MAAC Wrapup & Tourney Preview

Posted by nvr1983 on March 6th, 2009

Ray Floriani of College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the MAAC and NEC Conferences.

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Times Union Center in Albany is the site. The women’s tournament started Thursday for the MAAC and the men get things going tonight with the champion crowned on Monday evening. The schedule…

7:30- Loyola – Canisius
9:30- Iona – Marist

2:30- Manhattan-Fairfield
5:00- Siena vs. Loyola-Canisius winner
7:30- Niagara vs. Iona-Marist winner
10:00- Rider-St.Peter’s

7:30- Semifinal
10:00- Semifinal

9:00- Championship (on ESPN)

The seeds and EM (efficiency margin is offensive – defensive points per possession).

1. Siena +.12
2. Niagara +.14
3. Rider +.02
4. Manhattan -.03
5. Fairfield -.02
6. St.Peter’s -.03
7. Iona -.02
8. Loyola -.04
9. Canisius -.08
10. Marist -.10

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Southern Conference Tourney Preview

Posted by rtmsf on March 6th, 2009

Michael Hurley is the RTC correspondent for the Pac-10 and Southern Conferences.

Favorite: Davidson

Stephen Curry is back to full strength from his ankle injury. That is the single most important factor in the Southern Conference tournament. Curry just was voted the Southern Conference’s Player of the Year for the second straight year. Davidson started out conference play by winning 15 straight games before hitting a rough patch and going 2-2with both losses at home. Since then, Davidson has won their final three conference games by an average margin of 25 points.  First teamers Curry and Andrew Lovedale have led this team back to the brink of the NCAA tournament. They are sitting on the other side of the bubble right now, so a Southern Conference Tournament Championship is what they need to feel secure come Selection Sunday. We all would like a chance to see Curry and Davidson tackle the giants in the tournament again. With an 18-2 conference record, they are heavy favorites.

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WCC Tourney Preview

Posted by rtmsf on March 5th, 2009

Michael Vernetti is the RTC correspondent for the West Coast Conference.  He will be reporting from the WCC Tournament this weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Check for his game liveblogs at RTC Live: WCC Tournament throughout the weekend.

A little unexpected news on the injury front has turned what looked to be a rather drab WCC Conference Tournament into a hotbed of excitement. The news concerned the broken right hand of Saint Mary’s star guard Patty Mills, who had been told by his doctor not to count on being ready for the tournament. That was before a visit with the doc on Monday (3/2), at which time Mills was pronounced fit to resume practicing with the Gaels. Current plans from coach Randy Bennett had Mills participating in non-contact drills on Tuesday and Wednesday and full five-on-five scrimmages on Thursday, Friday and maybe even Saturday since Saint Mary’s doesn’t have to be in Las Vegas for its first game until Sunday at 8:30 p.m.

The condition of Mills’ hand is significant because it permits speculation about a possible rematch between Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga with revenge and an NCAA tournament bid in the balance. As the number one and number two seeds in the tournament, Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s need only to get by a single semifinal contest to face each other for a third time this season in the WCC championship game Monday night, March 9. Their first game on January 29 on Gonzaga’s home court in Spokane was shaping up to be Mills’ finest effort as a collegian, as he rattled the Zags for 18 points in the first 17 minutes of the game. Then as he eluded the Zags’ Jeremy Pargo on a dash into the key, Mills lost his balance and fell to the floor, with his right hand striking the hardwood first. Given the spills taken regularly by the fearless Mills it didn’t seem to be much to be worried about, but appearances were deceiving. He had broken metacarpal bones, requiring surgery, insertion of pins to stabilize the area and fitting of a cast. Things immediately went downhill for the Gaels, who were 18-1 and possessing the nation’s longest active winning streak at 15 heading into the Gonzaga game.

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CAA Tourney Preview

Posted by rtmsf on March 5th, 2009

Ryan Kish of George Mason Basketball is the RTC correspondent for the CAA.  He will be reporting from the CAA Tournament this weekend in Richmond, Va.

Having the privilege of attending this weekend’s CAA conference tournament, I’d like to share the fact that it’s probably going to be one of the most exciting in the country.  Starting this Saturday I will be liveblogging the most intriguing game from the sidelines for the CAA faithful (see RTC Live sidebar).  Choosing which game will be very difficult as almost any match-up will be worthy.  This weekend you will get an in-depth hands-on look into the tournament and some insight on what to expect.


Favorite:  VCU

The term “favorite” is kind of a loose term this season in the CAA, and even though VCU was picked by the coaches and media to be where they are now, any CAA fan will tell you that #1 seed won’t guarantee a championship visit.  The Rams have ridden the success of Eric Maynor as he guided his young squad through the CAA schedule but not without their share of bumps and bruises.  Nearly every team in the top of the conference has lost a game or two to the bottom dwellers and much can be said about the fact that VCU only had to face George Mason and Northeastern once each.  But despite that the Rams have shown more consistency in an unstable CAA and they have the tools to run the table in Richmond.  Head coach Anthony Grant has been here before and Eric Maynor is continuing to make his teammates better even with scoring 25+ a night. Forward Larry Sanders has been having a sensational season to date, on both ends of the court.  His play in the front court will be huge for the Rams.  VCU plays an aggressive, rough, in-your-face kind of game and that’s exactly the kind of squad I’d like to avoid in a single elimination tournament.  At times this season that same aggressiveness has led to trouble but if they can keep it under control and they will be the most dangerous team this weekend.

