Championship Week recap: Day 1’s top game, best player

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Over the next 13 days, the brackets will start to take shape. Teams with no at-large aspirations will make one final push at the post-season. Teams on the bubble will look to assert themselves as worthy members of “The Big Dance”, and contenders will start priming their engines for a national Championship run. While “March Madness” officially begins following Selection Sunday, the real madness starts now.

Until Sunday, March 11,  this will be your home for Championship Week recaps and previews. The players and teams are starting to prepare for March Madness, so you should too.

Game of the Night: VMI 55, Radford 53
There were only two games on the docket last night, both part of the Big South Conference Tournament. With an average of 81.1ppg, VMI is the fifth highest-scoring team in the nation. But last night the Keydets scored a season-low 55 points. Luckily, they faced a Radford team that had won just two conference games this season. VMI led for a majority of the game, and were able to fend of a late rally to earn a spot in the Big South quarterfinals. Stan Okoye led the Keydets with 16 points and nine rebounds.

Player of the Night: Nick Barbour, High Point
The Big South’s leading scorer had 22 points on 6-for-12 shooting and went 8-for-9 from the foul line in the Panthers’ 68-58 victory over Gardner-Webb. It was Barbour’s fifth straight 20-point game, and the 15th of the season. Barbour, the Big South preseason Player of the Year will face-off against top-seed UNC-Asheville and Matt Dickey, the Big South regular season Player of the Year, in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Team of the Night: High Point Panthers
Led by Barbour’s 22 points, and a double-double from Corey Law (16pts, 11rebs), the Panthers controlled the Runnin’ Bulldogs for much of the game and were able . The two teams split the season series, both games ending in overtime. But in the rubber-match, High Point was able to hold Gardner-Webb to just 5-for-32 from beyond the arc and earn the victory.

Results from Monday:

Big South First Round
#8 High Point 68, #9 Gardner-Webb 58
#7 VMI 55, #10 Radford 53