Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Real March Madness: Day 7

Everyone loves the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Four straight days jam-packed with 12 hours of do-or-die college hoops is more than most people can handle.

But for junkies like us, the next 13 days are just as good, for it is when the true Madness takes place. Over the course of these two weeks, we whittle some 347 teams down to 30 conference champions (the Ivy doesn't have a tournament). Auto-bids will be won. Bubbles will be burst. Buzzers will be beaten. And most importantly, a 68 team bracket will be made.

For a comprehensive listing off all the conference tournaments, follow this link or click the "Complete Conference Tournament Schedules" page at the top of the screen.

Here is what happened on Monday:

Monday was a rather light day, but four more dance tickets were punched, including two for March Madness mainstays.

Game of the Day: Old Dominion 70, VCU 65

Old Dominion blew an 18-point lead and nearly handed VCU the CAA auto-bid. But the Monarchs showed moxy and grit by hanging tough thru the furious comeback, to hold off the pesky Rams en route to a CAA Tournament Championship. The Rams got to with-in one point, but it seemed like everytime they needed a big bucket, they couldn't hit it. VCU shot 23-58 (40%) and 10-27 (37%) from behind the arc. Every time the Rams missed one of those big shots, the Monarchs were there to grab the rebound. ODU out-rebounded VCU 34-21, including one in the first half that dropped VCU's Ed Nixon and forced him to get stitches on the inside of his mouth.


(H/T to The Mock Session as usual)

Team of the Day: St. Peter's Peacocks

The Peacocks locked up their first trip to the NCAA tournament in 16 years by beating a red-hot Iona Gaels team in the finals of the MAAC tournament. Iona had won nine straight games and had been averaging 89.5 ppg during the conference tournament, but the Peacocks held them to just 57 points and put an end to the Gaels streak, season and tournament hopes.

(H/T to CBS's Matt Norlander)
The peacocks celebrated as hard as they had played.

Player of the Day: Drew Valentine, Oakland

Keith Benson is usually the star-player for Oakland. But the guy who got it done for the Golden Grizzlies last night was Drew Valentine. The sophomore forward scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as No. 1 Oakland beat No. 5 South Dakota State to advanced to the Summit League championship game. Valentine was 1-13 from the field and 3-5 from behind the arch, he also chipped in with two steals and one assist.

Monday Results

Colonial Athletic Association Tournament Finals

#2 Old Dominion 70, #4 VCU 65

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament Finals

#4 St. Peter's 62, #2 Iona 57

Southern Conference Tournament Finals

#2S Wofford 77 #1S Charleston 67

West Coast Conference Tournament Finals

#2 Gonzaga 75, #1 St. Mary's 63

Summit League Tournament Semifinals

#1 Oakland 110, #5 South Dakota State 90
#2 Oral Roberts 83, #3 IUPUI 77

Sun Belt Conference Tournament Semifinals

#4W North Texas 81, #3E Western Kentucky 62
#5W Arkansas-Little Rock 65, #2E Middle Tennessee 56

Tuesday Slate of Games

Horizon League Tournament
Finals (Milwaukee, WI)

10:00PM - ESPNU #1UW-Milwaukee vs. #2 Butler

Summit League Tournament
Finals (Sioux Falls, SD)

9:00PM - ESPN2 - #1 Oakland vs. #2 Oral Roberts

Sun Belt Conference Tournament
Finals (Hot Springs, AR)

7:00PM - ESPN2 - #4W North Texas vs. #5W Arkansas-Little Rock

Atlantic 10
First Round (at higher seed)

7:00PM - #9 Dayton at #8 UMass
9:00PM - #12 St. Joseph's at #5 George Washington
7:00PM - #10 La Salle at #7 St. Bonaventure
5:00PM - #11 St. Louis at #6 Rhode Island

Big East
First Round (New York City, NY)

12:00PM - #9 UConn vs. #16 DePaul
2:30PM - #12 Seton Hall vs. #13 Rutgers
7:00PM - #10 Villanova vs. #15 USF
9:30PM - #11 Marquette vs. #14 Providence

Big Sky Conference Tournament
Semifinals (Greeley, CO)

7:30 pm: #2 Montana vs. #3 Weber State
10:00 pm: #1 Northern Colorado vs. #4 Northern Arizona

Mid-American Conference Tournament
First Round (at higher seed)

7:00PM - #12 Toledo at #5 Ohio
7:00PM - #11 Eastern Michigan at #6 Akron
7:00PM - #10 Northern Illinois at #7 Bowling Green
7:00PM - #9 Central Michigan at #8 Buffalo

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament
First Round (Winston-Salem, NC)

6:30PM - #7 Florida A&M vs. #10 Maryland-Eastern Shore
9:00PM - #8 Delaware State vs. #9 South Carolina State

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