Liberty (record 15-20) get an incredibile crown in Big South Conference
Waiting for Winsconsin-Ohio State to end for the Big Ten final, let’s check how did championships go around the Nation for the Ncaa Basketball Division I 2013: 32 Conference, great emotions, some upsets. It’s one of the best moment of the year for basketball fans. And not only in Usa, were fans go crazy for they alma mater, cheering to reach a dream. The rest of the world is waiting for Selection Sunday and the bracket, trying to teach “bracketology”, betting, suffering.
America East/Where: Albany, N.Y. / Burlington, Vt./Champion: Albany/The final: Albany-Vermont 53-49 – Albany wins the Championship and reach the Tournament for the third time in his history. Mike Black had a game-high 14 points.
Atlantic 10/Where: Brooklyn/Champion: Saint Louis/The Final: Virginia Commonwealth-Saint Louis 56-62 – The Barclays Center in Brooklyn hosted the A-10 championship. First win in their first year in A-10 for Rams vs VCU (Saint Louis was in Colonial last year). Spike Lee joined the game and tweeted from the Barclays. Kwamain Mitchell scored 19 points. Dwayne Evans added 16.
Atlantic Coast/Where: Greensboro, N.C./Champion: Miami (Fl)/The Final: North Carolina-Miami 77-87 – What a fantastic battle in Greensboro, where coach Larranaga take Hurricanes to the title beating the Tar Heels, not properly at their best this season. Miami beated Nc two times during the regular season. Shane Larkin has been simply great, scoring 28 pts and 5 reb in 40 minutes.
Atlantic Sun/Where: Macon, Ga./Champion: Florida Gulf Coast/The Final: Florida Gulf Coast-Mercer 88-75 – Great offensive performance at Hawkins Arena For Florida Gulf Coast, winning 88-75 vs Mercer. “This is a special moment for our program, our athletic department and the University,” said head coach Andy Enfield, who has led FGCU to 39 wins in his two seasons at the helm. Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) scored 21 points.
Big 12/Where: Kansas City, Mo./Champion: Kansas/The Final: Kansas State-Kansas 54-70 – One of the top seed, Kansas Jayhawks, wins the title after a 29-5 regular season. Kansas will be one of the greatest guest at the Big Dance. The interest in Round 3 between the two teams resulted in a record crowd of 19,256. The ticket was so hot that Eric and Faith DeVault, who were married Saturday morning in a suburban of Kansas City, were given a pair as a gift and turned out for the game still dressed in their tuxedo and wedding dress.
Big East/Where: New York/Champion: Louiville/The Final: Syracuse 61-Louiville 78 – Another one of the probably top seed reach the title: it’s Louiville for Big 12. Montrzel Harrell had a career high 20 points.The Madison Square Garden hosted a great match title: the Cardinals turned a 16-point, second-half deficit into an 18-point lead. Rick Pitino’s Louiville repeated itself as champion of Big East like other 4 schools around the nation.
Big Sky/Where: Missoula, Mont./Champion: Montana/The Final: Weber State-Montana 64-67 – The Grizzlies win their first title in four years for Big Sky. And, for the 10th time, Montana will be a guest for the Big Dance. It has been an exciting game. Kareem Jamar scored 20 points and 5 assists.
Big South/Where: Conway, S.C./Champion: Liberty/The Final: Liberty-Charleston Southern 87-76 – It takes 20 losses to reach the Tournament: yes, Liberty record was 15-20 after the regular season. Despite this, Liberty won vs Charleston Southern, reaghing the glory. Last tournament crown for Liberty was in 2004. The performance ended a hard-to-imagine run through the field where Liberty defeated home-standing Coastal Carolina and both Big South divisional winners in High Point and Charleston Southerrn.
Big Ten/Where: Chicago/Champion: Ohio State/The Final: Wisconsin-Ohio State 43-50 – Deshaun Thomas is the man of the match for Ohio State winning the crown in Big-10 Championship vs Wisconsin hosted at United Center. Thomas scored 17 points.
