Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Once more, for your weekly entertainment, Mid-Majors at Mid-Week: The Regular Season Wrap-Up (Well, Mostly) Edition.

America East: At 15-0, Boston University has clinched the top seed in their conference after beating Maine 71-57 and edging out UMBC 73-65. They'll look to run the A-East table on Sunday against Albany before tournament play starts on March 12th at the University of Hartford.

Atlantic 10: Congratulations to the Xavier Musketeers! They finished the regular season 13-1, a full two games ahead of Charlotte and Temple, by smacking Fordham around 75-47 on Senior Day. Next stop: Charlotte, where the Atlantic 10 tournament starts March 6th.

Atlantic Sun: Congratulations to the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles! At 17-3, they finished one game ahead of East Tennessee State by beating Campbell 75-51. They also beat Johnson & Wales, but I'm not sure if that's a D-I team or not. FGCU, being a newcomer to D-I themselves, is not eligible for either the Big Dance or the A-Sun's Little Dance at Lipscomb in Nashville, which started yesterday- but they do have an auto-bid to the WNIT.

Big Sky: It's coming down to the wire in Big Sky country, where Montana and Portland State are locked in a battle for supremacy. Last time out, Montana beat Northern Colorado 71-51 behind strong senior play, while Portland State knocked off Eastern Washington 72-60. Montana hosts Eastern Washington tonight, while Portland State hopes to avenge their home loss to Montana State by doing unto them. And then it's the showdown in Montana on March 7th to decide who gets to host the Big Sky championship starting March 12th.

Big South: Two more notches on the belt for the 14-0 Liberty Flames, who smote UNC-Asheville 77-41 and leveled Presbyterian 71-33. They finish their regular season with visits to Radford on Friday and High Point on Monday, and then it's off to High Point once more for the Big South conference tournament on March 13th.

Big West: Have you been sleeping on Kemie Nkele and the UC-Riverside Highlanders? Don't look now, but they haven't lost in two months, and their last loss was at Santa Barbara. Guess who's visiting Riverside tonight? If you said the Gauchos, give yourself a cookie. Last time out, UC-Riverside defeated UC-Irvine 50-35, while Santa Barbara knocked off Cal State-Northridge, 56-48 to hold serve in the position jockeying. The Big West tournament starts March 11th in Anaheim.

Colonial: Congratulations to the Drexel Dragons! After beating VCU 74-69 in OT, they finished up their season with a home win over George Mason, 64-47, and a road win at Towson, 59-45, ending at 21-8 in conference. Next stop: the CAA tournament, starting March 12th at James Madison... whose Dukes finished third in the conference and boast one of the conference's top scorers. This is gonna be good.

Conference USA: Congratulations to the Southern Methodist Mustangs! The Mustangs emerged atop a congested C-USA, leaving four teams tied a game below them, with their 78-65 win over UTEP. It's Southern Methodist's first conference title since 2000. They've taken their top seed to New Orleans, where Tulane is hosting the C-USA tournament, starting today.

Horizon: Green Bay continues to dominate here; the Phoenix are 17-0 after beating Butler, 69-64. They'll finish their regular season by hosting Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Saturday. Then it's conference tournament time, as high seeds start hosting on March 9th. UWGB starts two days later; brush up on your Horizon League stars while you wait.

Ivy: Dartmouth's perfect conference record got tarnished in a 66-61 overtime loss at Cornell, though they improved to 10-1 with a 63-61 win at Columbia (guess who was there?). The Big Green finishes with a three-game homestand: Yale on Friday, Brown on Saturday, and a potential berth-deciding matchup with Harvard on Tuesday.

Metro Atlantic: Congratulations to the Marist Red Foxes! They finished their marvelous regular season by smacking Rider around, 81-56. They start postseason play in Albany tomorrow.

Mid-American: Mid-major upset of the week, as Miami of Ohio took out Bowling Green 45-40. BGSU has clinched the MAC East, while Ball State clinched the MAC West by avenging their loss to Northern Illinois. The Falcons, the Cardinals, and other birds of that feather will flock to Cleveland for the MAC tournament, starting March 11th, but not before Bowling Green hosts Ohio and Ball State visits Toledo on Saturday.

