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Conference Tourneys Day I: Bye VMI

The record-setting, phonetics-loving TeeJay Bannister.

The Atlantic 11 is composed/comprised/comprisen of 27 Division I teams. Let's gradually bid them farewell as their seasons end.

The first to go was Longwood, whose postseason chances ended somewhere around September, but which finished with a 9-22 record. Good bye, Longwood (27).

The next to go was Radford, the Big South's seventh seed, which kept it fairly close at Winthrop before losing by, let's see, 31 points. This after Jeff Goodman identified the Highlanders as his Big South tourney sleeper. Radford shot just a hair under 25 percent for the game, which isn't too good. Also, late in the game, "a work crew of deck swabbers armed with crisp white towels was dispatched to the far corner of the floor in front of the Eagles' dance team."

No, a Winthrop dancer didn't Dorenzo Hudson. The roof began leaking. Radford and Seth Greenberg's bro finish the season with a 10-20 record. Good bye, Radford (26).

The next to go was VMI, which ran into a white-hot Liberty squad that hit 17 three-pointers, scored 103 points and won its Big South opener for the first time in four years. TeeJay Bannister set a Big South tourney record with 14 assists, and fans were prevented from leaving because of a tornado warning.

The Flames, who set or matched a couple other Big South records, move on to face top seed UNC Asheville tomorrow night. "The Flames will wreak havoc the rest of the way in the tournament," predicted VMI Coach Duggar Baucom.

The Keydets finish the season 14-15, and VMI's Reggie Williams finished his career with 2,556 points, the most in Virginia Division I history, prompting his coach to praise his contributions to "VMI Nation," which is roughly analogous to Red Sox Nation. Good bye, VMI (25).

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 5, 2008; 10:44 AM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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