Thursday, March 05, 2009

Postseason Tournament Picks Part II

MVC
Regular Season Champ- Northern Iowa
Predicted Tournament Champ- Creighton

Creighton ended the year winning ten straight and finished in a tie with Northern Iowa for the regular season title. Northern Iowa won on a tiebreaker and the teams also split in the regular season with each winning in the other one’s gym. Creighton is the pick year because they ended the year on a surge while Northern Iowa crawled to the finish line. Creighton is also in the at-large mix especially with the horrid play of seemingly all other bubble teams but they would probably have to reach the conference finals and lose a close one because their resume is pretty barren.

CAA
Regular Season Champ- VCU
Predicted Tournament Champ- VCU

The three best teams (VCU, George Mason, and Northeastern) all played horribly down the stretch and gave up any chance of the CAA getting two bids. ODU played the best down the stretch winning five in a row including wins over VCU and Northeastern. They split the season series with VCU, George Mason, and Northeastern so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them win it but I’m going with VCU because they have the best player (Eric Maynor).

WCC
Regular Season Champ- Gonzaga
Predicted Tournament Champ- St. Mary’s

Gonzaga is locked into the field regardless of how they play in this tournament after going undefeated in conference play during the regular season. St. Mary’s on the other hand while I think they get a bid if Patrick Mills proves to be healthy is the more desperate team. For them to feel safe they need to at least reach the finals and lose to Gonzaga. However, I think they will beat Gonzaga after being up seven against them in their first meeting when Mills got hurt and then losing by two in their second meeting. The second meeting proves they learned how to play well without Mills so with the addition of Mills, they will be the best team that they have been at any point of this year.

Southern
Regular Season Champ- Davidson
Predicted Tournament Champ- Davidson

Charleston is really the only challenge that Davidson faces as they were the only team to beat them in conference with Stephen Curry healthy. They lost to Citadel without Curry and looked horrible in the process but they won by 15 @Citadel with Curry healthy. The tournament will be played at Chattanooga whom they could meet in the finals but Davidson won at Chattanooga by 22 so that shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. If Davidson were to lose, I could see them getting an at-large since the committee will want Curry in the tournament after what he did last year even though they aren’t supposed to take that into consideration.

MAAC
Regular Season Champ- Siena
Predicted Tournament Champ- Niagara

Siena is the best team in the conference and they do have an outside chance of an at-large bid if they were to lose but they would be smart to take care of business. That being said I think Niagara is the hottest team in the conference right now and they just beat Siena by 15 so the pick is Niagara.

America East
Regular Season Champ- Binghamton
Predicted Tournament Champ- Binghamton

I originally wanted to go with Vermont to win the automatic bid but there were a number of reasons I can’t. The main reason is that star guard Mike Trimboli is doubtful for the America East tournament. The other reasons are that they lost twice to Binghamton and they would most likely have had to win at Binghamton to get the automatic bid which is something they can’t do without Trimboli and they also have to play Albany in the first round and the tournament is in Albany. They did win at Albany in the regular season but lost to them at home so the game is a tossup.

Northeast
Regular Season Champ- Robert Morris
Predicted Tournament Champ- Robert Morris

Robert Morris won the conference by three games and is the best team even though they stumbled a bit at the end of the season. Robert Morris will be home throughout the tournament where they went 8-1 in the conference regular season. That one loss was very early in the year to St. Francis of NY and they play St. Francis in the first round so if they get by them then Robert Morris should be fine.

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