Saturday, February 27, 2016

Big South conference tournament preview

This is part 3 of a 32-part series that will take a look at every conference and conference tournament in the country.  We'll recap who's playing and what the stakes are for each team in the conference.

The final standings:
High Point 13-5 (20-9)
Winthrop 13-5 (20-9)
Coastal Carolina 12-6 (18-10)
UNC-Asheville 12-6 (19-11)
Liberty 10-8 (13-18)
Gardner-Webb 10-8 (15-15)
Radford 9-9 (16-14)
Longwood 5-13 (9-22)
Charleston Southern 5-13 (9-20)
Presbyterian 5-13 (10-19)
Campbell 5-13 (12-17)

Tournament format:  all 11 teams are playing in your standard bracket format.  Thursday March 3 to Sunday March 6.  Campbell is the host institution.  Somehow, I think the home-court advantage will not be significant.

The matchups:
1) High Point vs. 8/9) Longwood/Charleston Southern
4) UNC-Asheville vs. 5) Liberty
2) Winthrop vs. 7/10) Radford/Presbyterian
3) Coastal Carolina vs. 6/11) Gardner-Webb/Campbell

The stakes:
The conference is 25th in the conference RPI.  Wintrhop has an RPI around 125, and the 2-4 seeds are hovering around 160.  In total, those numbers should be enough to get those teams off the 16 line, although the 14 line is a bit optimistic.  Obviously subject to change depending on who upsets who in other conferences, but I feel fairly secure playing any of those 4 teams on the 15 line.  The analysis kind of begins and ends there.

High Point has the tiebreaker and therefore has the NIT bid if needed.

What about the CIT?  Winthrop, CCU, and UNCA all have good enough resumes, it seems like.  They'll probably have the option to play in it (or the CBI or Vegas).  Radford and Gardner-Webb (if they beat Campbell) will be CIT-eligible, but their overall credentials are a bit dicier; they probably don't deserve a bid over any of the top four teams and there's probably not room for 5 or 6 postseason teams from this conference.

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