Three more conferences begin tourney play tomorrow. Read on below for the probabilistic preview of each. (Note for day 1 viewers: Horizon League probabilities have been revised and re-revised since our initial posting yesterday.)
The numbers in each table represent the chance in percent of a team advancing to the round in question.
March 2-5. All games at Mercer.
For the second consecutive year, the A-Sun hosts its post-season festivities in Macon, Georgia. Last season, Mercer parlayed a 10-10 conference record and home-court advantage into a final-game appearance. The Atlantic Sun is one of the few single-bid conferences remaining that offers no additional advantage, like home-court or a bye, to its top seed. This means there’s a much more real chance that Belmont, perhaps the best team outside of the top seven conferences, will be relegated to the NIT. Further complicating things is the presence of East Tennessee State, who in any other season since 2004 would have been the best team in the conference. Fun Fact: For all of its dominance, Belmont gets a higher percentage of its shots blocked than any other team in the country!
Semis Final Champ
1 Belmont 99.4 89.6 77.9
2 East Tennessee St. 91.8 66.4 14.0
3 Jacksonville 64.8 22.8 2.7
4 Lipscomb 50.2 5.2 2.3
5 Mercer 49.8 5.1 2.3
6 North Florida 35.2 8.2 0.6
7 Campbell 8.2 2.5 0.1
8 Kennesaw St. 0.6 0.06 0.005
March 2-5. All games at Nashville, Tn.
After some initial moments of doubt, the OVC regular season shook out as expected in the pre-season with Murray State and Morehead State grabbing the top two seeds. The conference figured to be top-heavy, but Austin Peay was an unexpected challenger to the top two, tying Morehead State for second and splitting four games with the top two teams. By virtue of losing the tiebreaker, Peay falls victim to the OVC’s brand new WCC-style double bye (or “merit-based”) format and will have to play one more game than the Racers and Eagles. Tennessee State is given half of a home-court advantage in these calculations.
Rd1 Semis Final Champ
2 Morehead St. 100 100 60.3 36.4
1 Murray St. 100 100 73.9 36.1
3 Austin Peay 100 79.6 35.4 19.5
5 Tennessee St. 75.5 44.3 13.7 4.2
4 Tenn. Tech 100 48.0 11.5 2.7
6 E. Kentucky 72.5 17.4 4.0 1.3
8 UT Martin 24.5 7.7 1.2 0.1
7 SE Missouri St. 27.5 2.9 0.3 0.05
March 2, 6, 11. All games at higher seed.
Bucknell went 13-1 and earns the top seed which comes along with potentially three additional home games. What’s odd is that the Bison’s only loss was to last-place Army…by 20. The two meet again in Lewisburg tomorrow, where Bucknell won easily last Saturday against the Black Knights. Vlad Moldoveanu and American are the most likely impalers to Bucknell’s title plans.