Thursday, March 2, 2017

1-MAR Bracket Projection: Late night OVC in NashVegas

312 teams are left after 10 more suffer conference tournament losses.  The American East saw all chalk moving on in the quarterfinals.  In the Northeast Conference, top seed Mount St. Mary’s held off the #8 seed by three.  The two seed LIU Brooklyn was upset by Robert Morris by one.  #3 seed Wagner held off last year’s tournament champion Fairleigh Dickinson by 2.  In a bizarre twist, after the 1-2-3 point games, the #4/#5 matchup saw…host St Francis Pa bury Bryant 100-78.  Just life on the road in the NEC.

The final two tournament games were in the OVC and saw both games go to overtime.  Tennessee State lost in OT to Southeast Missouri State on intermittent at best video.  Fortunately the stream worked fine in the night cap as Murray State knocked off Tennessee Tech.

Thursday we have 17 tournament games as we really start to gear up.

The Big South will pick back up from Tuesday with quarterfinal action.  All games over the next two days will be played at #1 seed Winthrop.  Also picking up from Tuesday is the Patriot League with simultaneous quarterfinal action at the higher seeds.  The Ohio Valley will also continue with two quarterfinal games in Nashville.

Jerome points will be on the line for the first time in 2017 when the Atlantic Sun semifinals get underway to determine Sunday’s Championship game.  The top half of the bracket is #1 Florida Gulf Coast (2 trips, made it last year) vs #5 Kennesaw State (never, joined D1 in 2005).  The bottom half of the bracket is #3 North Florida (1 trip, 2015) vs Lipscomb (never, joined D1 in 1999).

The MAAC will begin play with three first round games.  The first game will feature the only conference team to have not made the tournament in Quinnipiac.  The three longest NCAA droughts are all in action as well.  Canisius, at 20 years, will take on Marist, at 29 years, in the middle game.   In the last game, Rider will battle Manhattan.  The Broncs haven’t been in the field in 22 years.

2017 Arch Madness invades St. Louis with first round games.  #2 Wichita State has the most NCAA appearances among the current conference members with 13.  The Shockers are tied with Iowa State with 5 straight NCAA trips, good for 9th among active streaks.  Northern Iowa also has a streak of 2 straight trips.  Loyola Chicago holds the longest drought at 31 years, with their last trip coming in 1985.  

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