It's long past time for ESPN's College Gameday to spend a season taking its road show to the hidden corners of the college basketball world. Viewers should be exposed to characters such as Bob Hoffman of Mercer. The sport's charm and appeal are enhanced when the casual fan is exposed to the people who live a life far removed from the one inhabited by Coach K or Jim Boeheim.

Small Conference Tournament Rewinds and Previews

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With the major conference tournaments getting all of the attention, I'm going to look back and look forward at some of the small conference tournaments across the nation. It's hard to pay attention to everything. Think of this post as your little catch all so you can seem like you know what you are talking about when you say Mercer can hang in the first round. The easiest way to do that is by winners and losers.

Tournament Champions

Mercer  – Atlantic Sun

Coastal Carolina – Big South

Delaware – Colonial

Manhattan – MAAC

Wichita State – Missouri Valley

Wofford – Southern

Eastern Kentucky – Ohio Valley

Harvard – Ivy League Regular Season Champion

Congratulations to those teams. Not all of the best teams won the league. Here are all the top seeds that lost their conference tournaments and are relegated to the NIT.

One Seeds To Lose

Vermont – America East

Florida Gulf Coast – Atlantic Sun

High Point – Big South

Green Bay – Horizon

Iona – MAAC

Belmont – Ohio Valley

Davidson – Southern

The last 4 of those teams had a shot to win a game in the tournament. The brutality of small conference tournaments.

Just for kicks, here's how my predictions on the 1 bid tournaments I previewed last week.

Correct: Mercer, Coastal Carolina, Wichita St,

Incorrect: Green Bay, Belmont, Iona, Towson, Davidson, Vermont

Dark Horse winners: Eastern Kentucky

Going mainly chalk heavy was not the best of moves. Some bids are still up for grabs. In fact, some are up for grabs tonight. Let's take a look at tonight's schedule of championship games.

NORTHEAST FINAL

(4) Mount St Mary's vs (1) Robert Morris – 7 PM – ESPN2

Robert Morris -5.5

HORIZON FINAL

(5) Milwaukee vs (3) Wright State – 7 PM – ESPN

Wright State -6.5

WEST COAST FINAL

(2) BYU vs (1) Gonzaga – 9 PM – ESPN

Gonzaga -4.5

SUMMIT FINAL

(2) IPFW vs (1) North Dakota State – 9 PM – ESPN2

North Dakota State -8

With those tournaments wrapping up, some of the other small leagues are kick starting. Using the same format as the first set of previews, here are the previews for those leagues. I'm not including Conference USA because while that's a 1 bid league, that league is very interesting.

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BIG WEST - Bracket

Start: March 13

Venue: Anaheim, California

1 Seed: UC Irvine

2 Seed: UC Santa Barbara

Top Offense: 1.14 PPP – Hawaii

Top Defense: 0.93 PPP – UC Irvine

Top Scorer: 20.2 – Alan Williams, UCSB

Top Rebounder: 12.1 – Alan Williams, UCSB

Top Passer: 5.8  – Keith Shamburger, Hawaii

Prediction: UC Irvine

Dark Horse: Long Beach State

 

MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE  – Bracket

Resumes:  March 12

Venue: Cleveland, Ohio

1 Seed: Western Michigan

2 Seed: Toledo

Top Offense: 1.11 PPP – Buffalo (111.2 efficiency to 110.9 for Toledo)

Top Defense: 0.90 PPP – Eastern Michigan

Top Scorer: 19.6 – Javon McCrea, Buffalo

Top Rebounder: 9.8 – Javon McCrea, Buffalo

Top Passer: 5.7 – Julius Brown, Toledo

Prediction: Toledo

Dark Horse: Akron

 

MEACBracket

Start: March 10-11

Venue: Norfolk, Virginia

1 Seed: NC Central

2 Seed: Hampton

Top Offense: 1.13 PPP – NC Central

Top Defense: 0.87 PPP – NC Central

Top Scorer: 22.3 – James Daniel, Howard

Top Rebounder: 9.2 – Jyles Smith, Savannah State

Top Passer: 6.6 – Emanuel Chapman, NC Central

Prediction: NC Central

Dark Horse: Hampton

 

SOUTHLAND  – Bracket

Start: March 12

Venue: Katy, Texas

1 Seed: Stephen F. Austin

2 Seed: Texas A&M – Corpus Christi

Top Offense: 1.19 PPP – Stephen F. Austin

Top Defense: 0.95 PPP – Stephen F. Austin

Top Scorer: 22.5 – Shawn Glover, Oral Roberts

Top Rebounder: 8.4 – Desharick Guidry, McNeese St

Top Passer: 7.1 -Jalan West, Northwestern St

Prediction:Stephen F. Austin

Dark Horse: Sam Houston St

 

SWACBracket

The SWAC tournament is odd because (1) Southern, (4) UAPB, (9) Mississippi Valley St and (10) Grambling State are all not eligible to participate in the NCAA tournament. If any of them win the conference tournament, the highest seeded team that goes the furthest will get the bid.

Start: March 11

Venue: Houston, Texas

1 Seed: Southern

2 Seed: Texas Southern

Top Offense: 1.1 PPP – Texas Southern

Top Defense: 0.88 PPP – Southern

Top Scorer: 19.4 – Aaric Murray, Texas Southern

Top Rebounder: 9.1 – Calvin Godfrey, Southern

Top Passer: 5.4 – Jamel Waters, Alabama St

Prediction: Southern

Dark Horse: Alabama State

NCAA Bid: Texas Southern

 

SUN BELTBracket

Start: March 13

Venue: New Orleans, Louisiana

1 Seed: Georgia State

2 Seed: Western Kentucky

Top Offense: 1.17 PPP – Georgia State

Top Defense: 0.98 PPP – Georgia State

Top Scorer: 19.3 – RJ Hunter, Georgia State

Top Rebounder: 9.6 – Shawn Long, UL Lafayette

Top Passer: 6.2 – Elfrid Payton, UL Lafayette

Prediction: Georgia State

Dark Horse: Western Kentucky

 

WAC

Start:

Venue: Las Vegas, Nevada

1 Seed: Utah Valley

2 Seed: New Mexico State

Top Offense: 1.17 PPP – New Mexico State

Top Defense: 0.98 PPP – New Mexico State

Top Scorer: 21.9 – Stephen Madison, Idaho

Top Rebounder: 9.5 – Ben Arid, Utah Valley

Top Passer: 4.3 – Issiah Grayson, Cal State Bakersfield

Prediction: New Mexico State

Dark Horse: Idaho

Scott

About Scott

I write Bearcats Blog and also on Run the Floor.

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