs #1 seed, 1-6 ATS away, 3-14 SU & 4-11-2 ATS vs .640 > opp, 3-14-2 ATS if win-loss percentage .570 >...

WESTERN MICHIGAN: 1-4 ATS home, 1-4 ATS DD dog, 1-5 ATS vs opp off loss, 2-9 ATS vs revenge (1-7 ATS as favorite, 0-4 ATS HF), 3-10 ATS off loss or win 6 < points.

DD HF's are 20-9 ATS (11-2 ATS vs .370 > opp)...teams with same-season double revenge are 17-37 ATS (8-24 ATS off win; 4-17 ATS off BB wins)… teams with same-season single revenge are 26-16 ATS (14-6 ATS vs opp off BB wins)… #1 seed favorites are 14-1 SU & 13-2 ATS L15 games and 26-1 SU & 20-6-1 ATS -5 > points… #2 seeds are 13-6-2 ATS L21 games… #3 seeds are 6-13 ATS L19 games… #6 seeds are 2-9 ATS L11 games… #7 seeds are 9-13-2 ATS L24 games… #8 seeds are 3-8-1 ATS L12 games… #11 seeds are 8-1 ATS L9 games.



AIR FORCE: 0-13 SU L13 games, 0-7 ATS favorite or dog 8 < points, 0-5 ATS vs opp off loss, 1-9 ATS vs < .740 opp, 1-9 ATS vs opp off loss or win 10 < points, 1-6 ATS when win-loss percentage < .333, 1-6 ATS as #6-8 seed, 1-6 ATS off win, 4-12 ATS 1st game…

BYU: 7-1 ATS as favorites, 4-0 SUATS off loss 7 > points, 5-1 ATS at home, 2-6 ATS L8 games, 0-5 ATS vs opp off DD win, 2-9 ATS as dogs…

COLORADO ST: 4-1 ATS vs opp off SUATS win, 7-2 ATS off ATS win 4 > points, 7-2 ATS off SUATS win, 9-3 ATS vs > .666 opp, 9-3 ATS as #6-7 seed, 7-3 ATS dogs > 6 points, 3-10 ATS vs .666 < opp...

NEW MEXICO: 7-1 SUATS vs < .520 opp, 6-0 ATS favorite > 7 points, 4-1 ATS vs foe off SUATS loss, 5-1-1 ATS off BB SUATS wins, 5-2-1 ATS vs foe off ATS win 7 > points, 10-3 ATS off ATS loss > 3 points, 9-2-1 ATS L12 as dog, 12-3 SUATS when win-loss percentage > .777, 16-7 ATS 1st game...

SAN DIEGO ST: 5-0 ATS off ATS win 7 > points, 4-0 ATS off DD ATS loss, 7-1 ATS off loss, 6-1 ATS when win-loss percentage .425 <, 10-3 ATS w/ 3+ days rest, 10-4 ATS 1st game, 8-3 ATS favorite or dog < 5 points, 7-4 ATS vs #4-10 seed, 1-8 ATS 2nd game...

TCU: 0-5 ATS favorite 6 > points, 0-5 SUATS vs .785 > foe, 1-7 ATS when win-loss percentage .650 >, 1-7 ATS off SU dog win, 1-7 ATS off win w/ revenge, 4-14 ATS off win, 2-7 ATS dog 7 > points...

UNLV: 18-1 SU 1st game, 4-0 ATS vs #2 seed, 8-1-1 ATS dog, 5-1 ATS vs opp off ATS win 14 > points, 9-2 ATS vs #1-2 seeds...

UTAH: 2-10 ATS 2nd game, 3-16-1 ATS vs opp off ATS win > 2 points, 3-11 ATS 1st game, 3-11 ATS vs .666 > opp, 3-11 ATS vs opp off win 8 > points, 4-16-1 ATS when win-loss percentage < .830, 5-15-1 ATS off SUATS win (3-13-1 ATS favorites)...

WYOMING: 1-8 ATS vs foe off loss, 0-7 ATS vs opp off win 6 > points, 0-5 ATS off DD win, 0-6 ATS vs opp off DD win, 1-5 ATS vs opp off SUATS loss, 2-17 ATS as a favorite, 5-16 ATS 1st game, 4-11 ATS off win.

Dogs who are 0-3 SUATS L3 games are 6-1 ATS...teams w /revenge are 26-13-2 ATS...dogs are 28-14-1 ATS L6Y...#1 seeds are 5-13 ATS L18 (2-7 ATS off ATS win)… #5 seeds are 9-4-1 ATS L14… #6 seeds are 8-3 ATS L11.

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Re: Conference Tournament News and Notes



ARIZONA: 4-2 ATS vs opp w/ revenge, 3-2 SUATS vs opp off ATS win 7 > points, 0-3 SUATS vs #1-2 seed…

ARIZONA ST: 0-5 SU & 1-4 ATS in this tourney...

CALIFORNIA: 0-6-1 ATS vs opp off win, 1-5 SU & ATS dog > 1 point, 2-5-1 ATS off win…

OREGON: 5-0 ATS w/ 3+ days rest, 4-0 SUATS vs opp off ATS loss, 8-1-1 ATS as dog or fav < 5 points, 10-3 SU & 10-2-1 ATS in this tourney...

OREGON ST: 0-3 ATS as dog > 6 points, 0-3 ATS vs .700 > opp, 0-3 ATS vs #1-3 seed, 1-4 ATS w/ revenge...

SOUTHERN CAL: 4-1 ATS w/ 3+ days rest, 4-1 ATS w/ revenge, 4-1 ATS with same-season double revenge, 6-3 ATS vs opp off SU& ATS win, 7-3 ATS when win-loss percentage < .700…

STANFORD: 0-4 ATS off SUATS win, 1-5 ATS vs #4-8 seeds, 1-5 ATS w/ 3+ days rest… UCLA: 5-1 ATS off win, 5-2 ATS vs opp off win, 4-1 ATS vs .630 > opp…

WASHINGTON: 0-3 ATS fav > 7 points, 2-6 ATS vs opp off ATS loss or win < 5 points… WASHINGTON ST: 1-4 SU & 2-3 ATS in this tourney.

Teams off ATS win 21 > points are 5-0 ATS...teams w/ revenge vs opp off SUATS loss are 2-6 ATS...#1 seeds are 6-2 ATS L8 games and 5-2 ATS as favs > 10 points.



ALABAMA: 6-0 ATS fav off DD win, 4-0 SUATS vs opp off ATS win 21 > points, 8-1 ATS fav vs opp off win (5-0 ATS opp off SU dog win), 6-1 ATS when win-loss percentage .560 <, 12-4 ATS favorite 2 > points, 14-4 SU & 13-5 ATS vs #4-8 seeds, 11-4 ATS vs opp off win 7 > points, 15-7-1 ATS vs < .700 opp, 1-10 SU & 2-9 ATS vs > .700 opp, 3-10 ATS dog vs opp off win, 3-9-1 ATS vs #1-2 seed...

ARKANSAS: 8-2 ATS off ATS win > 7 points, 18-5 ATS L23 as favorite, 9-3 ATS vs opp off BB SUATS wins, 0-4 SUATS as #4 or lower seed, 3-8-1 ATS L12 games...

AUBURN: 6-0 SUATS off loss 8 > points, 6-1 SUATS when win-loss percentage < .555, 5-0 ATS vs opp off DD ATS win, 4-0 ATS off DD loss, 7-1 ATS off SUATS loss, 0-4 ATS off BB wins, 0-8 SU & 2-6 ATS vs #1-2 seeds 2-10 ATS off SUATS win, 3-9 ATS when win-loss percentage .730 >, 4-9 ATS as dog…

FLORIDA: 6-0-1 ATS off ATS loss > 3 points, 4-12 ATS off a SUATS Conference Tournament win, 3-7-1 ATS off DD ATS win, 4-6 ATS 2nd game…

GEORGIA: 5-0 ATS favorites > 7 points, 6-1 ATS vs opp off loss 2 > points, 1-6 SUATS off ATS loss > 2 points, 1-6 SUATS off ATS win 11 > points, 3-10 ATS L13 games, 2-9 ATS vs .700 > opp…

KENTUCKY: 37-6 SU & 30-11-2 ATS L43 games, 6-0 ATS as favs of > 16 points, 11-1-1 ATS when win-loss percentage .870 >, 9-0 SU & 8-1 ATS vs .760 > opp, 9-0 SU & 8-1 ATS vs .535 < opp, 10-1 ATS off ATS loss, 7-1 SU & 6-2 ATS vs opp off win 19 > points, 7-1 ATS vs #3 seed, 8-2 ATS vs #5-6 seeds, had been #1 or #2 seed each year from 1991-2005… LSU: 9-3-1 ATS off win 5 > points, 10-5 ATS L15 games, 0-6 SUATS off SUATS loss, 1-7 SUATS off loss, 1-6 SUATS when win-loss percentage < .500, 7-13-1 ATS as a dog (0-4 ATS +9.5 > points)…

MISSISSIPPI: 1-5 ATS vs #5-8 seeds, 2-11 ATS vs opp off ATS win > 4 points, 2-7 ATS vs opp off win 9 > points, 4-12 ATS 'pick' or dog < 10 points, 2-10 SUATS vs .678 > opp, 4-8 ATS 1st game…

MISSISSIPPI ST: 7-0-1 ATS vs opp off BB SUATS wins, 9-3-1 ATS off win 7 > points, 8-3-1 ATS when win-loss percentage > .700, 0-5 ATS vs opp off loss, 5-11 ATS when win-loss percentage < .700…

SOUTH CAROLINA: 4-0 SUATS vs opp off ATS loss 7 > points, 9-3 ATS 1st game, 8-3 ATS vs opp w/ revenge, 1-5 SUATS when win-loss percentage .800 >…

TENNESSEE: 0-8 SUATS off a Conference Tournament win, 0-5 ATS dog 9 > points, 0-4 ATS when win-loss percentage < .666, 0-5 SUATS vs .630 < opp, 1-10 SUATS vs .655 > opp, 1-8 SUATS vs #1-2 seeds, 1-8 ATS vs opp off win 9 > points, 1-5 ATS off win 10 > points, 4-12 ATS L16 games…

VANDERBILT: 0-4 ATS off BB SUATS wins, 0-4 ATS vs opp off SU dog win, 1-4 ATS vs opp off BB SUATS wins, 1-6-1 ATS off BB wins, 1-12 SU & 2-11 ATS off ATS win > 3 points, 2-8 ATS off win 7 > points, 5-14-1 ATS L20 games, 5-13-1 ATS as a dog or favorite < 3 points.

