Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: Washpost68 and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  Sports e-mail alerts  |  RSS
Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 03/ 8/2011

NCAA tournament 2011: Old Dominion wins CAA tournament, bubble teams relax

By Eric Prisbell

Some thoughts as the more premier conference tournaments begin to get underway:

1) We've seen utter chaos among mid-majors so far. Let's discount the West Coast Conference for a second because Gonzaga and St. Mary's were co-champs. Seven other automatic bids have been handed out so far, and only one conference tournament's No. 1 seed (Belmont) has received one. Some of the better mid-majors all season -- Fairfield, Charleston and Vermont -- are done.

2) Despite a valiant comeback effort by VCU, Old Dominion held on for a 70-65 win in the CAA title game. So Old Dominion will get the automatic berth and George Mason will earn one of 37 at-large berths. Both teams could be single-digit seeds in the NCAA tournament. And both could be dangerous given the right first-round matchups. VCU is not expected to earn a bid unless several other bubble teams fall hard this week. Had VCU won, it would have taken an at-large bid away from some bubble team. So those bubble teams can relax, at least for now.

3) Gonzaga knocked off St. Mary's in the WCC final out in Las Vegas. The question that I did not want to have to answer is what to do with St. Mary's now. This is a team that beat St. John's, but that was ages ago in mid-November. St. Mary's has just three top 100 wins. It also has a damaging loss to San Diego. The Gaels will be sweating it out on Selection Sunday. I'm going to keep them in for now. But it remains fluid.

4) For those who predict winners based on mascots, this is to inform you that the St. Peter's Peacocks will be playing in the NCAA tournament. The Peacocks beat Iona for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title, thus earning an unexpected automatic bid in the NCAA tournament. The crazy thing is that Iona had swept the regular season series with St. Peter's, winning both games by a combined 32 points.

5) I have circled the Horizon League title game as one that could shake things up. Butler is playing Milwaukee tonight for the automatic berth. You never count out Butler in March (or April), but Milwaukee has beaten Butler twice this season, and this game is at Milwaukee. If Butler loses, it could earn an at-large bid, but the Bulldogs are no sure thing. They have four top 50 wins, but three are over Cleveland State. The other is against Florida State when the Seminoles were at full strength. One of the problems is that ghastly loss at Youngstown State in February.

6) The Big East tournament kicks off at noon today with Connecticut and DePaul at the Garden. The Big East tournament will end in about three weeks. Georgetown will play the winner of that U-Conn.-DePaul game at noon Wednesday. If the Hoyas could not beat the Huskies with Chris Wright, can they beat them without him? Tall task.

7) The Big East is in very good shape to get a record 11 teams into the NCAA tournament. The one semi-questionable squad is Marquette. If they beat Providence today, they essentially lock up a bid.

By Eric Prisbell  | March 8, 2011; 8:30 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: NCAA tournament 2011: Where to seed Georgetown
Next: NCAA tournament 2011: Why Lunardi is wrong about Colorado and Georgia


The only downside to ODU winning last night (did I mention ODU won last night?) was that it didn't force the selection committee to put three CAA teams in the tournament. Frankly, I could have seen a scenario with only one of GMU & ODU getting an at large bid, and the other sent to the NIT. The question would have been "which one?". Both had impressive victories but they aren't from "power conferences" and I think that still counts. However, ODU WON!, so no breath holding required.

Posted by: LurkerNowPoster | March 8, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company