Conference Tournament Primer: Atlantic Sun ConferencePosted by Adam Stillman on March 4th, 2014
Championship Fortnight is under way, and what better way to get you through the next two weeks of games than to break down each of the Other 26′s conference tournaments as they get started. Today, the Horizon League and Atlantic Sun tip things off.
Dates: March 4, 6, 9
Sites: Campus sites (higher-seeded team hosts)
What to expect: Can Dunk City recapture the magic from last season? Florida Gulf Coast won the Atlantic Sun Tournament as the No. 2 seed last year — beating top-seeded Mercer — before becoming the first No. 15 seed in NCAA Tournament history to reach the Sweet Sixteen. The scenario’s a little different this time around, as the Eagles hold the top seed for the conference tournament. Sherwood Brown, FGCU’s star from 2013, is no longer around, but Bernard Thompson, Brett Comer, Chase Fieler and the rest of the high-flying crew are ready for Round Two. Langston Hall and Mercer pose the biggest threat.
Favorite: Florida Gulf Coast. The Eagles nearly broke through in 2012 during their first season of NCAA Tournament eligibility, falling in the A-Sun title game to Belmont. Dunk City certainly did the trick last season.
Darkhorse: Lipscomb. Why? The fifth-seeded Bison are the last team to knock off FGCU. In fact, it was a 21-point pasting of the Eagles that occurred just last week. Lipscomb can score a little bit, too, averaging 75.4 PPG, good for 66th in the nation.
Who wins: Florida Gulf Coast. The Eagles haven’t lost a conference home game all year. They’ll remarkably make it to the NCAA Tournament in two of its first three seasons of eligibility.
Player to watch: Brett Comer, FGCU. Sure, he’s not the leading scorer for the Eagles. That honor belongs to Bernard Thompson at 15.1 PPG. But the point guard was the maestro behind last season’s masterpiece. The junior dishes out 5.4 assists per game while scoring 14.2 PPG.
Bubble Implications: None