Favs are 103-69-5 ATS, including 66-41-3 ATS 2nd round out, 33-13-1 ATS off loss, 13-4-1 ATS off a DD loss, 14-9-2 off SU dog win, and 10-2 ATS -16 > points...#2 seeds are 8-1 ATS as favorites 9 > points… #3 seeds are 16-10-1 ATS L27 games… #4 seeds are 2-14-1 ATS as dogs < 8 points and 2-8-1 ATS vs foe off SU dog win...#5 seeds are 6-2 ATS L8 and are 4-19 ATS with same-season revenge of 8 > points… #6 seeds are 3-10 ATS L13 games and 5-11 ATS off a win… the SU winner in a FLORIDA post season game is 68-6-1 ATS since 1992 (14-3-1 ATS L2Y).



BOISE ST: 7-1 SUATS vs #3-10 seeds, 6-1 SUATS vs < .550 opp, 1-7 SUATS vs .700 > opp, 1-7 ATS as dogs > 4 points, 2-9 SUATS vs #1-2 seeds…

FRESNO ST: 6-0 SUATS off loss, 4-0 ATS vs .850 > opp, 4-0 SUATS off ATS loss > 6 points, 4-0 ATS as #7 seed, 0-4 SUATS off win 19 > points, 0-3 ATS as #1 seed, 1-6 ATS vs opp off ATS win > 14 points, 1-6 ATS when win-loss percentage .700 >, 1-6 ATS off a Conference Tournament win, 3-8 ATS as a favorite > 2 points, 3-9 ATS L12 games…

HAWAII: 6-0 ATS as dog off SU dog win, 5-0 ATS as dog off BB SUATS wins, 3-0 SUATS as #1 seed, 10-5 ATS L15 games...

IDAHO: 2-9 SU in Conference Tournament games, 2-5-2 ATS vs > .450 opp…

LA TECH: 2-8 SU & 3-5-2 ATS L10 games, 1-7 SU & 2-5-1 ATS vs opp off win or loss < 10 points…

NEVADA: 4-0 ATS vs opp off ATS win > 14 points, 5-1-1 ATS when win-loss percentage < .575…

NEW MEXICO ST: 5-1 ATS when win-loss percentage .700 <, 7-3-1 ATS off ATS loss, 0-6 ATS off ATS win 12 > points, 1-5 ATS off win 17 > points…

SAN JOSE ST: 3-0 ATS vs opp off DD ATS win, 6-1 ATS as #6-7 seed...

UTAH ST: 17-4 SU L21 games, 6-11 ATS w/ 3+ days rest (2-7 ATS vs opp off win).

Teams off SU fav losses are 19-10-1 ATS (12-4 ATS as dogs)… favs vs opp off loss are 11-28-2...favs w/ revenge are 2-7 ATS… #1 seeds are 13-2 SU & 10-4-1 ATS L6Y… #4 seeds are 6-10 ATS L16 games… #8-9 seeds favorites 1-8 ATS… #10 seeds are 0-5-1 ATS.

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Re: Conference Tournament News and Notes

Arch Madness: Missouri Valley tourney breakdown

So, why should you care about the Missouri Valley Conference?

Because in recent years, this has become the mid-major conference to which all others strive to mimmick. Since 1998, the MVC and SEC are the only two conferences in the nation to have sent every team in their conference to the NCAA Tournament at least once.

This year there are four bubble teams in the MVC heading into ‘Arch Madness’, the name of the conference tournament held appropriately in St. Louis.

Last year two tournament sessions boasted sellouts of over 22,000 fans so we should see more great hoops with a great atmosphere this year.   

Bradley Braves

Straight up (SU): 17-14, 9-9 MVC play

Against the spread (ATS): 16-12-1

Bradley has the best scoring offense and the worst scoring defense in the MVC this season. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise then, that the Braves have been a profitable over bet this year at 18-10-1 on the over/under. Their last eight games have also all played over despite lofty totals by college standards.

It’s all about guard play for the past-paced Braves, who love to run the floor and force the opposition to play catch-up. Their top five scorers are all guards and four of those average double digits per game led by Jeremy Crouch (15.5 ppg) and Daniel Ruffin (15.2 ppg).

Bradley came on late after a slow start and managed to cover eight of its past 10 spreads and took Creighton to double overtime on the road in its last game.

This team is loaded with experience and quality shooters, which makes it a dangerous middle-of-the-pack club that could make a strong conference run.

Creighton Bluejays

SU: 20-9, 10-8 MVC play

ATS: 14-11

Creighton comes into Arch Madness as one of the MVC’s bubble teams that needs a strong tournament showing to earn itself a berth into the NCAA Tournament.

What makes the B-jays tough is their depth. Ten players average at least 13 minutes per game and they share the ball around with only two players averaging double digits per game. There’s also no quit here, as we saw in their recent win, a double-OT victory over Bradley.

Creighton’s weaknesses are its inexperience and its size. Eight players on the roster are either freshmen or sophomores and only one player is at least 6-foot-9. Watch for freshman Cavel Witter to have a breakout tourney. He scored 42 in the game against Bradley and likely bought himself some more minutes.

Drake Bulldogs

SU: 24-5, 15-3 MVC play

ATS: 17-7-1

These guys might not only be the biggest surprise in the conference, but also the biggest surprise in the nation. The Bulldogs have climbed to 20th in the nation, depending on which poll you read, which has also made them one of the most profitable ventures of the season.

They lost just one of their first 23 games (against St. Mary’s) and their incredible play has earned them some PR in Sports Illustrated.

Though Josh Young leads the team in points (16.3 ppg) and co-leads the conference, senior point guard Adam Emmenecker is the team leader. Emmenecker leads the conference with 6.1 assists per game and ranks fourth with 1.7 steals. Jonathan Cox ranks second in the conference in rebounds with 8.3 per game and you’re probably starting to get the picture of why Drake is so good.

The Bulldogs pretty much do everything well and all five starters are capable of scoring in double digits. Only Bradley, Missouri State and Southern Illinois have beaten them in conference play this season.

Evansville Aces

SU: 9-20, 3-15 MVC play

ATS: 13-14

The Aces are the worst team in the MVC this season but you can’t blame them too much. They are also the youngest team in the conference with six freshman, four sophomores and just one senior.

They rank at the bottom, or near it, in every major statistical category and it’s amazing they haven’t dropped more money this season.

They rely heavily on junior Jason Holsinger and team leading scorer Shy Ely for most of their scoring, so they don’t stack up well against deeper teams. Evansville is capable of playing tough defense though, which helped the team beat Creighton last month 60-56 as nine-point underdogs.

Illinois State Redbirds

SU: 22-8, 13-5 MVC play

ATS: 13-15

The Redbirds are so close to a tourney berth, they can almost taste it. They likely need to make the finals to have a strong crack at getting in though, because their strength of schedule wasn’t the toughest.

Illinois State has, however, beaten all the top teams in the conference, except for Drake whom the Birds lost to twice by a combined nine points.

The Redbirds are the best defensive team in the conference with fewer than 60 points against per game, but they also have perhaps the most lethal offensive threat in Osiris Eldridge. Eldridge co-leads the conference with 16.3 points per game and has the ability to take over a game at any time.

It’s the Birds’ diversity that makes them so tough. They can beat you on the inside or outside and rank in the top three in the conference in field goal shooting and three-pointers. The Achilles heel is their free-throw shooting, where they rank last in the MVC at 63 percent. 

Indiana State Sycamores

SU: 14-15, 2-13 MVC play

ATS: 12-14-1

The Sycamores are the most profitable team in the MVC and the second most profitable team in the nation when it comes to going over the total. Their over/under ratio this season was 19-8-1.

The reason for the lopsided number is a combination of poor defense and the fact oddsmakers set ISU totals too low. The Sycamores gave up 66.6 points per game, second most in the MVC, yet they saw few totals above 130 points because they averaged only 65.6 points per game.

Indiana State has the worst rebounding margin in the conference, mostly because of its size. The Sycamores also get the bulk of their production out of three players and scoring falls off as soon as they have to go any deeper. Sophomore Marico Stinson is the team leader with 12.3 points per game.