MEAC: At 14-1, North Carolina A&T is a full three games ahead of their closest competition. (Their website, however, is not.) Last time out, they needed overtime to beat Hampton, 81-72. They'll finish their regular season with a visit to the... ah, unfortunate... Norfolk State Spartans, and then they'll head to Winston-Salem for the MEAC tournament.

Missouri Valley: Illinois State, at 14-2, has climbed ahead of Creighton- but they've picked up another conference loss along the way, a 76-73 overtime setback against Northern Iowa that saw Kristi Cirone become ISU's all-time leading scorer. They'll try to recoup tonight against Drake, and to finish strong on Saturday at Creighton, hoping to take the top seed in the MVC tournament in St. Charles on March 12th.

Mountain West: The 13-2 Utah Utes have a one-game lead on San Diego State as the Mountain West's season winds down. They clinched at least a tie by beating New Mexico 57-54 on Senior Night. They visit TCU on Saturday, then it's off to Vegas for the tournament on March 10th.

Northeast: Congratulations to the Sacred Heart Pioneers! They dominated the NEC, going 18-0 in conference play after beating St. Francis of New York, 60-51. They'll be hosting the quarter- and semi-finals on Saturday and Sunday, with the championship being played at the highest remaining seed on the 15th- it would be a stunning upset for that game to be anywhere but at Sacred Heart.

Ohio Valley: Congratulations to the Murray State Racers! They edged out Eastern Illinois to claim the regular season OVC title, finishing 16-2 after beating Eastern Kentucky 80-60. OVC tournament play is already underway, and the Racers punched their ticket to Nashville by eliminating Jacksonvile State 79-69. They'll face fifth-seeded Austin Peay on Friday.

Patriot: Congratulations to the Lehigh Mountain Hawks! They finished with a 12-2 mark in Patriot League play after beating Holy Cross 71-60. The Patriot League tournament comes to Bethlehem on the 7th and 8th, with the highest seed hosting the title game on the 11th.

Southern: Congratulations to the Chattanooga Mocs! A tight race with Samford ended with the experienced Mocs dismantling the upstart Bulldogs 72-48. Tournament play started today in Chattanooga, with the big guns jumping into the fray tomorrow.

Southland: Strange days in the Southland. It's a divided conference, and both divisions are tied. Southeastern Louisiana and Stephen F. Austin sit atop the East, while Texas-San Antonio and Texas-Arlington are tied in the West. Things should shake out after regular-season play concludes on Saturday.

Southwest: A road trip to Alabama sewed up the SWAC regular season title for Prairie View A&M, as they picked up a 78-41 win at Alabama State and followed that up with a 73-57 win over Alabama A&M to run their record to 15-1. They finish their regular season slate with home games against Alcorn State on Thursday and Southern on Saturday, then head to Birmingham for the SWAC tournament on March 11th.

Summit: Congratulations to the South Dakota State Jackrabbits! They held off Oakland all season, and Oral Roberts 71-64 in their final regular season game to finish 17-1 in conference. They're hoping there's no place like home, as the Summit League's tournament starts Saturday in Sioux Falls.

Sun Belt: Congratulations to the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders! They sewed up the East Division of the Sun Belt with a 87-61 whomping of Western Kentucky. (Congrats must also go out to the West Division champs, the Trojans of Arkansas-Little Rock- if the seeds hold, that should be a great title game!) Next stop: Hot Springs, where tournament play continues on March 7th.

West Coast: Congratulations to the Gonzaga Bulldogs! They finished strong at home, posting wins over Santa Clara and San Diego to finish with a 12-2 WAC record, two games ahead of Portland. Next stop: Vegas, baby! The WCC tournament starts Friday, and the top dogs jump in the game Sunday.

Western Athletic: If there's one thing Liberty fans know, it's this: Teresa Weatherspoon does not stand for anything less than the best, so it's no wonder Louisiana Tech has stormed into a tie with Fresno State after their 80-62 win on March 2nd. Fresno State finished their home slate with a 69-52 win over New Mexico State. They'll be at Utah State on Saturday, while the Lady Techsters visit New Mexico State. On the line: top seed for the WAC tournament in Reno on March 10th.

The Mountain West, the West Coast, the Western Athletic... you know, I've never been to Nevada before...