Championship Week(s) underway

The day’s big college-basketball news may be BYU stunning Air Force at home (ending the Falcons’ nation’s-best 30-game home winning streak) and Tennessee handing Florida its third loss in four games, but for mid-major and low-major enthusiasts, there’s much more important stuff happening: it’s Championship Week(s)!

ESPN may claim that “Championship Week” is from March 1-11 (whatever you do, don’t do the math on that), but in reality, Championship Fortnight (as Kyle Whelliston calls it) began today with the first rounds of the Big South, Horizon, and Ohio Valley conference tournaments. Whelliston has an overview of what was at stake today.

The big news is that Winthrop won easily in the Big South quarterfinals, so the Eagles are now two wins away from ending all the at-large speculation and earning an automatic bid. Up next: a Friday date with UNC-Asheville, which scored a mild #5-over-#4 upset over Coastal Carolina (probably good news for Winthrop, since CCU came closer than anyone else in conference to knocking the Eagles off at home this season). Also rocking the boat was #6-seed Virginia Military Institute, which won by 1 point over #3-seed Liberty. In all likelihood, these upsets are just clearing a path for the expected #1 Winthrop vs. #2 High Point title game on Saturday.

Not much to say about the day’s action in the other two conferences, as things went mostly according to form; check Whelliston’s site for the latest if you’re interested. Tomorrow, three more conference tourneys get underway: the Patriot, Southern, Sun Belt. The latter two open with qualifying games while the top seeds sit on byes, but in the Patriot League, high seeds Holy Cross and Bucknell will both be in action in the quarters. If the Crusaders win, Joe Lunardi has them as a #13 seed, so that’s one to watch for possible first-round upset material.

Comments are closed.