Missouri State Bears

SU: 16-15, 8-10 MVC play

ATS: 10-17

This is a dangerous team peaking at the right time. The Bears come into the tournament with four wins and covered spreads in their last six games.

Forward Dale Lamberth is leading the charge and was recently named MVC player of the week for last week. The senior ranks fourth in the conference with 14.7 points and can be a beast on the offensive boards if you don’t block him out.

The team will have the distraction of heading into the tournament with recent reports that coach Barry Hinson will be let go at the end of the season no matter what Missouri State does in St. Louis.

Bears bettors won’t argue with that. Missou State fell short of expectations this season, and as a result, short of covering pointspreads. Their biggest problem was a variety of injuries, but they’re healthy again and a team to watch out for.

Northern Iowa Panthers

SU: 17-13, 9-9 MVC play

ATS: 14-13

If only the Panthers could score a little, they might have a better shot at advancing in the MVC tourney this weekend.

They are the best team in the conference at defending field goals and they rank third in the conference with just 60.9 points against. Unfortunately, the offense is so futile that center Eric Coleman is the only player who averages double digits per game. He also leads the team in just about everything else including rebounds, assists, steals and personal fouls.

In short, stop Coleman or get him into foul trouble, you stop the Panthers. In Northern Iowa’s last four losses against divisional opponents, Coleman was held to single digits in both points and rebounds. 

Southern Illinois Salukis

SU: 17-13, 11-7 MVC play

ATS: 15-14-1 ATS

The defending MVC champions and the team that has made the NCAA tournament for six straight seasons is desperately in jeopardy of breaking that trend. The Salukis are likely the most fragile of the MVC’s tourney bubble teams and they’ll need an impressive tournament run to sway the committee.

The defense is still tough with just 60 points against per game but a Salukis club that used to enjoy scoring from a multitude of players is now the second-worst assist team in the MVC with just 12.03 per game. That comes from an inexperienced backcourt that has struggled at times this season.

A nasty schedule that included Butler, Southern California, Mississippi State, Indiana, Charlotte and Saint Mary's has also taken its toll, which the Salukis home the tournament committee will consider.

It looks as if Southern Illinois is to advance, it will come from the frontcourt play of Randal Falker and Matt Shaw, who average 25 points per game between them.

Wichita State Shockers

SU: 11-19, 4-14 MVC play

ATS: 11-14-1

The Shockers finished second last in the conference despite annihilating the rest of the conference in rebounding margin at +6.6.

Turnovers are the culprit, as the Shockers also have the worst turnover margin and assist to turnover ratio. They have recently become a huge over team because too many turnovers are leading to too many points against and their over/under record now stands at 15-11.

P.J. Couisnard is Wichita State’s do-everything swingman with team highs in points (13.8), steals (1.6) and blocks (0.8).

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Re: Conference Tournament News and Notes

Patriot League Tourney Preview    
by: Brian Gabrielle

This is one of those Conference's where the Tournament games are scheduled on the home court of the highest seed so it's no small wonder that the top seed has won this Tournament in 11 of the last 14 seasons.

This season the top seed is the American University Eagles, who dominated down the stretch, winning seven of it's final eight games. However, it seems the Eagles have drawn a bitter-sweet reward for their efforts, earning themselves a first round matchup with the defending champion and pre-season favorite Holy Cross Crusaders. The BGS Power Ratings have these teams nearly dead even with home court being the only real difference and giving the Eagles a small -4 point edge. The Crusaiders will be a tough out however, having played in the title game 6 of the last 7 years and picked by many *still* as the best team in the Conference despite it's last place record.

Also under-achieving is Bucknell, which finds itself in the 7-hole and will have to travel to 2nd seed Navy. The Bison lost three in a row and eight of their last 10 and the outlook isn't sunny in this series, which was dominated in the regular season by the home team. Navy is the flip side of the coin, winning six of it's final seven and leading the Conference in scoring this season, averaging 76 ppg.

Army finished the regular season with a 54-51 win over Bucknell at West Point. However, they have a spotty history in this event with a record of just 3-17 over the years and will face a Lehigh team who was decidedly better at home than on the road this season. The BGS Power Ratings give Lehigh a distinct 6 point advantage in the opening game.

The final matchup in the quarterfinal round has Lafayette paying a visit to Colgate. The Leopards struggled down the stretch with just a single win since the start of February and closed out the regular season with a double digit loss to American University. Meanwhile, the Raiders closed out the season strong with four straight wins, including a double digit home win over Navy. However, this one has upset written all over it, as Lafayette, for my money, ranks in the top 3 teams in this conference.

Certainly it would seem that the Patriot League's Automatic bid is up for grabs this season, but don't discount home court advantage, which has delivered the prize to the #1 seed in 11 of the previous 14 seasons.

Brian Gabrielle is the all time #1 Documented College Basketball Handicapper with this time of year being a dinstinct specialty. Over the past 6 seasons Gabrielle has ammassed astonishing profits for his clients breaching the $60,000.00 during the March College Basketball Tournaments.

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Re: Conference Tournament News and Notes

Sun Belt Conference Tourney Preview   
by: Brian Gabrielle

The South Alabama Jaguars and Western Kentucky Hilltoppers shared the East Division crown at 16-2, but the Jaguars grab the top seed in this event by virtue of their season sweep over the Toppers during the regular season. Add that to the fact that the Jag's will host this Tournament at the Mitchell Center after the completion of the opening rounds at that really has to tilt the scales in favor of South Alabama to capture the Conference's Automatic bid. Remember, the Jag's were a startling 16-0 at The Mitchell Center this season.

The Tournament kicks off with a pair of local rivals hooking up, as the Florida Atlantic Owls will host Florida International Wednesday evening. The visiting Panthers swept the season series with the Owls but the playoff pressure and the home court should keep Florida Atlantic as a small favorite in this affair. In fact, the BGS Power Ratings show the Owls as a basket better here at home.

Also Wednesday night, the New Orleans Privateers will try to make it three wins this season over the Denver Pioneers. New Orleans boasts the Conference leading scorer in Bo McCalebb, who should be the difference maker tonight in a game I am calling by 6 points or better for New Orleans. Denver has never won this tournament and they limp in here on a season ending six game losing skid.

The North Texas Mean Green will host the Arkansas State Indians in a rematch of last year's title game. North Texas fans were in this same boat a season ago as the Mean Green were not pegged to do much out of the 5-hole, but proceeded to run the table, win the Tournament and go to the Dance. That remains to be seen in 2008, but the BGS Power Ratings do favor the Green to start things off right with a double digit win in this game.

Middle Tennessee will host the Warhawks of Louisiana-Monroe UL-Monroe in another first round contest. Once again, the BGS Power Ratings favor the home team, showing MTS as -8 point chalk BUT the Warhawks did beat the Raiders during the regular season.

The first round of the tourney will wrap up with the UL-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns hosting the Troy Trojans. The Cajuns enter the event red hot, having won five of their final six games and should take this game easily against the last place Men of Troy. The Cajuns won the only regular season meeting and the BGS Power Ratings suggest they will win here as well by close to double digits.

South Alabama has the luxury of hosting this tournament and that is big considering they are a perfect 16-0 at the Mitchell Center this season. The Jaguars are in search of their sixth tournament title and second in three years. The Jag's tied a school-record with 25 overall wins, and should chalk up another facing either Denver or New Orleans in the first quarterfinal game on Sunday.

The Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans won their last four games of the regular season and should keep it rolling when they face the winner of the Florida Atlantic/Florida International matchup in the third quarterfinal game on Sunday. The Trojans have never won this event.

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers won this event five times and they own the best mark of any program at 31-20 in the event. The Toppers lost only two games in conference play, but both came to South Alabama and that's not likely to improve here at the Mitchell Center, however, they will get a chance to flex their muscle against the survivor of the Arkansas State/North Texas game in the last quarterfinal round bout on Sunday.

This Conference really is a two dog race between South Alabama and Western Kentucky and there is more than a good chance these two programs will meet in the finals, however, South Alabama has the luxury of hosting this tournament and should be considered a heavy favorite to capture the championship.

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Re: Conference Tournament News and Notes

Atlantic Sun Conference Tourney Preview    
by: Brian Gabrielle

Belmont will seek its 3rd consecutive ticket to the show when the Atlantic Sun Tournament gets under way this Wednesday with eight teams fighting for the Conferences one automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The Bruins from Belmont will be the team to beat once again finishing the season with a Conference best 14-2 ledger and 22 wins overall.

The three main challengers in the Conference are Jacksonville Stetson and East Tennessee State - each of whom finished the Conference schedule with double-digit wins.

A REAL dark horse is Mercer who opened the season with a stunning upset over 18th ranked USC. Theyve done little since then but these tournaments are all about the upset and Mercer has shown the ability to do that.

The also-rans in this event are likely Lipscomb Gardner-Webb and Campbell.

The quarterfinal round tips Wednesday afternoon with the aforementioned Mercer Bears meeting the Jacksonville Dolphins. Mercer lost both regular season meetings to the Dolphins but both games were close and hotly contested with the first loss coming by a single basket and the second loss coming in OT. The BGS Power Ratings call for an 8 point Jacksonville advantage but I like a first round upset here with Mercer.

