It’s that time of the year again, where the word “Madness” becomes a regular in your vernacular. Where 352 Division I college basketball teams fight to be one of the 68 teams included in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.
And although it’s not March yet, the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament kicks thing off just a few days earlier for us fanatics. The Schedule are as follows:
Date: Monday, Feb. 27 (Quarterfinals)
Game 1: No. 1 Florida Gulf Coast vs. No. 8 Stetson, 7 p.m. ET
Game 2: No. 4 South Carolina Upstate vs. No. 5 Kennesaw State, 7 p.m. ET
Game 3: No. 3 North Florida vs. No. 6 Jacksonville, 7 p.m. ET
Game 4: No. 2 Lipscomb vs. No. 7 New Jersey Institute of Technology, 7 p.m. ET
Date: Thursday, March 2 (Semifinals)
Game 5: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, TBD
Game 6: Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4, TBD
Date: Sunday, March 5 (Finals)
Game 7: Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 6, 3 p.m.
Prediction: It’s hard not to side with the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles here. They’ve dominated conference play, going 12-2 with their only losses to the second seeded Lipscomb Bison and fourth seeded USC Upstate Spartans. Out of conference, they have a few marque wins such as the UT Arlington Mavericks at home and Louisiana Tech Bulldogs on the road. And although they lost, they competed against the likes of the Baylor Bears (9 point defeat) and Michigan St. Spartans (1 point defeat).
Anyways, according to Ken Pomeroy, the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles have the conference’s second best offense and the number one defense. The aforementioned Lipscomb Bison have the conference’s number one offense and second best defense. In other words, I have no doubt that these two teams will clash and with both winning on each other’s home court, it should be an intriguing finale.
The Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament games take place on the highest seeds home court. So, advantage Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, who have home court advantage throughout. The deciding factor in which I think that the Eagles will soar once again.