Well… The heater has ended, but to correctly pick 18 of 19 games is incredible. Let’s take a look at all the conference tournament games going on today and see how I do.
Atlantic Sun Semifinal
#1 Lipscomb vs. #5 NJIT
One of the most efficient, if not THE most efficient offense in the country resides in Nashville, Tennessee. The Bison of Lipscomb are coming off a 15 point opening round win. I’m not sold that this game will be quite that big of a difference on the scoreboard, but it very well might end up that way. Bison to the championship game.
#2 Liberty vs. #3 North Florida
North Florida comes into this game almost as hot as my picks thus far. They’ve won seven straight. Liberty on the other hand has won three straight. Their last loss was at the hands of this North Florida team. Liberty only gives up 60 points a night to their opponents and shoots 49% as a team. Give me Liberty or give me death!
Big South Quarterfinals
#1 Campbell vs. #8 Hampton
After hearing about and writing about the legacy of Chris Clemons, I can’t physically will myself to think anybody else will play like that against them. SO, I’m taking the Camels to win despite Hampton’s five game winning streak. They split the season series with Campbell in two close games. I think Clemons absolutely wills them to victory.
#2 Radford vs. #7 Presbyterian
Presbyterian is coming off a HUGE victory where they won by 47. With no regard for UNC-Asheville’s well being, the big win could jump start a big run. Although, this 20 win Radford team is dangerous. I believe the Highlanders will squeak another win out and move on.
#3 Winthrop vs. #6 Charleston Southern
Two teams that are closely matched, Winthrop and Charleston Southern will be a great game to catch during your lunch break. Despite losing three of four, Winthrop did beat this same Charleston Southern team not long ago at the end of February in double OT. Winthrop did win both meetings this season, both games were close and this one is sure to be wildly entertaining.
#4 Gardner-Webb vs. #5 High Point
Both of these teams didn’t see first round action. They split the season series. The Bulldogs come into play winning 5 of 6. Of course that loss was to this High Point team. I think the guard play for Gardner-Webb is the difference and they win a tight game.
MAAC 1st Round
#6 Monmouth vs. #11 Niagara
These teams are almost complete opposites. Monmouth started 0-12 and went 10-8 in conference play. That means 91% of their wins came in conference play. Niagara, conversely, won over half their games in the non-conference. Niagara beat Monmouth by 27 in conference play. I think that holds up and the Purple Eagles win this one.
#7 Manhattan vs. #10 Fairfield
Both of these teams had seasons they’d probably like to forget. Manhattan didn’t even average 60 points a night. Fairfield did just beat Manhattan by 13. The season series was split. I think Fairfield wins this game because Manhattan’s leading scorer doesn’t even score 10 points a night. It’s a bad analysis, but it’s how this one is going.
#8 Marist vs. #9 St. Peter’s
Marist is favored in this game by 2.5 points. Marist went 0-2 against St. Peter’s this season. That means almost 25% of St. Peter’s wins this season came against Marist. It’s hard to beat a team three times in a year, but I think the Peacocks are going to do just that.
Missouri Valley 1st Round
#7 Illinois State vs. #10 Evansville
This season, the Redbirds won both matchups against the Aces. Evansville has lost 11 of the last 13. The Redbirds have won two of three. We are giving this Illinois State team the upper hand and putting the dark horse label on them.
#8 Indiana State vs. #9 Valparaiso
While Indiana State probably won’t be seeing any tournament action other than this one, they have a shot to do some damage. They took both games this season against Valpo. It isn’t quite the “Larry Bird” Sycamores, but they’ll win this one.
Ohio Valley Quarterfinals
#3 Jacksonville State vs. #7 UT-Martin
This Ohio Valley Conference is stacked with talent. There were 4 teams that won 20 or more games this season. Jacksonville State won 23 overall and have a really talented team that I even overlooked. The Gamecocks have won 7 in a row and will ride that wave. UT-Martin lost the only decision between the teams this season, but they kept it close.
#4 Austin Peay vs. #5 Morehead State
Despite dropping the last 2 games of conference play, Austin Peay had a great season. They won 21 games and 13 within the conference. The Governors have the right pieces in place to pass legislation and move on to the semifinals.
Patriot League Quarterfinals
#1 Colgate vs. #8 Boston U
In the first round, I used the power of the bias to ensure a Boston Terrier victory. I think that bias guarantee stops here, though, as Colgate is a really good team and won the right to the one seed. Colgate’s great team defense gets them the win in this game.
#2 Bucknell vs. #10 Holy Cross
The Bison of Bucknell won twice as many conference games as Holy Cross. They tied for the best record in the conference and lost the tiebreaker. However, the season series was split between these teams. I don’t think the Bison squander the opportunity to move closer to the conference’s auto-bid.
#3 Lehigh vs. #6 Army
Lehigh almost won 20 games this season. It’s amazing they didn’t, they shot 48.7% from the field. That’s good enough for 16th best in the country. They scored 80 points a night and played some very good teams in the non-conference. Army won’t shoot well enough to keep up.
#4 American vs. #5 Navy
This game is supposed to be close based on the seeding, but American shoots 7% better from the field. They play a great brand of defense and average four blocks and seven steals a game. They’ll be moving onto the next round.
West Coast Conference 1st Round
#7 San Diego vs. #10 Portland
San Diego won two and a half times as many games this season as Portland. Portland hasn’t won a game since the 29th of December. They didn’t win a conference game, but were close. San Diego will win.
#8 Pepperdine vs. #9 Pacific
The last game played for each of these teams was against each other. Pacific was the winner on a three pointer with just over a minute left that put them ahead and led to the fouling game at the end of the season. I think Pacific will win again, but hopefully more convincingly.
Let’s see if today’s slate will keep me looking good!