Maverick Maniac's Musings

March 9, 2013

Who to Root Against in Other Conference Tournaments–3/9/13

Filed under: Men's Basketball,The Summit League — Jon Green @ 11:16 am

There were definitely a few positives for South Dakota State and Summit League fans last night. We’ll start with one that’s a gray area: Belmont. The Belmont is a solid NCAA team at this point it looks like. Their average seed on the Bracket Project Matrix is 11.64 while South Dakota State’s is 14.08. There’s two questions here… would a Belmont loss actually knock them out of the NCAA tournament? I’m really not sure and I think it’s 50-50. But IF they get in is there any doubt they are ahead of South Dakota State? I don’t think so. If they lose today to Murray State, the Racers are in the field and it’s possible that Belmont would still be. Is Murray State ahead of South Dakota State? I don’t think so… but who knows. They did beat South Dakota State a few weeks ago. So what do you root for her? I’m still going for Murray State. Think it could really knock Belmont out and it puts a team into the field who South Dakota State lost too, making that loss slightly less sour.

In the Ivy League we saw Harvard win over Columbia while Princeton lost at Yale. Those two results mean if each teams wins out (Harvard has one game left, Princeton has two) they’ll have a one-game playoff on March 17th. Do Summit League fans care who wins that one? Possibly not… both teams are a half step behind South Dakota State it seems. That said any losses would certainly make it more clear. And the luster of a one-game playoff and national attention around it could boost a team’s image ever so slightly.

Then there’s Akron. The Zips were one of those mid-majors with a good resume and a lot going for them a week ago at 23-14 (13-0). Then they lost two of three, the latest after their starting PG got busted on drug charges. Ouch. They are a wounded team and probably won’t make the tournament without winning their conference tournament. Them losing to Kent State was a very good thing for South Dakota State.

Today is a REALLY busy day as there are potential rooting interests in 16 games across 12 conferences. See below for the rundown of who’s playing who.

Here’s a top 8 list though of teams South Dakota State would love to see lose. These teams are ranked by their projected seed. Middle Tennessee State and Belmont are way ahead of South Dakota State but might get knocked out of the dance if they don’t win their conference tournaments. Anyways right now Stephen F. Austin is projected as the final #13 seed on average, so if three of these teams get knocked off South Dakota State might be able to move up…

1. Middle Tennessee State – Sun Belt
2. Belmont – Ohio Valley
3. Akron – MAC
4. Louisiana Tech – WAC
5. Bucknell – Patriot
6. Stephen F. Austin – Southland
7. Valparaiso – Horizon
8. Davidson – Southern

How yesterday went:
Belmont – Beat Tennessee State 83-73 in OVC Tournament Semifinals
Next up: Murray State 21-9 (10-6) on Saturday

Harvard – Beat Columbia 56-51 in Ivy League regular season
Next up: Cornell 13-17 (5-8) on Saturday

Princeton – Lost at Yale 71-66 in Ivy League regular season
Next up: @ Brown 12-15 (6-7) on Saturday

Akron – Lost to Kent State 68-64 in MAC regular season
Next up: TBD in MAC Tournament Semifinals on Friday 3/15

Teams to root against tonight– 3/8:
All times CT

Root against… Davidson vs. Georgia Southern 14-18 (7-11) – 11 AM – Southern Conference Tournament Quarterfinals in Asheville, North Carolina – ESPN3
Root against… Ohio vs. Miami (Ohio) 8-20 (3-12) – 3 PM – MAC regular season
Root against… Bucknell vs. Army 26-14 (8-6) – 3:30 PM – Patriot League Tournament Semifinals at Army – CBS Sports Network
Root against… Harvard vs. Cornell 13-17 (5-8) – 4:30 PM – Ivy League regular season – NBCSN
Root against… Princeton @ Brown 12-15 (6-7) – 5 PM – Ivy League regular season
Root against… Detroit vs. Wright State 20-11 (10-6) – 5 PM – Horizon League Tournament Semifinal at Valparaiso – ESPNU tape delay at 9:30 PM
Root against… Stony Brook vs. Binghamton 3-26 (1-15) – 5 PM – America East Tournament Quarterfinals in Albany, New York – ESPN3
Root against… Belmont vs. Murray State 21-9 (10-6) – 6 PM – OVC Tournament Final in Nashville, Tennessee – ESPN2
Root against… Louisiana Tech 26-4 (16-1) @ Denver (ROOT FOR!) 20-8 (15-2) – 6 PM – WAC regular season
Root against… Stephen F. Austin vs. Texas A&M Corpus Christi 6-22 (5-12) – 6 PM – Southland regular season
Root against… Middle Tennessee State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette 13-19 (8-12) – 6:30 PM – Sun Belt Tournament Quarterfinals in Hot Springs, Arkansas – ESPN3
Root against… Valparaiso vs. Green Bay 24-7 (13-3) – 7:30 PM – Horizon League Tournament Semifinal at Valparaiso – ESPNU 
Root against… Weber State vs. Eastern Washington 10-20 (7-12) – Big Sky regular season
Root against… Montana vs. Northern Arizona 11-19 (8-11) – Big Sky regular season
Root against… Loyola (Maryland) vs. Manhattan 12-17 (9-9) – 8:30 PM – Metro Atlantic Tournament Quarterfinals in Springfield, Massachusetts – ESPN3
Root against… South Alabama vs. Western Kentucky 17-15 (10-10) – 8:30 PM – Sun Belt Tournament Quarterfinals in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Summaries for each league:
Horizon – Tuesday, March 5th – Tuesday, March 12th at campus sites/Valparaiso – As the #1 seed, Valparaiso is hosting the quarterfinals and semifinals on Friday and Saturday. The final on Tuesday will be at the highest seed left’s home court. Valparaiso would probably be ahead of South Dakota State as might Detroit (#2 seed). Detroit plays #3 Wright State on Saturday and Valparaiso will play #4 Green Bay. Those are both semifinal matchups and upsets would be great.

