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: Binghamton 73, UMBC 67 OT
These aren’t the two greatest teams in the country. In fact, they are two of the worst. Binghamton and UMBC combined to win just five games this season. But on Thursday night they provided the best Championship Week game to date. In the first half, the teams traded leads, with UMBC getting up by as many as six points. But Binghamton cut the lead to one right before halftime thanks to a 17-9 run. In the second half, Binghamton took control of the game, but the retrievers put together a strong comeback, holding the Bearcats to just three points in the final seven minutes of regulation. In overtime, Binghamton made 7-of-11 from the charity stripe and were able to notch their second win of the season.
Player of the Night: Coron Williams, Robert Morris
There’s hot, and then there is Coron Williams. The sophomore guard scored a game-high 25 points in the Colonials NEC quarterfinal game against Monmouth. 24 of his 25 points were scored from beyond the arc, as Williams hit a career-high eight 3-pointers on just 11 attempts. In the second half, he was a perfect 5-of-5 from beyond the arc. What makes this performance even more spectacular is that Williams had scored just ten points in the previous four games combined.
Team of the Night: UNC-Asheville Bulldogs
The top-seed in the Big South never trailed and led for 39 minutes, as they routed Charleston Southern 91-64 in the conference tournament semifinals. Four Bulldogs scored in double-figures, led by J.P Primm, who finished with 27 points. Asheville will meet No.7 VMI in the tournament championship on Saturday which will be played on the Bulldogs home floor. They will be seeking their second straight NCAA Tournament bid.
America East First Round
#9 Binghamton 73, #8 UMBC 67
Atlantic Sun Quarterfinals
#4 East Tennessee State 68, #5 North Florida
#6 Florida Gulf Coast 71, #3 USC-Upstate 61
Big South Semifinals
#1 UNC-Asheville 91, #5 Charleston Southern 64
#7 VMI 75, #6 Winthrop 55
Missouri Valley Conference First Round
#7 Drake 65, #10 Bradley 49
#8 Indiana State 66, #9 Southern Illinois 51
Northeast Conference Quarterfinals
#1 Long Island 80, #8 Sacred Heart 68
#2 Wagner 87, #7 Central Connecticut State 77
#3 Robert Morris 87, #6 Monmouth 68
#5 Quinnipiac 80, #4 St. Francis (Ny.) 72
Ohio Valley Conference Quarterfinals
#3 Morehead State 68, #7 Jacksonville State 54
#4 Tennessee Tech 77, #5 Southeast Missouri 73
West Coast Conference Quarterfinals
#5 San Francisco 87, #8 Portland 66
#6 San Diego 76, #7 Pepperdine 54