Big West/Where: Anaheim, Ca/Champion: Pacific/The Final: Uc Irvine-Pacific 64-55 – Pacific defeated UC Irvine 64-55 in the championship game of the Big West Tournament on Saturday, March 16 at the Honda Center to earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Colonial Athletic Association/Where: Richmond, Va./Champion: James Madison/The Final: James Madison-Northeastern 70-57 – 19 years ago was the last time George Mason reached the Tournament. Now dreams come true in the final battle vs Northeastern. The Dukes and their six seniors went into the Colonial Athletic Association championship with one chance to change it. It was a 23-1 run in the first 13 minutes. Davis scored 17 of his 26 points before halftime.
Conference Usa/Where: Tulsa, Okla/Champion: Memphis/The Final: Southern Miss.-Memphis 79-91 – Memphis is the Conference Usa champion thanks to the great performance of Chris Crawford (23 points and 6 ast). Memphis cut the net for the third straight year.
Great West/Where: Chicago/Champion: Chicago State/The Final: Houston Baptist-Chicago State 60-75 – Chicago State win his first champion but there’s no automatic bid for the winner in Great West conference. Jeremy Robinson scored 17 points. Nate Duhon added 15 points and six steals.
Horizon League/Where: Valparaiso, Ind./Champion: Valparaiso/The Final: Wrigh State-Valparaiso 54-62 – Valpo wins vs wright State in championship final and reach the Torunament for the first time since 2004. Fans were crazy about the victory. Bryce Drew, former player and now coach for Valpo, called “special” his players. Drew’s father, Homer, was coach for Valpo until 2012, when Drew replaced his father.
Metro Atlantic Athletic/Where: Springfield, Mass./Champion: Iona/The Final: Manhattan-Iona 57-60 – 20 wins for the fourth consecutive season for Iona, beating in the final Manhattan. Tre Bowman scored 20 points and Lamont Jones added 14, earning tournament MVP honors. It’s gonna be an at large bid for Iona in the 2013 Tournament.
Mid American/Where: Cleveland/Champion: Akron/The Final: Ohio-Akron 46-65 – Emotions, tears, pain and victory. After point guard Alex Abreu arrest (the charge is drug traffic), Akron was apparently lost. Then, they regrouped and won the championship. Akron won their third title in five years to get back in the NCAA brackets.
Mid Eastern Athletic/Where: Norfolk, Virginia/Champion: North Carolina A&T/The Final: North Carolina A&T-Morgan State 57-54 – Last championship victory was in 1995. Now North Carolina A&T is allowed to celebrate a new title, thanks to a great team. Adrian Powell scored 14 points, Austin Witter scored 11 points and 9 rebs.
Missouri Valley/Where: St Louis/Champion: Creighton/The Final: Wichita State-Creighton 65-68 – Wichita was 13 point down in the last minutes, then the deficit was reduced to one point. Malcolm Armstead missed the potential tying from beyond the arch. But Missouri Valley commissioner was furious because of tv coverage: Cbs switched to the start of Indiana’s victory at Michigan for the Big Ten title during the final hot seconds of Wichita State Creighton. Lots of fan in front of tv didnt’t see the victory.
Mountain West/Where: Las Vegas/Champion: New Mexico/The Final: New Mexico-Unlv 63-56 – New Mexico Lobos win the title in Las Vegas, home of the Runnin’ Rebels that face the defeat in Thomas & Mack Center. “We should have good seeds and we should all have the opportunity for success in the tournament” Unlv coach Rice said. “This is a tournament wide open for success”.
Northeast/Where: Brooklyn, New York/Champion: Liu Brooklyn/The Final: Mount St Mary’s-Liu Brooklyn 70-91 – Was the third time in a row for Liu Brooklyn winning the Northeast title. But opponents were so close. Jack Perri become the third coach in the conference to win the title in his first year on the job.
