NEC Wrapup & Tourney PreviewPosted by rtmsf on March 5th, 2009
Ray Floriani of College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the NEC and MAAC Conferences.
SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – The postseason brackets are set and the Northeast Conference tournament tips off tonight. The schedule:
- Quinnipiac at LIU
- Central Connecticut at Sacred Heart
- St.Francis (NY) at Robert Morris
- Wagner at Mount St. Mary’s
**Semifinals are Sunday at the home court of the higher seed and the finals are next Wednesday, 8:00 on ESPN2. Again at the home court of the highest remaining seed (see below bracket).
The seeds and EM (efficiency Margin – the difference between offensive and defensive points per possession):
- Robert Morris 1 +.17
- Mount St.Mary’s 2 +.11
- Sacred Heart 3 +.10
- LIU 4 +.06
- Quinnipiac 5 +.03
- Central Connecticut 6 +.03
- Wagner 7 -.04
- St.Francis(NY) 8 -.04
- FDU, Monmouth and St.Francis (PA) did not qualify for the tournament.
- The NEC website has the tournament bracket and Robert Morris and Mount St. Mary’s could, and should, meet in the semifinals. That could be the championship though Sacred Heart with their gaudy EM on +.10 is not exactly a pushover.
- First round, the 4 versus 5 should be most competitive with LIU getting the nod in this one. EM and home court are factors. LIU is also a 1.03 points per possession team on offense as opposed to Quinnipiac’s .97. Making this one really interesting is Quinnipiac swept LIU during the regular season. Stay tuned.
- Mount St. Mary’s should defeat Wagner but ‘caveat emptor’ (buyer beware). The Seahawks, ‘everything to gain, nothing to lose’ have a deadly three point shooter in Joey Mundweiler. The senior guard went for 39 points in Wagner’s 91-60 regular season ending win at Monmouth on Saturday. Given the green light, Mundweiler was 14 of 22 from the floor including 11 of 18 from three point range. With his touch, if he gets on a roll, Mundweiler could be a game changer.
- Robert Morris has to be considered the favorite but it’s not a guarantee. The Colonials lost two of last four. Two losses were to Monmouth and Wagner, two of the NEC’s second division teams. Mike Rice’s team did get momentum with a season ending 66-63 victory over Mount St.Mary’s.
The top five offenses (points per possession):
- Sacred Heart 1.08
- Robert Morris 1.07
- Mount St.Mary’s 1.04
- LIU 1.03
- Central Connecticut .98
The top five defenses:
- Robert Morris .90
- Mount St.Mary’s .93
- Quinnipiac .94
- LIU .97
- Sacred Heart .98
All figures are based on conference games and a thanks to the good people at bbstate.com.