Patriot – Wednesday, March 6th – Wednesday, March 13th at campus sites – Bucknell is the team to root against here. They are in the semifinals hosting Army on Saturday. Lehigh as the #3 seed knocked off Duke last year and if they could win the tournament could have star C.J. McCollum back for the NCAA tournament. Join me in rooting for the Mountain Hawks!

Ohio Valley – Wednesday, March 6th – Saturday March 9th in Nashville, Tennessee – Belmont might get in regardless of if they win this tournament, but Murray State beat South Dakota State and getting them in to the field might help the Jackrabbits resume as well. They play in the final today vs.

Metro Atlantic – Friday, March 8th – Monday March 11th in Springfield, Massachusetts – Loyola (Maryland) might be the #3 seed but they are the only team in the conference with more than 18 wins. Best they lose… they’ll start play in the quarterfinals on Saturday against Manhattan 12-17 (9-9).

Southern – Friday, March 8th – Monday, March 11th in Asheville, North Carolina – Davidson at 23-7, 17-1 in conference, is the top threat to finish ahead of South Dakota State. Take your pick of underdogs here, the rest would probably be behind South Dakota State. First game for Davidson is Saturday in the quarterfinals against Georgia Southern.

Sun Belt – Friday, March 8th – Monday, March 11th in Hot Springs, Arkansas – In this one Summit fans maybe want to see Middle Tennessee State knocked off (although with as far ahead of South Dakota State as they probably are… not really that bad if they win. Might be in regardless…) and South Alabama losing as well would probably be good too. Middle Tennessee State starts with Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday while South Alabama takes on Western Kentucky.

Ivy – Friday, March 8th – Tuesday, March 12th – This isn’t actually a tournament; the top team from the regular season goes. Princeton and Harvard  are tied atop the standings right now. I’ve decided that it’s preferable to these teams lose an extra game if possible since both are probably narrowly behind South Dakota State. Princeton has an extra game left on Tueday at Pennsylvania 8-20 (5-6). In the meantime they play at Brown on Saturday. Harvard hosts Cornell on Saturday. If the two tie there would be a winner-take-all game at the Palestra.

America East – Saturday, March 9th – Saturday March 16th in Albany, New York and campus site – This tournament has the quarterfinals and semifinals in Albany before having the title game on the home court of the highest seed. Only Stony Brook is a threat to South Dakota State. They’ll start play with a quarterfinal game against Binghamton 3-26 (1-15) on Saturday.

MAC – Monday, March 11th – Saturday, March 16th in Cleveland, Ohio – Akron and Ohio both probably need to win the tournament to get in now. Both could be ahead of South Dakota State so probably rooting against both of them. Ohio and Akron are the top two teams in the league and have byes until the semifinals on March 15th. Ohio plays a home game against Miami (Ohio) 8-20 (3-12) on Saturday. Obviously a loss would hurt their potential seed.

WAC – Tuesday, March 12th – Saturday, March 16th in Las Vegas, Nevada – Louisiana Tech would probably be ahead of South Dakota State if they get in. They would have a shot at getting in regardless of results here, but might need to get a few more wins. Denver is also a darkhorse that could finish ahead of South Dakota State. They probably need to win this tournament to get in but as a member of the Summit next year I will be rooting for them to do just that, even if it means being seeded ahead of South Dakota State. Both Louisiana Tech and Denver will play their first games on Thursday the 14th. There is one last regulars season game though, and Louisiana Tech is at Denver on Saturday. Denver could take a share of the regular season title and perhaps force Louisiana Tech to win the conference tournament to get in.

Southland – Wednesday, March 13th – Saturday, March 16th in Katy, Texas – Stephen F. Austin at 25-3 on the year would be a nice one to see fall. Oral Roberts at 18-12 and being a former Summit member would be a nice one to see win it. Still a regular season game remaining with Stephen F. Austin hosting Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 6-22 (5-12) on Saturday.

Big Sky – Thursday, March 14th – Saturday, March 16th at campus site – This tournament will be held at the site of the top seed. It’s not yet sure who that is. The top teams (Montana at 22-6 and Weber State at 23-5) could be ahead of South Dakota State. North Dakota at #3 played a lot of Summit teams and would be clearly a #16 seed. So go UND. The #2 seed (whoever it is) will have to play in the quarterfinals on Thursday while the #1 seed can wait until Friday to tip off. Root for Montana to lose at home to Northern Arizona 11-19 (8-11) on Saturday to make them a less attractive seed. Weber State hosts Eastern Washington 10-20 (7-12) on Saturday and the same applies to them.

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