The evening game on Wednesday pits the Campbell Fighting Camels against the Belmont Bruins. The Camels lost 7 consecutive games to end the season and the BGS Power Ratings do show the Bruins as -16.5 point favorites in this game. That said the lowly Camels handed Belmont one of their two conference losses earlier this season with an 83-75 win at home. Still I dont expect a repeat of that. Belmont wins by double digits.

On Thursday the Stetson Hatters take on Gardner-Webb Bulldogs. The Hatters are the top defensive club in the Conference limiting opponents to under 68 ppg. However Gardner-Webb did win the only matchup of the season using home court to steal a low scoring affair 55-50. The BGS Power Ratings are calling for a very tight affair here giving Stetson a mere 1/2 point edge here at Allen Arena.

Finally the East Tennessee State Buccaneers host the Lipscomb Bisons in the 4th of the quarter-final matchups. This is a real clash of styles as the Bucs are an exciting and explosive offensive team while the Bisons buckle down with defense. The Bisons also make for a dangerous underdog having won seven of their last nine games to close out the season. That said the Bucs are also hot having won ten of their last thirteen including a pair of wins over Lipscomb. Its said that its difficult to beat a team three times in one season but its also said that the best predictor of the future is the past. The BGS Power Ratings give Eastern Tennessee a 7 point nod in this game.

Experts will tell you this is Belmonts tournament to lose however the number one seed has not won this event since 2001 when Georgia State defeated Troy.

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Re: Conference Tournament News and Notes

America East Conference Tournament Preview
The Sports Network

FACTS  &  STATS: Site: Binghamton University Events Center (5,322) -- Vestal,
New York. Dates: Friday, March 7th through Saturday, March 15th. Television:
NESN, ESPN2 (Championship Game). Annual 29th. Defending Champion: Albany

OUTLOOK: An automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament is the prize for the winner of
the 29th annual America East Conference Tournament that begins Friday, March
7th. Binghamton is the host team of the event, and all nine teams in the league
participate in the tournament. Boston University owns a 37-23 record all-time
at this event, and the Terriers have won more titles (five) than any other
active program. In fact, only three current members of the conference have won
this event, as Vermont has three crowns and Albany has two. The Great Danes
captured one of their two titles last season. Vermont has played in the last
five championship games and won the championship from 2003-05. Teams such as
Holy Cross, Siena, Drexel and Delaware all won titles as members of this
conference before switching affiliation to other leagues. No team enters this
tournament with a winning streak longer than two games, so there isn't one hot
club to keep an eye on.

Action begins on March 7th, as eighth-seeded Stony Brook and ninth-seeded Maine
will battle for a berth in the quarterfinal round. Maine is just 7-22 overall
this season and 3-13 in conference action. The Black Bears, who have lost both
of their meetings with Stony Brook this season, possess the worst scoring
margin in the conference and are also last in turnover margin. Speaking of
Stony Brook, it is the worst shooting and scoring team in the AEC. The
Seawolves have only won six games all season, including only one against a
conference opponent other than Maine. Still, two of the last four outings have
resulted in wins, perhaps a source of hope in a season that has produced little
for the program.

The winner of that first round game will take on top-seeded UMBC in the
quarterfinal round. At 13-3 in conference play, the Retrievers won the regular
season league title rather easily, as no other team in the AEC has more than 10
wins to its credit. UMBC carried a nine-game winning streak into the regular
season finale against Hartford, and while that contest did result in defeat,
the program has still managed to set a record for single-season wins with 21.
The Retrievers are scoring a conference-leading 74.9 ppg, and the fact that
they are also tops in assists-to-turnover ratio speaks to their discipline.
With four of the league's top 13 scores, including three of the top eight,
there is a wealth of talent on the roster.

Another quarterfinal matchup pits the fourth-seeded Vermont Catamounts against
the fifth-seeded Binghamton Bearcats. Vermont is just a game over .500 this
season and 9-7 in conference play, so the squad certainly hasn't been dominant
as in years past. Still, three of the final four regular season games ended in
victory, so there is some momentum that can be carried into this tournament.
The Catamounts beat Binghamton in both meetings so far, so there is also a
mental edge to consider. Marqus Blakely and Mike Trimboli are first and third,
respectively, on the conference's scoring list, so there is certainly no lack
of star power. The Bearcats has three of the conference's top 18 scorers on
their roster, but none of the three are of the caliber of Blakely or Trimboli.
Binghamton is the top free throw shooting team in the conference and has the
homecourt advantage on its side.

Second-seeded Hartford is slated to do battle with seventh-seeded New Hampshire
on Saturday as well. The Hawks carried a two-game losing skid into the regular
season finale against UMBC, but a win over the top seed in this tournament may
have restored any lost confidence. Hartford is 16-15 overall and 10-6 in
conference action, impressive records considering that the Hawks are last in
the league in free throw percentage and rebounding margin. As for New
Hampshire, it relies heavily on the three-pointer but has struggled at the
defensive end during certain stretches this season. The Wildcats did win two of
their final three regular season games, and they have split a pair of meetings
with Hartford thus far.

The last quarterfinal matchup pits third-seeded Albany against sixth-seeded
Boston University. These two teams met in the regular season finale, a game won
by Albany at home by a 76-64 final. The Great Danes also won the first meeting
between the teams by seven points and figure to enter this quarterfinal game
with a wealth of confidence. Their strength is clearly rebounding, as they own
a +7.8 margin on the boards, far better than any other team in the league. If
they can avoid turnovers, which has been a problem at times, a title run is
certainly possible. It is hard to say the same for Boston University, as it is
averaging only 63.2 ppg. Fortunately, the Terriers are the top team in the AEC
in regard to scoring defense, as they guard the perimeter quite well. Boston
University had won three straight prior to the loss to Albany.

UMBC, Albany and Hartford appear to be a step ahead of the rest, but keep an
eye on Vermont. The combo of Blakely and Trimboli gives the Catamounts a
chance, and in a month that is notorious for upsets, give an edge to Vermont.

Sports Network Predicted Champion: Vermont

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Re: Conference Tournament News and Notes

Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Preview
The Sports Network

FACTS & STATS: Site: Allen Arena (5,000) -- Nashville, Tennessee.
Dates: Wednesday, March 5th through Saturday, March 8th. Television: CSS-TV
(Quarterfinals and Semifinals), ESPN2 (Championship Game). Defending Champion:

OUTLOOK: The 29th installment of the Atlantic Sun Tournament will begin this
Wednesday, as eight teams will fight for the one automatic bid to the NCAA
Tournament. While there are 12 teams in the conference, only eight are selected
for the tournament. However, since Kennesaw State, Florida Gulf Coast, USC-
Upstate and UNF are not eligible for postseason action (NCAA reclassification
rules), all eight eligible teams will participate regardless of league record.
The two-time defending champion Belmont Bruins will be the team to beat once
again. Belmont finished with a strong 14-2 league mark and grabbed 22 overall
victories on the season. There are, however, a few other teams that should not
be overlooked, especially Jacksonville, Stetson and East Tennessee State. Those
three teams are also extremely dangerous and finished with double-digit
victories in conference play. It is unlikely that any of the bottom four seeds,
which consist of Lipscomb, Gardner-Webb, Mercer and Campbell, will compete for
the tournament title, but crazier things have happened in the world of sports.

The quarterfinal round begins on Wednesday afternoon, when the seventh-seeded
Mercer Bears collide with the second-seeded Jacksonville Dolphins. The Bears
did not have much success this season, especially down the stretch when the
team lost eight of its last 10 games, including four in a row. Mercer fell to
Jacksonville twice this season, but both meetings were close as the Bears lost
by two points in the first matchup, while suffering a nine-point defeat in
overtime just a couple weeks ago. As for the Dolphins, they posted a strong
12-4 mark in Atlantic Sun action and finished the year with 16 overall wins.
The team won four of its last five games, but unfortunately that lone loss came
in the finale against Stetson, 81-64. Jacksonville is not overly impressive at
either end of the floor, but the team should be able to grab a victory over

The night cap in Wednesday's action will pit the lowly Campbell Fighting Camels
against the two-time defending champion Belmont Bruins. The Camels basically
grabbed the eighth seed by default, as the team finished with a mere 5-11
league record, but because Kennesaw State (7-9) and Florida Gulf Coast (6-10)
are ineligible to participate, Campbell fell into the final spot. Campbell
closed out its regular season with a terrible seven-game slide, and won just
two matchups in the month of February. One thing the Fighting Camels do have in
their favor is that they were one of two conference teams to defeat Belmont
(83-75). Speaking of the Bruins, they have won this tournament the last two
years, but this will be the first time the team enters postseason play as the
top seed. Belmont had a terrific year, however, it will be meaningless if the
team can not tally three more victories.

Quarterfinal-round action will continue on Thursday afternoon when the third-
seeded Stetson Hatters take on the sixth-seeded Gardner-Webb Bulldogs. The
Hatters were one of the more dangerous teams in the A-Sun this season, posting
an 11-5 league ledger. The Hatters are known for their tenacious play at the
defensive end, as they limited the opposition to a mere 67.8 ppg, which ranks
as the top mark in the conference. However, the Bulldogs will be a nice test
for Stetson, as they posted an impressive 76.8 ppg on the year. Gardner-Webb
was mediocre for much of the season, finishing 9-7 in league action, however,
one of those victories did come against the Hatters. Unfortunately the Bulldogs
do not enter the tournament on a high note, having lost their last two matchups
to close out the regular season.