Ohio Valley/Where: Nashville, Tenn./Champion: Belmont/The Final: Murray State-Belmont 68-70 – It takes an overtime to declare a winner in Ohio Valley Championship. Belmont (26-6) had won five tournament championships in the Atlantic Sun, and they picked up right where they left off, earning their sixth Ncaa tournament berth in eight seasons. Kerron Johnson scored the key points with 1.2 seconds remaining in the overtime.
Pacific Twelve/Where: Las vegas/Champion: Oregon/The Final: Oregon-Ucla 78-69 – Oregon lost the regular season but, thanks to great victories through the championship, win the Pac-12 title beating no 21 Ucla. Carlos Emory had 20 points, Arsalan Kazemi had 12 points and 12 rebounds, and the Ducks hit 7 of 14 from 3-point range to win their third Pac-12 tournament title.
Patriot League/Where: Lewisburg, Pa./Champion: Bucknell/The Final: Lafayette-Bucknell 56-64 – Yes, Bucknell is famous for the 2005 upset vs Kansas. Now there’s a reason more: Bucknell won the Patriot League vs Lafayette. The 6-foot-11 Muscala scored six of his 20 points during a decisive second-half run and added 11 rebounds.
Southeastern/Where: Nashville, Tennessee/Champion: Ole Miss/The Final: Ole Miss-Florida 66-63 – It’s an upset baby! Ole Miss win vs Florida Gators (13th ranked) with Murphy Holloway’s 23 points and Marshall Henderson’ 21 points. Coach Andy Kennedy had his first Ncaa tournament berth.
Southern/Where: Asheville, North Carolina/Champion: Davidson/The Final: Charleston-Davidson 55-74 – Davidson wins its 12th Southern Championship. Andrew Lawrence scored 19 points while Adjehi Baru added 11. Great atmosphere in Asheville with hundreds of fans cheering the entire match. The Wildcats hold the SoCon record with 12 tournament titles over Chattanooga and West Virginia with 10 apiece.
Southland/Where: Kay, Texas/Champion: Northwestern State/The Final: Northwestern State-Steph F. Austin 68-66 – Automatic bid for Northwestern State in this 68-66 victory vs Steph F. Austin. The Demons (23-8) earned their first NCAA tournament invitation since 2006 and their third overall.
Southwestern Athletic/Where: Garland, Texas/Champion: Southern/The Final: Prairie View A&M-Southern University 44-45 – Two years ago, Southern was like in a nightmare: last place in Swac and postseason ban because of inadeguate program. Coach Roman Banks changed everything, leading Southern University to the crown. Derick Beltran had 13 points with a late steal and breakaway layup, and Southern held on for a 45-44 victory over Prairie View.
Summit League/Where: Sioux Fall/Champion: South Dakota State/The Final: North Dakota State-South Dakota State 67-73 – Nate Wolters scored 27 points in Sioux Fall, giving South Dakota State the victory in Summit championship. By the way, Nate Wolters is the Summit League Player of the Year.
Sun Belt/Where: Hot Spring, Ark/Champion: Western Kentucky/The Final: Western Kentucky-Florida International 65-63 – Second straight tournament for Western Kentucky in Sun Belt. George Fant scored 17 points and 13 rebounds. The Hilltoppers book a return trip to the NCAA tournament.
West Coast/Where: Las Vegas/Champion: Gonzaga/The Final: St Mary’s (Cal)-Gonzaga 51-65 – Top seeded Gonzaga wins the crown over St Mary’s in this 51-65 final score. Gonzaga (31-2) head to the Ncaa tournament for the 15th straight season.
Western Atletic/Where: Las Vegas/Champion: New Mexico State/The Final: Texas Arlington-New Mexico State 55-64 – Three championships were hosted in Las Vegas: Mountain West, West Coast and Western Atletic. New Mexico State win the crown in Orleans Arena. 16 points, 15 rebounds and five block shots from Sim Bhullar. Second straight Western Athletic Conference championship and automatic berth in the NCAA tournament for New Mexico State.