Maverick Maniac's Musings

March 10, 2013

Who to Root Against in Other Conference Tournaments–3/10/13

Filed under: Men's Basketball,The Summit League — Jon Green @ 10:30 am

LOTS of games yesterday to recap… only a few today with a rooting interest (or overall). Today your best bets from a rooting against standpoint is Davidson in the Southern Conference Semifinals against Appalachian State and Middle Tennessee State against FIU in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Semifinals. Both of those two teams are probably ahead of South Dakota State’s current spot and one would surely be out with a loss while the other would have a stressful wait.

As to why I’m doing this and only writing about South Dakota State’s potential seed when they haven’t won the Summit League tournament yet? Well we don’t know much about what people are predicting in terms of seeding if another team got into the field. Of the many brackets out there, only a few don’t have the Jackrabbits as the Summit League’s entry. They are also the #1 seed in the conference tournament and with it being played in their backyard are the favorite to me. If they get knocked out this will certainly take a 180 turn and start looking at teams that might help another Summit member’s seeding, but for now we stick with the Jackrabbits.

Let’s start with the teams the cruised yesterday in situations were a loss would have been awesome, but unlikely. All of these teams have much better chances of losing a later game than yesterday’s.

  • Davidson over Georgia Southern in the Southern Conference Quarterfinals
  • Stony Brook over Binghamton in the America East Conference Tournament
  • Stephen F. Austin over Texas A&M Corpus Christi in Southland regular season
  • Middle Tennessee State over Louisiana-Lafayette in Sun Belt Conference Tournament Quarterfinals
  • Montana over Northern Arizona in Big Sky regular season
  • Weber State over Eastern Washington in Big Sky regular season

Now let’s move on to the two teams that got into the bracket yesterday. First up was Harvard. Now the story coming into Saturday was Harvard was in line for a one-game playoff with Princeton to decide the Ivy League if they both won out in the regular season. That didn’t come to fruition as Harvard went out and beat Cornell while Princeton dropped a game for the 2nd straight night, this time at Brown. The loss ended the Ivy League race and means Harvard is into the NCAA Tournament field. They have definite potential to be seeded right around South Dakota State, so an extra loss would have been nice. We’ll just have to see where it shakes out.

The other game we were watching was the Ohio Valley Conference Final. This game between Belmont and Murray State was a fantastic battle and went to OT before Belmont could escape with a narrow two point win on a last second shot. The discussion on twitter had Belmont squarely on the 50-50 bubble, but that’s all over now. The Bruins are in the field and will be seeded ahead of South Dakota State or any Summit member.

There are two other regular season games of interest yesterday. First of all Ohio tried to give away a share of the MAC regular season title against Miami (Ohio) but did manage to come back and win. They’ll be the #2 seed to Akron’s #1 in the tournament and this one is just screaming for someone like Kent State to win the tournament and take the auto-bid away from these two. Would certainly be what we are rooting for here.

The other game matched up future Summit member Denver with Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs already had a share of the regular season title and Denver was trying to get their half. They did so in a big way running to a 24-point win. Neither team can afford to hope for an at-large at this point but both teams could be ahead of South Dakota State if they get in. Denver seems the easy choice to root for the in their tournament since having two members of next year’s Summit League in the tournament would be quite nice.

In the Patriot League Tournament Semifinals Bucknell fought off a tough Army team and will now host the final against Lafayette on Wednesday. An upset there could move South Dakota State up a notch.

In the Horizon League Tournament Semifinals there was drama a plenty. Wright State upset Detroit on a last second shot from basically behind the backboard. Crazy shot. That means there’s no risk of Detroit sneaking ahead of South Dakota State. We almost had a guarantee that the Horizon League winner would be a low seed, but then Valparaiso hit a game-winning three at the buzzer to knock off Green Bay and so they’ll host the final on Tuesday and could still be ahead of any Summit League winner.

Finally there were two losses that eliminated teams that probably wouldn’t have been in front of South Dakota State, but definitely won’t anymore! Loyola (Maryland) lost to Manhattan in the Metro Atlantic Tournament Quarterfinals while South Alabama lost to Western Kentucky in the Sun Belt Tournament Quarterfinals. No problems with those teams stealing a potential spot now.