Thursday's other bout features the fifth-seeded Lipscomb Bisons and the fourth-
seeded East Tennessee State Buccaneers. The Bisons made their way this season
with solid defensive play, while the Bucs used an overwhelming offensive
display. The Bisons storm into this tournament with wins in seven of their last
nine games. However, one of the two losses came against East Tennessee State.
In fact, Lipscomb lost both of its meetings against Bucs this season, but only
by a combined eight points. ETSU finished with a solid 11-5 mark in league play
and also grabbed 18 overall wins, which is second-most in the conference behind
Belmont. The Bucs closed out their regular slate with three straight wins and
since the middle of January the team has won 10 of 13 contests. It is hard to
beat a team three times in one season, but the Bucs simply have too much
offensive firepower.

This is Belmont's tournament to lose. The Bears are the cream of the crop in
the A-Sun, and while other teams have done well in certain areas, none has the
overall capabilities of Belmont. The Bears will have some stiff competition,
but there are only two teams (Jacksonville and ETSU) that have a real shot to
defeat them, and even they are long shots.

Sports Network Predicted Champion: Belmont

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Re: Conference Tournament News and Notes

Big Sky Conference Tournament Preview
The Sports Network

FACTS & STATS: Site: Campus Sites (Quarterfinals); Rose Garden (21,000) --
Portland, Oregon (Semifinals and Championship). Dates: Saturday, March 8th
through Wednesday, March 12th. Television: Altitude TV (Semifinals); ESPN2
(Championship). Defending Champion: Weber State.

OUTLOOK: Six of the nine teams in the Big Sky Conference qualified for its
postseason tournament beginning on March 8th with the champion of the three-
round affair being awarded a bid into the NCAA Tournament. Seeds three through
six will square off in the quarterfinal round at the campus of the higher seed.
The lowest remaining seed after Wednesday's bouts will battle against Portland
State, while the highest remaining seed faces off against Northern Arizona.
Portland State earned the right to host the semifinals and championship rounds,
but will not have the advantage of playing at the intimate Stott Center.
Rather, the final two rounds will be played at the Rose Garden, the home of the
NBA's Portland Trailblazers. Although it's not quite as big an advantage, the
Vikings' 12-game conference winning streak to end the season figures to strike
enough fear into the rest of the BSC that it might not make a difference where
the final two rounds are played. The top threat to knock off the Vikings is
Northern Arizona, whose 11-5 conference record gives the Lumberjacks a bye into
the semifinals. The final four qualifying teams are separated by a mere two
games in league play, as Weber State and Idaho State host first round matchups
that will most likely go down to the wire.

Defending conference champion Weber State hosts one of the two quarterfinal
rounds, as the Montana State Bobcats hope to end any hope for a repeat. MSU
boasts the number-one scoring threat in the conference in Carlos Taylor. Taylor
is hitting 40.4 percent from behind the arc en route to averaging 18.3 ppg.
Unfortunately the 'Cats have hit a bit of a snag down the stretch, losing their
last four games by an average of 16 ppg. One of those blowout losses came
against tonight's opponent, as Weber State avenged a loss earlier in the season
by defeating Montana State, 73-63 just a few weeks ago. The Wildcats head into
tournament play having won three of their last four games, the only loss being
a three-point decision at Northern Arizona. WSU brings with it a stifling
defense that has allowed a conference-low 65.8 ppg. Arturas Valeika is arguably
the best big-man in the conference, averaging a near double-double with 9.8
points and 9.6 rebounds per contest. If Weber State has any grandeurs of
holding up the BSC trophy again, the Wildcats will need Valeika to shoulder
much of the load.

The Idaho State Bengals won the tiebreaker over the Montana Grizzlies and will
host the other quarterfinal matchup. Idaho State opened the season with a 3-10
non-conference record that would have sent most programs reeling. The Bengals
righted the ship and managed to break even in BSC play with an 8-8 record. ISU
has proven it can handle the pressure in tight contests as five of the Bengals'
eight conference wins have been by four points or less. Many pundits predicted
big things for Montana in the preseason, but the Grizzlies finished a mediocre
8-8 in conference play. Montana didn't beat any of the top three seeds in the
league this season while taking care of the bottom-feeders in easy fashion. The
one-two punch of Jordan Hasquet and Andrew Strait, combined to average 27.2
points and 14.0 rebounds per game, will be relied on heavily for the Grizzlies'
last chance to live up to lofty expectations. Idaho State and Montana split the
season series with the Grizzlies on the winning end of a thrilling 72-63
double-overtime decision just a few weeks ago.

The winners of those two contests have the pleasure of traveling to the Rose
Garden to meet up against the two top-scoring teams in the Big Sky Conference.
Portland State and Northern Arizona are leaps and bounds the best two teams in
the conference and will likely meet in the championship round, March 12th. PSU
is netting 74.6 ppg due in large part to three-point sniper Jeremiah Dominguez,
who drained a conference-leading 74 trifectas on 44.3 percent shooting from
behind the arc. The only two league losses for the Vikings came in road affairs
at Eastern Washington and Weber State, so it will be tough knocking off the
regular season champs in front of a pro-Vikings crowd. NAU meanwhile, is the
best rebounding team in the BSC and is producing 73.6 ppg. The Lumberjacks also
hold the number-one spot in terms of field goal percentage offense and defense,
so opponents must be on their 'A' game if they want to knock off the 'Jacks.
Northern Arizona comes into the tournament on a season-high five-game winning
streak, as the team hopes to avenge its two losses to PSU earlier this season.
Regardless of who is in the championship round, the outcome will no doubt come
down to the final minutes to see who plays deeper into March.

Sports Network Predicted Champion: Northern Arizona

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Re: Conference Tournament News and Notes

Big South Conference Tournament Preview
The Sports Network

FACTS & STATS: Site: Quarterfinal Round at Campus Sites, Semifinals - Regular
Season Champion, Final at Home of Highest Remaining Seed. Dates: Tuesday,
March 4th through Saturday, March 8th. Television: ESPNU (Semifinals), ESPN2
(Championship Game). Annual: 23rd. Defending Champion: Winthrop.

OUTLOOK: An automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament is on the line as the members
of the Big South Conference begin their 23rd annual tournament on Tuesday.

Three-time defending champion Winthrop (19-11), which has a total of eight
titles and has won seven of those crowns since 1998, is the second seed in
this year's event despite matching UNC Asheville with a 10-4 record in league
play. The Bulldogs (21-8) managed to sweep the season series against the Eagles
with a 63-50 victory on Saturday to earn the top spot.

In the case of the Eagles, who are an impressive 28-14 all-time in the
tournament, they ended up as the lowest-scoring team in the Big South with
just 65.4 ppg this season, but thanks to having the best scoring defense (59.1
ppg), they still ended up with the second-best scoring margin. However,
shooting just 59 percent at the free-throw line may catch up with the squad as
it challenges seventh-seeded Radford (10-19, 5-9) in the quarterfinal round.

The Highlanders have just one tournament title to their credit, coming back in
1998, and are 18-21 in the event overall. This season, Radford had a
questionable defense that gave up 79.4 ppg, leaving the team with the worst
scoring margin in the Big South with minus-7.6 ppg. Sporting a balanced scoring
attack by the starters certainly helped at times, but the Highlanders are
coming in off back-to-back losses and have fallen in four of the last six

UNC Asheville managed to bounce back from a four-game slide in the middle of
February to close out the regular season with three straight wins to earn the
top spot in the tournament. Winners of the 2003 tournament, the Bulldogs are
another of the balanced squads in the Big South that do well by having a
strong supporting cast. Bryan Smithson leads the way with his 42.2 percent
shooting from three-point range and 16.4 ppg. As a team, Asheville was first in
the conference in field goal shooting at 48.8 percent, which helped to offset
the squad's 67.2 percent accuracy at the charity stripe.

Hoping to get in the way of the Bulldogs is eighth-seeded Charleston Southern
(10-19, 4-10), although going 0-7 in conference road games in 2007-08 is
certainly not a positive sign for the Buccaneers. If nothing else, Charleston
Southern comes into the tournament having won the regular-season finale with a
narrow 65-64 triumph against Coastal Carolina on Saturday. The team was third
in the league in scoring with 74.6 ppg, even as it shot a league-worst 43.2
percent from the floor. Take Omar Carter (15.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg) out of the mix
when it comes to rebounding, and there really isn't another single player who
can make a big impact on the glass.

Placed in the third spot for the tournament is High Point (16-13, 8-6), which
will host sixth-seeded Coastal Carolina (13-14, 6-8) on the opening day of
play. The Panthers, currently one of the two programs in the tournament
without a championship, are 7-6 in the event overall and actually played for
the title against Liberty in 2004. High Point closed out the regular season
with back-to-back wins over VMI and Radford, but working against the squad is
the fact that it lost to Coastal Carolina in both of the previous meetings
this season. However, with Arizona Reid (24.2 ppg, 11.1 rpg) in your corner
that's always a reason to be optimistic.

The Chanticleers have had their share of issues this season, most notably
winning back-to-back games just three times along the way and producing a road
mark of only 2-11. Although, just like High Point, the team has one of the
most exciting performers in the league in Jack Leasure (16.7 ppg), who set a
new record for career three-pointers and became just the eighth player in NCAA
Division I history to have at least 400 triples in his career.

