Saturday, February 25, 2017

Atlantic Sun conference tournament preview

This is part 1 of a 32-part series previewing every conference tournament in the country.  We'll detail what you need to keep track of in each tournament and the various stakes for each team.

Final standings:
FGCU 12-2
Lipscomb 11-3
North Florida 8-6
USC Upstate 7-7
Kennesaw St 7-7
Jacksonville 5-9
NJIT 3-11
Stetson 3-11

Tournament format:
Quarterfinals on Monday February 27, semis on Thursday March 2, final on Sunday March 5.  The better seed hosts each game, so home court advantage is in play.

The matchups:
8) Stetson at 1) FGCU
5) Kennesaw St at 4) USC Upstate
6) Jacksonville at 3) North Florida
7) NJIT at 2) Lipscomb

The stakes:
A-Sun is the 26th ranked conference out of 32, by RPI.  That translates into a 15 seed.  FGCU has the overall RPI and profile to avoid a 16 seed, easily, and might even get to the 14 line with some help elsewhere.  FGCU actually has a Top 50 win against Texas-Arlington in its pocket which will help.  Lipscomb would be borderline with an RPI around 150 and a very pedestrian profile even for an A-Sun team.  Everyone else would be Dayton fodder.

As for the CBI/CIT tournaments, Lipscomb being 2nd in this conference and 19-12 overall, they will most likely have the option to play.  USC Upstate and Jacksonville are both 17-14 overall thanks to 4 non-D1 games; they really don't deserve the CIT by any measure but you never know these days.  Everyone else is out.

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