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NEC Wrapup & Tourney Preview

Posted 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).

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Sun Belt Wrapup & Tourney Preview

Posted by rtmsf on March 4th, 2009

Rick Henderson of The Owl’s Nest is the RTC correspondent for the Sun Belt Conference.


Final Results Are In

A couple things were expected.  And a lot was not.  WKU sitting out the first round is no shocker.  UALR atop the West was expected as well.  But MTSU was expected to do a lot better.  Additionally,  who would have “thunk” that head coaches Mike Jarvis and John Brady would finish at the bottom of their respective divisions and as 12th and 13th seeds?  Wow.  Lastly, how does Troy, a team that actually was picked to finish in the basement, obtain a first round bye and sit all alone in second in the East?  Weird wild stuff!  And, of course, why we all love the sport of basketball.  Anything can happen on any given night.  And especially over the course of a season.  Troy has a decent shot at making it to the finals given they can get past UALR.  But WKU will prove a tall order.  The Trojans lost both regular season games to the Toppers.

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Patriot League Wrapup & Tourney Preview

Posted by rtmsf on March 4th, 2009

Marty Leon is the RTC correspondent for the Patriot League. 

Patrtiot League Playoff Preview

#1 American vs #8 Lafayette – Lafayette took American to overtime last week at home. American is 21-7 overall and 13-1 in league play. This is their second year in a row as #1 seed. They won 11 road games, tied for tops in the country. Like all Patriot games this will be a battle, and anything could happen but most likely will not.

#2 Holy Cross vs # 7 Bucknell – Holy Cross smoked Lehigh by 15 to end the season and are playoff sharp. Bucknell has overachieved all year but just had a tough 17 point loss to Army.  Ralph Willard’s team will march on, right into a title game with American.

#3 Navy vs #6 Colgate – This veteran Navy squad has a legit shot at a title run. Kaleno Kena had 23 as the midshipmen just beat Colgate to end the season.  Colgate too young, Navy too experienced.

#4 Army vs. #5 Lehigh – We thought Lehigh would have a better year.  They will not go to West Point and beat a determined Army team on their home turf.  Kudos to Jim Crews for a great year and the #4 seed.

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Missouri Valley Conference Wrapup & Tourney Preview

Posted by rtmsf on March 4th, 2009

Patrick Marshall of Bluejay Basketball is the RTC correspondent for the MVC and Big 12 Conferences.  He will be reporting from the MVC Tournament this weekend in St. Louis, Missouri.


The Missouri Valley Conference finished regular season play this last week with Northern Iowa and Creighton sharing the MVC regular season crown.  Due to the complicated tie-breaker formula, Northern Iowa received the 1-seed for the MVC Tournament and Creighton the 2nd.   My preseason predictions weren’t exactly what happened, but like the whole bizarre Valley season usually is, the middle was all muddled up.   No one expected Northern Iowa to be as good as they were in conference play and at the same time, it wasn’t expected to see Southern Illinois take such a nosedive so fast in the past two seasons.

The MVC released their postseason awards on Tuesday with Booker Woodfox from Creighton getting the Larry Bird MVC Player of the Year honors.  Woodfox leads the nation in 3-point shooting at 50.9% and averaged almost 16 points a game.  Champ Oguchi from Illinois St. received the Newcomer of the Year award.  I’m a little surprised that Bryan Mullins won the Defensive Player of the Year honors when he missed almost the whole last half of the conference season.  Maybe it is a lifetime award or something.

This Thursday night starts what is affectionately known as Arch Madness.  I will be down in St. Louis covering things for Rush The Court with a planned RTC Live for at least one game each day starting Friday and other daily updates.  I will also have all-access to the postgame news conferences and other media information.  If you have things you want me to check out or have questions for the coaches or players – but I won’t be the guy that got kicked out of the Creighton game last weekend—then be sure to ask.

Let’s take a look at the matchups starting on Thursday:
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Horizon League Wrapup & Tourney Preview

Posted by rtmsf on March 3rd, 2009

Damon Lewis, a reporter and play-by-play announcer for the Horizon League Network, is RTC’s Horizon League correspondent.

1. Butler 15-3 25-4
2. Green Bay 13-5 22-9
3. Cleveland State 12-6 21-10
4. Wright State 12-6 18-12
5. Milwaukee 11-7 16-13
6. Youngstown State 7-11 11-18
7. UIC 7-11 15-14
8. Loyola 6-12 14-17
9. Valparaiso 5-13 9-21
10. Detroit 2-16 7-22

First things first…the Horizon League announced it’s all-league teams and award winners on Monday. A complete list can be found here, but we have the 1st-teamers:

Matt Howard – Sophomore – Butler (Player of the Year)
Gordon Hayward – Freshman – Butler
Ryan Tillema – Senior – Green Bay
J’Nathan Bullock – Senior – Cleveland State
Josh Mayo – Senior – UIC

Study this list closely, and you’ll have an idea why Butler should continue to dominate the Horizon League for the foreseeable future. Zoiks, Scoob.

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