The last matchup for the day pits fifth-seeded VMI (14-14, 6-8) against
fourth-seeded Liberty (15-15, 7-7). The Keydets again led the Big South in
scoring with 91.5 ppg, better than 15 ppg more than any other program, but it
only works on a consistent basis if VMI is not permitting 86.7 ppg.

Reggie Williams was again one of the top scorers in the nation this season
with his 27.7 ppg and was even better when facing the rest of the Big South,
averaging a double-double of 29.2 points and 11.0 rebounds per contest. Throw
in Chavis Holmes (18.1 ppg) and Travis Holmes (15.5 ppg) and the scoring seems
to never end for the newest member of the conference.

In the case of the Flames, winners of two tournaments and currently just a
game over .500 in the event at 15-14, they snapped a three-game slide three
days ago with a 78-71 home win against Radford, but that was only after the
unit bowed to VMI a few days earlier. Liberty was second in the conference at
the free-throw line (.732) and three-point shooting (.371) and third in field
goal shooting (.467).

With a number of outstanding performers in the Big South again this season,
any one of them can carry his team to what might seem like an unexpected win.
In the end, it really comes down to Winthrop and UNC-Asheville, with the
experienced Eagles holding the advantage of having been here so many times

Sports Network Predicted Champion: Winthrop

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Re: Conference Tournament News and Notes

Colonial Athletic Association Tournament Preview
The Sports Network

FACTS & STATS: Site: Richmond Coliseum (11,200) -- Richmond, Virginia. Dates:
Friday, March 7th through Monday, March 10th.  Television: CN8 (Quarterfinals,
Semifinals), ESPN (Championship Game). Defending Champion: Virginia

OUTLOOK: The pairings are set for the 2008 Colonial Athletic Association Men's
Basketball Tournament. All of the action will take place at Richmond Coliseum,
beginning on Friday and winding up with the championship game on Monday night.
The winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The defending
champion Virginia Commonwealth Rams are once again the favorite, having drawn
the top seed. In 10 of the last 13 years, the top seed has gone on to win the
tourney, including each of the last six years. VCU upset Duke in the opening
round of last year's NCAA Tournament. The UNC-Wilmington Seahawks, who have
racked up a league-best 30 tournament wins and four titles, including one in
2006, have drawn the two seed. The George Mason Patriots, who became the first
CAA team to reach the Final Four two years ago and the first mid-major to do so
since 1979, is the three seed. Old Dominion has drawn the four seed, and the
Monarchs will be in search of a fifth tournament title, with their most recent
one coming in 2005. All four of those squads receive a first-round bye.

The opening game pits eighth-seeded Hofstra against ninth-seeded Towson Friday
at noon. These teams split their regular-season meetings, with each notching a
victory at home. Hofstra won the most recent meeting, 81-67 on February 20th.
Hofstra boasts a powerful one-two punch in Antoine Agudio and Charles Jenkins.
Agudio is the school's all-time leading scorer, and he is averaging a league-
best 22.5 ppg this season, while Jenkins is netting 15 ppg in his freshman
season. Hofstra closed out the campaign by winning four of its final five
games. The Tigers, on the other hand, split their final four games. They are
led by Junior Hairston, who averages 12 points and nine rebounds per game. The
Pride have the size advantage, as they lead the league in blocked shots (5.55
per game) and defensive rebounds (25.07 per game). The Tigers lead the CAA in
assist/turnover ratio (1.25) and turnover margin (plus-2.03). The winner moves
on to face top-seeded VCU Saturday at noon.

William & Mary picked up the fifth seed and will take on 12th-seeded Georgia
State on Friday, with the winner advancing to face fourth-seeded ODU the
following afternoon. William & Mary rallied from a 16-point deficit to notch a
60-58 win over the Panthers when the teams met on January 12th. But the Tribe
limp into this tournament, having lost six of their last seven. They are led by
David Schneider (10.9 ppg), the league's second-best free-throw shooter at 85.5
percent, while two other players are scoring 10 ppg. Despite a subpar season
that saw the Panthers go 9-20 in league play, they enter this tilt with wins in
two of their last three games. Still, they finished second-to-last in the CAA
in scoring margin. Leonard Mendez, a 41 percent shooter from three-point land,
paces the squad with 16.1 ppg.

Seventh-seeded Delaware takes on 10th-seeded Drexel Friday evening, with the
winner drawing the honor of tangling with second-seeded UNCW on Saturday night.
In their two meetings this season, each team picked up a win in the opposing
arena. The Blue Hens' 9-9 CAA record was their second-best league mark in the
seven years they've been a member of the conference. They are headlined by Marc
Egerson, who is averaging 13.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Drexel ranks
at the bottom of the league in scoring, averaging just 59.8 ppg. The Dragons
are also last in scoring margin. They lost three of four to close out the
season. Frank Elegar leads the way with 13.9 points and 8.2 boards per game,
while Tramayne Hawthorne is the outside threat (80-of-225 from three-point
range), averaging 11.4 ppg.

In the final first-round matchup, sixth-seeded Northeastern takes on 11th-
seeded James Madison. The winner draws third-seeded George Mason on Saturday
night. These teams met back on December 1st, with JMU claiming a 68-65 win at
Northeastern. The Huskies followed up a season-best five-game win streak by
losing four in a row down the back stretch of the schedule, though they atoned
for it by notching an 11-point victory over George Mason in the season finale.
Sophomore captain Matt Janning leads the way with 16.4 ppg, while two other
Huskies are scoring 10 ppg. JMU possesses the league's worst scoring defense
(74 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (.480). However, the Dukes won two
of three to wrap up their regular-season schedule, with both wins coming by
double digits. Abdulai Jalloh paces the squad with 15.7 ppg, while Terrance
Carter and Juwann James are each tallying 13 points and six rebounds per game.

Barring a Cinderella-like run from one of the first-rounders, the top four
seeds will likely be on a collision course to Monday's final. Combined, they
have 14 tournament titles among them. UNCW always seems to fair well in the CAA
tourney, and the Seahawks are no doubt the favorite to square off with VCU in
the championship game. In the end, however, it doesn't seem likely that anyone
will have what it takes to stop the Rams.

Sports Network Predicted Champion: Virginia Commonwealth

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Re: Conference Tournament News and Notes

Horizon League Tournament Preview
The Sports Network

FACTS & STATS: Site: Campus Sites (first round); Hinkle Fieldhouse - Butler,
Indiana (second round and semifinals); Championship Game at Highest Remaining
Seed. Dates: Tuesday, March 4th through Tuesday, March 11th.  Television:
ESPNU (Semifinals), ESPN (Championship Game). Annual 29th. Defending Champion:Wright State.

OUTLOOK: The Horizon League Tournament is set to get underway at campus sites
on Tuesday, with the second round and semifinals to take place at Hinkle
Fieldhouse and the championship game at the highest remaining seed. Hinkle
Fieldhouse may very well be the venue for the title game, as that is Butler's
homecourt and the Bulldogs are the top seed after clinching the program's first
outright regular-season championship since 2002-03. As the top seed, Butler
earned a bye straight through to the semifinals, as did second seeded Cleveland
State . The Vikings finished in a second place tie with the Wright State
Raiders, but they earned the higher seed due to the tie-breaker scenario. Four
teams ended up tied for fourth place in the league standings at an even 9-9,
with Illinois-Chicago earning the highest seed of the group. Wisconsin-
Milwaukee took the fifth spot, while Valparaiso and Wisconsin-Green Bay claimed
the sixth and seventh seeds, respectively. Loyola-Chicago (eighth seed),
Youngstown State (ninth) and Detroit (10th) round out the rest of the field.
The winner of this tournament will earn an automatic invite to the Big Dance.

The tournament will get underway on Tuesday, when defending champion and third-
seeded Wright State host the 10th-seeded Detroit Titans. The Raiders won their
first-ever HL Tournament championship as the top seed last season, but this
year's run will surely be more challenging. Wright State needed just one win in
its final two games to wrap up the second seed and a bye to semifinals, but
they were unable to get the job done and instead must play the first two
stages. As for Detroit, it was clearly the worst team in the conference
finishing just 3-15 during the regular season. The Titans lost the league's
top scorer, Jon Goode, for the season due to injury in late February and they
haven't won since.

In another first round game, the sixth-seeded Valparaiso Crusaders will
entertain the seventh-seeded UW-Green Bay Phoenix. In their first year in the
HL, Valpo showed it belonged by going an even 9-9. The Crusaders, who won eight
Mid-Continent Conference Tournament Championships prior to joining the HL, are
one victory short of reaching the 20-win plateau. Much like Valpo, UW-Green Bay
finished 9-9 in conference play and it is in search of its first title in this
event since 1995. The Phoenix, who are 13-12 all in this tourney, split a pair
of meetings with Valpo this season.

The fourth-seeded Illinois-Chicago Flames will try to avoid an upset at the
hands of the ninth-seeded Youngstown State Penguins in the first round. The
Flames have won this event on two prior occasions, with their most recent
title coming in 2004. Illinois-Chicago split a pair of meetings with Youngstown
State and it owns an 11-2 mark at home. On the flip side, the Penguins won just
once on the road in HL play and they have dropped five of their last six
outings. Youngstown State has gone just 2-6 in this event and is still in
search of its first championship.

