We started hot and ended somewhat poorly. The day started at 0-3 because of poor management. We only had 6 losses in controllable games, but none was more hurtful than South Dakota State losing by 3. I had them winning the entire Summit League. Tough break. The even tougher break is we started out 8-0 in controllable games. 3 of the 6 controllable losses were games decided by 7 points or less. Overall we sit at 51-22.
#1 Hofstra vs. #8 James Madison
Hofstra has reached the 25 win mark this season. If Hofstra can avenge an overtime loss to this James Madison team from late last month, they’d reach win 26 and tie a school record. The season series was split between these two teams. Hofstra will take care of James Madison after James Madison wiggled their way into the quarterfinal round with a 1 point win.
#2 Northeastern vs. #10 UNC-Wilmington
Northeastern won both meetings against a Wilmington team whose program has struggled since coming off a 29 win season in the 2016-17 season. After winning their quarterfinal matchup, Wilmington has now won 10 games total this season. Couple that with last season’s total and you have 19. Not quite 29. Northeastern hasn’t seen the NCAA tournament since 2015. Before that? 1991. They’re poised to make a run and get the CAA auto bid. It starts here by beating Wilmington.
#3 College of Charleston vs. #6 Drexel
C of C, led by coach Earl Grant, has had another great season. Despite taking the 3 seed in the conference, they’re looking to make a run back to the NCAA tournament. In order to get there, they’ll have to beat a Drexel team that they split the season series with. If they reach the championship game, that’ll make 3 straight seasons of 25+ wins. I think their race to 25 starts with an easy win over Drexel.
#4 Will & Mary vs. #5 Delaware.
William & Mary has a history that dates back 114 seasons to the 1905-06 season. They’ve never seen the NCAA tournament. They’ve won 5 straight games. Delaware has lost 4 straight. The season series was split. William & Mary is more well rounded than Delaware. They’ll ride their current streak and get the win.
#1 Iona vs. #5 Siena
Iona has been just about as hot as I was to start the first couple days of the pick ’em. They’ve won 8 straight games. Actually, they were like me in the beginning of the day yesterday. Anyways, Iona has been to the NCAA tournament 5 of the last 7 years. They’ll have to win this game and a few more to continue their current stretch of 9 straight 20 win seasons. Tim Cluess will have this team ready to go.
#2 Canisius vs. #6 Monmouth
Both teams are coming off of two very well fought games. That being said, tomorrow will be an interesting showing. Monmouth has won 2 straight and seems to be the team of destiny. However, Canisius won both meetings this season. The Golden Griffins will fly off with a win in a close matchup.
Patriot League Semifinal
#1 Colgate vs. #5 Navy
Colgate is the far superior team. They shoot 6.5% better from the field, are better passers, and play a better brand of defense. They’ve also won 9 straight. They’ve had some time to rest. To be fair, Navy has too. Colgate is better and will win.
#2 Bucknell vs. #3 Lehigh
Bucknell has been to the NCAA tournament the last 2 seasons. They’ve won 5 straight Patriot League regular season championships, including this year. They split it so it counts I guess. They will win a nail bitter against a Lehigh team to head to the championship game and play for their third straight auto bid and Patriot League conference tournament.
Southern Conference Semifinal
#1 Wofford vs. #4 ETSU
Wofford won their quarterfinal game 99-72. ETSU is a good team. No offense to them, but Wofford wins. They’re too good.
#2 UNC-Greensboro vs. #3 Furman
The home team of each matchup this season won. Furman has won 3 straight and Greensboro 6. They played a close game with Samford, where they actually trailed for a majority of the game and late into the second half. Despite working harder for their win yesterday, I still think Greensboro squeaks this one out.
Summit League Quarterfinal
#3 IPFW vs. #6 South Dakota
In what has already been a crazy start to the Summit League tournament with South Dakota State losing, I’m going out on a limb and picking South Dakota. They’ve won 2 straight games. IPFW on the other hand as lost 4 straight. I’m picking this one on my gut and the recent play bias.
#4 North Dakota State vs. #5 Oral Roberts
North Dakota State has won 2 of their last 5. One of those 2 wins came against the same Oral Roberts team. They play a slightly better brand of defense. I think they’ll be able to keep this game low scoring and make some free throws late in order to close it out.
Atlantic Sun Championship
#1 Lipscomb vs. #2 Liberty
Both these teams are extremely talented. Lipscomb only lost 2 games during conference play and the change of the calendar to 2019. Liberty plays a little more defense and Lipscomb plays a little better offense. Both have won 4 in a row. Both won a game against each other this season. Lipscomb wins this one to win the 3 game set and get the auto bid that comes from the Atlantic Sun conference.
Big South Championship
#2 Radford vs. #4 Gardner-Webb
Gardner-Webb is coming off of an upset of the 1 seed Campbell Camels and Career stud Chris Clemons. I’m super mad about it. It will be a good game so tune-in, but I’m upset and have to deal with my emotions.
Missouri Valley Championship
#5 Bradley vs. #6 Northern Iowa
In a matchup that will make Sister Jean upset, Bradley and Northern Iowa didn’t necessarily expect to be here. As the 5 and 6 seeds, they weren’t favorited after the way Loyola-Chicago played last season. Both teams are evenly matched in the numbers. Both have won 2 straight to get to the championship game. However, Bradley has won 4 of 5. The season series was split. It will get interesting.
We start down 0-2 in the overall today. A percentage of 69.8%, hopefully we can keep it at a nice number.