Here’s a top 7 list though of teams South Dakota State would love to see lose. These teams are ranked by their projected seed. Middle Tennessee State is 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… These projections are from yesterday since the site I use isn’t loading this morning…

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

How yesterday went:
Davidson – Beat Georgia Southern 86-59 – Southern Conference Tournament Quarterfinals
Next up: Appalachian State 15-15 (10-8) on Sunday

Ohio – Beat Miami (Ohio) 58-54 – MAC regular season
Next up: TBD on Friday in MAC Conference Tournament Semifinals

Bucknell – Beat Army 78-70 – Patriot League Tournament Semifinals
Next up: Lafayette on Wednesday in Patriot League Championship Game

Harvard – Beat Cornell 65-56 – Ivy League regular season
Next up: Clinched NCAA Tournament Berth

Princeton – Lost at Brown 80-67 – Ivy League regular season
Next up: Season is over

Detroit – Lost to Wright State 56-56 – Horizon League Tournament Semifinal
Next up: Season is over

Stony Brook – Beat Binghamton 72-49 – America East Tournament Quarterfinals
Next up: Albany on Sunday in America East Semifinals

Belmont – Beat Murray State 70-68 (OT) – OVC Tournament Final
Next up: Clinched NCAA Tournament Berth

Louisiana Tech – Lost to Denver (YAY FUTURE SUMMIT MEMBER!) 78-54 – WAC regular season
Next up (for both): TBD on Thursday in WAC Tournament Quarterfinals

Stephen F. Austin – Beat Texas A&M Corpus Christi 58-49 – Southland regular season
Next up: TBD on Friday in Southland Tournament Semifinals

Middle Tennessee State – Beat Louisiana-Lafayette 88-61 – Sun Belt Tournament Quarterfinals
Next up: FIU on Sunday in Sun Belt Tournament Semifinals

Valparaiso – Beat Green Bay 70-69 – Horizon League Tournament Semifinal
Next up: Wright State on Tuesday in Horizon League Championship Game

Weber State – Beat Eastern Washington 65-57 – Big Sky regular season
Next up: Northern Arizona on Thursday in Big Sky Conference Tournament Quarterfinals

Montana – Beat Northern Arizona 63-50 – Big Sky regular season
Next up: TBD on Friday in Big Sky Conference Tournament Semifinals

Loyola (Maryland) – Lost to Manhattan 55-52 – Metro Atlantic Tournament Quarterfinals
Next up: Season is Over

South Alabama – Lost to Western Kentucky 62-59 – Sun Belt Tournament Quarterfinals
Next up: Season is Over

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

Root against… Stony Brook vs. Albany 22-10 (9-7) – 4 PM – America East Tournament Semifinals in Albany, New York – ESPN3
Root against… Davidson vs. Appalachian State 15-15 (10-8) – 5 PM – Southern Conference Tournament Semifinals in Asheville, North Carolina – ESPN3
Root against… Middle Tennessee State vs. FIU 17-13 (11-9) – 6:30 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 final on Tuesday. They would possibly be ahead of South Dakota State. Wright State, their opponent in the final, would be a much safer team to have in the field.

Patriot – Wednesday, March 6th – Wednesday, March 13th at campus sites – Bucknell is the team to root against here as they probably slightly ahead of South Dakota State right now. They’ll face Lafayette in the conference title game on their home court on Wednesday, so it’s asking a lot of the 18-14 Leopards but it would sure be a help to South Dakota State.

Southern – Friday, March 8th – Monday, March 11th in Asheville, North Carolina – Davidson at 24-7, 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. Davidson is in the semifinals on Sunday against Appalachian State.

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, might not really that bad if they win since they might be in regardless. Middle Tennessee State plays FIU in the semifinals on Sunday.

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 play a semifinal game against home town Albany on Sunday.

MAC – Monday, March 11th – Saturday, March 16th in Cleveland, Ohio – Akron and Ohio both probably need to win the tournament to get in. Both could be ahead of South Dakota State so probably rooting against both of them. Ohio (#2) and Akron (#1) have byes until the semifinals on Friday, March 15th.

WAC – Tuesday, March 12th – Saturday, March 16th in Las Vegas, Nevada – At this point it looks like both Louisiana Tech and Denver need to win the WAC tournament to get it. It also looks like both have the potential to be seeded ahead of South Dakota State. With all that in mind, I’m rooting for the future Summit League member in Denver. Don’t hose me Pioneers by snubbing us for the Missouri Valley though… Both Louisiana Tech and Denver will play their first games on Thursday the 14th.

Southland – Wednesday, March 13th – Saturday, March 16th in Katy, Texas – Stephen F. Austin at 26-3 on the year would be a nice one to see fall. Oral Roberts at 18-13 and being a former Summit member would be a nice one to see win it. Stephen F. Austin opens tournament play on Friday in the semifinals.

Big Sky – Thursday, March 14th – Saturday, March 16th at campus site – This tournament will be held at Montana, the top seed. The top teams (Montana (#1) at 22-6 and Weber State (#2) at 23-5) both 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. Weber State opens play on Thursday in the quarterfinals against Northern Arizona while Montana waits for a semifinal game against an opponent yet to be determined.


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