The last of the first round games features the fifth-seeded UW-Milwaukee
Panthers against the eighth-seeded Loyola-Chicago Ramblers. The Panthers
struggled down the stretch, but they had enough to finish an even 9-9. UW-
Milwaukee made four straight appearances in the title game of this event from
2003-2006, taking home the championship three times during that stretch. As
for Loyola-Chicago, it has won the HL Tournament just once and that came all
the way back in 1985. The Ramblers' 27 losses in this event are the most by
any active member.

The second-seeded Cleveland State Vikings won three of their last four HL tilts
to earn a bye into the semifinals. The Vikings had a tremendous turnaround, as
they won 20 games for the first since 1992-93, after losing 21 outings a season
ago. Cleveland State will now hope it can carry its success over into this
event, where it has gone just 3-12, with no titles.

The top-seeded Butler Bulldogs won their last 11 games versus HL competitors
to notch their seventh regular season title in the past 12 years. The
Bulldogs' 16 league wins and 27 overall victories represent the highest marks
in league history during the regular season. Butler will have the luxury of
playing this entire tournament on its home floor, where it went 9-0 versus
conference foes this season. The Bulldogs have won this event four times, but
hasn't captured the title since 2001 under former head coach Thad Matta.
Butler reached the finals of the tournament in 2003, 2007 and 2008, but lost
each time on its opponents home floor.

Butler is clearly the cream of the crop and it will have the luxury of playing
on its home floor, making it that much tougher for the rest of the group.
Cleveland State and Wright State were the only two teams to defeat the Bulldogs
during the regular season, so if Butler is to go down, it will most likely be
to one of them. The Bulldogs though, are just too talented and experienced to
be upset this year, and expect them to take home the hardware this time around.

Sports Network Predicted Champion: Butler

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Re: Conference Tournament News and Notes

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament Preview
The Sports Network

FACTS & STATS: Site: Times Union Center (17,500) -- Albany, New York. Dates:
Friday, March 7th through Monday, March 10th. Television: MSG, ESPN2
(Championship Game). Annual: 27th. Defending Champion: Niagara

OUTLOOK: With as many as six teams in the hunt for the top spot in the league
standings down the stretch, the 27th annual Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
appears to be setting up for some exciting finishes.

Rider (21-9, 13-5) and Siena (19-10, 13-5) ended up tied for first place as far
as their records were concerned, but upon closer review it was the Saints who
earned the top seed in the tournament and the Broncs who were bumped to number
two. Regardless, both teams, catch a break because of their regular-season
prowess and get a bye through the first round of play in the tournament.

The Saints, who will play the winner of the Manhattan/Saint Peter's matchup
from Friday night the following day at the Times Union Center, were second in
the league this season with 77.7 ppg. However, one concern for the program has
to be how easily it is for opponents to work the glass against them, resulting
in 38.7 rpg for the opposition, the worst mark in the MAAC. Guard Kenny
Hasbrouck and forward Edwin Ubiles were voted All-MAAC First Teamers, the
former posting 15.7 ppg and leading the league in steals with 2.34 per game,
the latter following up his MAAC Co-Rookie of the Year campaign by ranking
fourth in the league in scoring at 17.7 ppg.

As for the Broncs, who are waiting for the winner of the Canisius/Iona bout for
their quarterfinal-round clash, they had one of the most dominating all-around
players in the league on their side this season in All-MAAC First Team
selection Jason Thompson. Second in the conference in scoring with 20.2 ppg and
first in both rebounding (11.8 rpg) and blocked shots (2.8 bpg), Thompson makes
his second appearance on the all-conference first team, with brother Ryan
Thompson carving out a spot on the second team with his 14.8 ppg and 6.1 rpg
for a Rider program that led the MAAC in scoring with 78 ppg, even as it placed
last in the league with a mere 64.2 percent effort at the free-throw line.

First-round games for the tournament begin on Friday night, the very first game
pitting ninth-seeded Saint Peter's (6-23, 3-15) against eight-seeded Manhattan
(11-18, 5-13). The Peacocks, who played in the title game just two seasons ago,
have not won the championship since 1995 and are an even 25-25 in the event
all-time. Wesley Jenkins may lead the team in scoring with 13.0 ppg, but
clearly the true leader of this group is Todd Sowell who averaged a double-
double with 12.4 points and 10.6 rebounds per game and had exactly half the
unit's 130 blocked shots in his name.

A powerhouse in the MAAC just a few years ago, the Jaspers have been in
rebuilding mode since former head coach Bobby Gonzalez left for the lifestyle
afforded him as the head man at a Big East school. Manhattan's defense has been
somewhat suspect this season, placing last in the MAAC in field goal percentage
allowed (.479) as well as three-point shooting defense (.390), and considering
the team beefed up its early schedule with weak non-conference opponents, the
group's overall record may be somewhat deceiving.

Next out of the gate on Friday night is the game between 10th-seeded Canisius
(5-24, 2-16) and seventh-seeded Iona (12-19, 8-10). The Golden Griffins had
very little to cheer about this season, placing last in the conference in
scoring with a mere 61.7 ppg and also coming up 10th in as many teams with a
scoring defense that is allowing 73.6 ppg. The only squad in the MAAC to shoot
under 40 percent from the field this season, Canisius was blessed with just one
double-digit scorer in the form of Frank Turner, who turned in not only 12.7
ppg but also found a way to get his teammates involved with 130 assists, which
was three times as many dishes as any one else on the roster.

The Gaels, credited with winning this tournament a record seven times with the
most recent crown coming in 2006 over Saint Peter's, they have the best
pedigree of any team in the conference, but history is never enough to help out
in the present. Iona is not a wild scoring program, instead it finished second-
to-last in the league with an average of 65.8 ppg, but by allowing 69.2 ppg the
team tended to make things quite interesting. Although he is not much for
passing the ball with just 14 assists this season, Gary Springer's 11.0 points
and 7.7 rebounds per game are crucial to the squad's success, however long that
may last.

Jumping to the quarterfinal round on Saturday, fifth-seeded Fairfield is slated
to saddle up against fourth-seeded Loyola-Maryland early in the afternoon. The
Stags (14-15, 11-7) may have lost the final game of the regular season on
Sunday versus Rider by 28 points, but the ride there was still rather exciting
with seven straight wins preceding the letdown. Fairfield is another team that
doesn't have an explosive offense (66.0 ppg), but at least the defense can
defuse many opponents and limit them to an average of 69.1 ppg. Tied with
Manhattan for the second-most conference tournament titles with three,
Fairfield shoots for a fourth on the back of Jonathan Han and his 11.7 ppg and
178 assists this season.

Loyola-Maryland (18-13, 12-6) has been as steady as they come in the MAAC these
days, going without back-to-back losses since the first week of January. One of
the things that has kept the Greyhounds alive is the top free-throw shooting in
the conference at an incredible 77.4 percent clip. A two-time All-MAAC First
Team selection, Gerald Brown has put up 18.8 ppg and 5.0 rpg and although his
physical play has resulted in his earning five personal fouls on seven
different occasions, those disqualifications are easily balanced out by his
182-of-230 shooting at the free-throw line.

Perhaps the most intriguing matchup in the quarterfinals is that of sixth-
seeded Marist versus third-seeded Niagara. The defending champion Purple Eagles
(19-9, 12-6) certainly have something to prove this season and will likely ask
Charron Fisher to do most of the talking for them. The two-time All-MAAC First
Team choice came into this week leading the nation in scoring with a lofty 27.8
ppg and is no slouch on the glass with 9.3 rpg, even though he checks in at
just 6-4. Lending a hand in the offensive attack for Niagara are Tyrone Lewis
and Stanley Hodge, a couple of all-conference choices who are averaging 15.9
and 13.5 ppg, respectively, for a team that is free to fire at will.

The Red Foxes (17-13, 11-7) closed out the regular season with back-to-back
wins, but that was only after the group fell in six of the previous seven
bouts. The squad trotted out the best scoring defense in the MAAC, holding
opponents to a mere 68.7 ppg, but with the Foxes making just 64.3 percent at
the free-throw line, it didn't make much of a difference. A member of the All-
MAAC Second Team in the preseason, Louie McCroskey (12.2 ppg) missed several
games due to injury, but the Syracuse transfer is not ready to have his season
come to an end just yet.

As exciting as Fisher and the Purple Eagles can be from time to time, it is the
sustained play of the Thompson brothers in the paint for Rider that should have
the Broncs galloping into the real postseason in the NCAA Tournament.

Sports Network Predicted Champion: Rider

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Re: Conference Tournament News and Notes

Missouri Valley Conference Tournament
The Sports Network

FACTS & STATS: Site: Scottrade Center (22,612) -- St. Louis, Missouri. Dates:
Thursday, March 6th through Sunday, March 9th. Television: FSN Midwest, Comcast
SportsNet Chicago, CBS (Championship Game). Annual: 32nd. Defending Champion:Creighton.

