This is the week we have all been waiting for! NCAA D-I conference tournament week! As the D3 tournament nears it its finale and D-2 it’s beginning, let’s get down to business and give you a few Championship Game previews.
Southern Conference Tournament FINAL
UNC Greensboro Spartans (28-5) @ Wofford Terriers (28-4)
Both of these teams have been regulars in the NCAA Tournament in past years, though neither one has been able to have much success once getting there. The winner gets the automatic bid into the madness. The Spartans are led by Francis Alonso, who is averaging a shade over 17 points per game on the year, knocking down 87 threes. James Dickey is averaging eight boards and two blocks per game, while Isaiah Miller is averaging 14.6 points per game.
For Wofford, it is the man with the great name, Fletcher Magee, who is averaging close to 21 points per game and has knocked down an incredible 147 threes on the season. He’s making roughly five per game and has been on another level. Cameron Jackson is scoring 15 points and grabbing eight boards per game, while Nathan Hoover scores 13 a night.
Prediction: At home, Wofford will come away with the W and another automatic bid!
North East Conference FINAL
Fairleigh Dickinson Knight (19-13) @ St. Francis PA Red Flash (18-13)
It’s been a while since we have seen FDU with a chance to play in the big dance, but this is looking like it may be the year they get back into it. Led by Darnell Edge’s 16 points per game and Jahlil Jenkins‘ 13 points and five assists, they have made it to within one game of the return trip. In all, they have five guys scoring in double-figures and a number of guys who can make plays happen.
Keith Braxton (16 ppg, 10 rpg) and Jamaal King (15 ppg, four assists per game) have been leading this team, as they now have a chance to play host for the championship. St. Francis also has a Brooklyn team, but it is the Pennsylvania bunch that are closing in. These are the top two seeds from the tourney, with no upsets yet to report.
Prediction: FDU, led by Darnell Edge, is on to the NCAA Tournament!
PATRIOT LEAGUE FINAL
Bucknell Bison (21-11) @ Colgate Raiders (23-10)
It has been an impressive year for Bucknell, who finished the regular season with the second best Patriot League record. Kimbal Mackenzie averaged 17.5 ppg this year to lead the way while serving as a dead-eye three-point marksman. Nate Sestina averaged 16 ppg and nine rebounds a night, while also recording 35 blocks in 32 games. These two are the keys.
Colgate, on the other hand, is a team that is top heavy with talent. Rapolas Ivanauskas averaged 17 and eight boards, while Jordan Burns (15 ppg) and Will Rayman (13 ppg) both found ways to constantly put the ball in the hoop. Burns is a terrific PG with his six assists per game, while the team as a group is able to knock down the three ball impressively.
Prediction: Colgate picks up the W and proceeds to the tourney!