OUTLOOK: Under first-year head coach Keno Davis, the 20th-ranked Drake Bulldogs
came out of nowhere to claim their first conference title since 1971 and the
top seed in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Earning the top seed in
this event isn't necessarily a good thing, as the No.1 seed has not won the MVC
tourney since the Illinois State Redbirds back in 1998. Speaking of Illinois
State, it also had a big turnaround from last season and it earned the second
seed with a 13-5 league mark. Last year's top seed, Southern Illinois, overcame
a slow start to snare the third spot with an 11-7 finish. The Creighton
Bluejays, who upended Southern Illinois in the finals last season, check in as
the fourth seed courtesy of a 10-8 conference mark. The Bradley Braves and
Northern Iowa Panthers tied for fifth place at an even 9-9, but the Braves were
given the higher seed after the tie-breaker scenario was worked out. The
Missouri State Bears and Indiana State Sycamores landed the seventh and eight
seeds, respectively, with identical finishes and they will play opening round
games against ninth-seeded Wichita State and 10th-seeded Evansville. The winner
of this tourney will earn the right to represent the conference in the NCAA

The MVC Tournament fires up with the eighth-seeded Indiana State Sycamores
taking on the ninth-seeded Wichita State Shockers. The two programs split a
pair of meetings during the regular season, but the Sycamores' eight conference
wins were double that of the Shockers. Indiana State won its second title in
this event in 2001, but has gone just 16-25 all-time in the tourney. Wichita
State hasn't won the championship since 1987 and it hasn't even made a title
game appearance since.

The only other opening round game features the seventh-seeded Missouri State
Bears and the 10th-seeded Evansville Purple Aces. The Bears won their last
three games of the regular season, including an upset of Drake, and they are
looking for their first title since 1992. Missouri State has reached the finals
of this event five times since 1997, losing out on each occasion. Evansville is
one of two teams to have never won this tourney and after a last place finish
(3-15), it doesn't appear that will change this time around.

The top-seeded Drake Bulldogs will kick off the quarterfinals against either
Wichita State or Indiana State on Friday. The Bulldogs have never won this
event and they own just an 11-29 all-time mark in this tourney. Drake opened
MVC play with 13 straight wins and it used that start en route to its highest
seed ever in this event. Drake hasn't been to the postseason since appearing in
the NIT in 1986 and it hasn't reached the NCAA Tournament since 1971. The
Bulldogs' postseason drought is the longest among any of the current MVC

The second quarterfinal round matchup pits the fourth-seeded Creighton Bluejays
against the fifth-seeded Bradley Braves. These two programs split a pair of
meetings, with the Bluejays capturing a wild 111-110 double-overtime thriller
in the regular season finale. With that triumph, Creighton reached the 20-win
plateau for the 10th consecutive season. As the second seed last season, the
Bluejays defeated Southern Illinois (67-61) for their MVC record 10th title.
Creighton has won this tourney twice in the past three years and six times in
the last nine seasons. Bradley hasn't captured this event since 1988, but it
was the runner up in 2006. The Braves overcame a sluggish start to MVC by
winning nine of their final 13 outings.

The second-seeded Illinois State Redbirds will tangle with either Evansville or
Missouri State in their quarterfinal round bout. The Redbirds' 22 overall wins
and 13 in conference play are their most since the 1997-78 campaign, when they
won this event as the top seed. Illinois State has posted four titles in this
event, but it has been out of the picture since capturing back-to-back crowns
between 1997-98.

The quarterfinal round wraps up with the third-seeded Southern Illinois Salukis
battling the sixth-seeded Northern Iowa Panthers. The Salukis opened the season
in the Top-25, but they struggled with consistency for most of the campaign
before going 5-1 down the stretch. Southern Illinois has reached the NCAA
Tournament six straight seasons, but it will most likely need to win this event
in order to keep that streak alive. The Salukis have reached the finals of this
tourney the last two seasons, winning it all in 2006 and losing out to
Creighton last season. Overall, Southern Illinois has five titles to its credit
and it has made it to the championship game four times in the past six seasons.
Northern Iowa earned its first title in 2004 and it split a pair of meetings
with Southern Illinois during the regular season.

The MVC Tournament has been controlled by Creighton and Southern Illinois the
past several seasons and both teams figure to play a part in this year's
outcome as well. Drake though, is the team to beat, but will have a target on
its back. Illinois State is another team capable of making a run in a field
that is deep and talented. When all is said and done, expect the Bulldogs to
slip past the field and capture their first-ever title in this tourney.

Sports Network Predicted Champion: Drake

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Re: Conference Tournament News and Notes

Northeast Conference Tournament Preview
The Sports Network

FACTS & STATS: Site: Campus Sites (All Rounds). Dates: Thursday, March 6th
through Wednesday, March 12th.  Television: MSG Network (One Semifinal game);
ESPN2 (Championship). Annual: 27th. Defending Champion: Central Connecticut

OUTLOOK:  The 27th-annual Northeast Conference Tournament is set to begin on
March 6th with the champion of the three-round event being crowned six days
later on national television. All rounds will be played at the home gym of the
higher seed. After the opening round, a reseeding will take place to assure the
highest remaining seed plays the lowest remaining seed in the semifinals. The
champion of the tournament will earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament
and a chance to knock off some of the nation's elite programs. The hottest team
in the NEC also happens to be the number one seed, as Robert Morris has rattled
off 13-straight conference wins to finish the regular season as top dog. It was
the Colonials' first NEC title since the 1991-92 campaign. Wagner comes in as
the number two seed with a terrific 15-3 conference record, while Sacred Heart
used a 13-4 mark in league play to cement itself into the three-seed. Mount St.
Mary's and Quinnipiac each recorded 11 conference wins, but Mount St. Mary's
will host the head-to-head bout as a result of winning the fifth possible
tiebreaker. The conference is quite top-heavy as any of the top three teams
could walk away with the trip to the Big Dance. Robert Morris has the homecourt
advantage, but its only two losses in NEC play came at the Wellness Center.

Robert Morris will begin its quest for an NEC title when it hosts the Monmouth
Hawks in one of the quarterfinal rounds. Monmouth can thank Fairleigh
Dickinson's Manny Ubilla for clinching the Hawks' spot in the tournament this
season. Ubilla's three-pointer at the buzzer this past weekend defeated Saint
Francis (PA), 72-70. The decision brought the bottom four teams in the
conference at 4-14 in conference play, and Monmouth won the bid for the final
spot after winning the convoluted tiebreaking system. The Hawks have their work
cut out for them though, as Robert Morris is the hottest team in the
conference, and, quit frankly, one of the hottest teams in the nation, as its
current 13-game surge is the third-longest current winning streak in the
country. The Colonials even picked up the NEC's third-ever victory over an ACC
opponent when they defeated Boston College, 57-51 back in the beginning of
January. Tony Lee is the heart and soul of the squad, recording 13.8 points,
6.9 rebounds and 6.4 assists per contest. The Colonials took both meetings
against the Hawks this season, but Monmouth missed a game-winning shot at the
buzzer the last time the two got together, so this one could be relatively

Wagner broke a school record with 22 wins this season and hopes to keep the
good times rolling when seven-seed Long Island rolls into town for a
quarterfinal matchup. Wagner is the best rebounding team in the conference, as
Durell Vinson in pulling down four more boards per game (11.3 rpg) than anyone
else in the NEC. With his help, the Seahawks posted a 12-2 home record and are
poised for a run at the title. Standing in their way is Long Island, who
actually handled Wagner, 85-65 in mid-January. The 'Hawks exacted revenge in
the rematch, but it was a much closer 68-65 contest. The Blackbirds can score
with anyone in the league, putting up almost 73 points per outing, led by
Jaytornah Wisseh's 15.6 ppg. Long Island's 7-11 conference mark is a little
misleading, as the squad dropped six contests by four points or less. This
matchup could certainly be the most entertaining of all the quarterfinal

Defending champion Central Connecticut State is relegated to the sixth seed
this year, as the Blue Devils travel to Sacred Heart in a rematch of last
year's NEC Championship game. The Devils came away with the victory a year ago,
but must knock off three teams on their home court to duplicate the feat.
Tristan Blackwood knocked down a conference-leading 99 three-pointers this
season, and if the Devils can get him going they will be a tough out. Sacred
Heart ripped off eight straight victories earlier in its campaign, but
unfortunately comes into the tournament having lost three of its last five
games. The defense has let up 94 ppg in the three setbacks and needs a quick
fix if the Pioneers expect to play deep into March. The last game of the
conference's schedule featured this same matchup, as CCSU put together quite an
offensive showcase in pounding Sacred Heart, 100-87 in Fairfield.

The Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers and Quinnipiac Bobcats bring identical 11-7
conference records into their quarterfinal bout. Mount St. Mary's reeled off
victories in five of its final six games to steal the final home spot of the
tournament from its first round foe. Defense has been the key to the
Mountaineers' success, as the squad is letting up a conference-low 66.8 ppg.
Quinnipiac, meanwhile, features the top scoring player in the league in DeMario
Anderson (21.7 ppg). He, along with Justin Rutty's .592 field goal percentage,
has spearheaded the Bobcats to average 74.3 ppg, good for second best in the
conference. The 'Cats roll into the tournament on an inconsistent note however,
having exchanged wins and losses in each of their past seven battles. The two
teams split the season home-and-home by winning on their respective home

For as streaky as Robert Morris has been the past few months, the Colonials are
still susceptible to being knocked off by one of the remaining top three seeds.
Though they have the homecourt advantage the entire tournament, Sacred Heart
has proven the Colonials aren't unbeatable at the Wellness Center. There will
likely be only one NEC team in the NCAA Tournament, so expect all-out
performances from the conference's top clubs.

Sports Network Predicted Champion: Wagner

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