Never-Made-the-NCAA-Tournament Club, 2/29/12

Good news from the Horizon League, as Youngstown State - the Penguins! - lived to fight another day, winning 77-60, with all five starters scoring in double digits.

Three games on the slate today, so, let's get to it. (predictions per Kenpom)

5 p.m., Asheville, N.C., Big South Tournament: No. 1 UNC-Asheville Bulldogs(21-9, 16-2 Big South, kenpom ranking 145), vs. No. 8 High Point Panthers (13-17, 8-10, kenpom ranking 221)

Our squad: High Point.

High Point's chances of winning the conference tourney?: 2.2 percent.

Something High Point has going for them?: They already won a game! Momentum! Keep going higher, towards other points!

Some things High Point has going against them: Asheville was by far the best team in the conference and is therefore hosting the conference tourney. They handily swept the season series, including a 20-point victory at home.

Reason to irrationally hate UNC-Asheville: For having the 7-foot-7 Kenny George play for him, even though every article I ever read about him made him seem kind of sad to be playing basketball because he was just so tall. (He left the team after having to get his foot amputated.)

6:30 p.m., Washington, D.C., No. 3 American Eagles (19-10, 10-4, kenpom ranking 167) vs. No. 6 Army Black Knights (12-17, 5-9, kenpom ranking 295)

Our squad: Army

Army's chances of winning: 13 percent

Something Army has going for them: Being the best damn fighting force in the world, plus, they pulled off a season sweep against Navy, who went winless in conference. Which kind of doesn't mean as much to them as the football thing, but whatever. The Midshipmen nearly pulled off the win in West Point, but Army pulled out a victory in double-OT.

Something Army has going against them: They lost the season series to American by a combined 36 points.

Reason to irrationally hate American: American tries to act so damn American. Well, you know who's more American? THE ARMY. They serve our country, while you are just a college. Hey, American University, you know what else is an American University? EVERY OTHER DAMN UNIVERSITY IN THE COUNTRY. Stop thinking you're so patriotic.

8 p.m., Nashville, TN, OVC Tournament: No. 6 Austin Peay Governors (12-19, 8-8 OVC, kenpom ranking 212) vs. No. 7 Jacksonville State Gamecocks (14-17, 8-8 OVC, Kenpom ranking 188)

Our squad: Jacksonville State. (Not to be confused with Jacksonville, the Dolphins.

Jacksonville State's chances of winning: 56 percent.

Jacksonville State's chances of winning the conference tourney: 2.2 percent.

Something Jacksonville State has going for them: Since losing their only matchup against Austin Peay - why they have the lower seed even though they have a better overall record, the Gamecocks have turned around their season, eight of 11, including every matchup against 200 or lower competition in Kenpom.

Something Jacksonville State has going against them: They have literally the worst three-point percentage in the country, at 26.5 as a team. Crikey. They have one shooter above 30 percent. That's it. Also, when it comes to hot streaks, Austin Peay doesn't really have one, but they did start off the year 0-9.

Reason to irrationally hate Austin Peay: I think Austin Peay is pretty much everybody's least favorite 1920's governor of Tennessee, right? RIGHT? Also, Trenton Hassell. that guy sucks. Also, hehehehehe, pee.

Say goodbye to two departed brethren and see the list after the jump.

Nobody got offed yesterday, but two squads failed to qualify for the OVC Tournament: Tennessee-Martin for managing to go 0-16 in conference play, and SIU-Edwardsville, for being a provisional member of the conference and not eligible for tourney play (they wouldn't have qualified anyway)

7122_medium

Club member since: 1993

Felled by: Themselves?

Great moments in basketball history: Two notable basketball humans went to Tennessee-Martin: one is Pat Summitt, the famous women's basketball coach. The other is Lester Hudson, who was once drafted by the Boston Celtics and recorded the only quadruple-double in NCAA history while in Martin playing for Tennessee-Martin.

Why they'll be missed: Their mascot/logo. All hawks, technically, are Skyhawks. Only Tennessee-Martin feels the need to specify that no, these are not groundhawks, or flightless waterhawks. They're skyhawks. And they wear aviator goggles, because they're flying. (Protects the Hawkeyes.)

Quality names: Corderio Maclin, Khristian Taylor.

SIU-Edwardsville Cougars

Cougar-lg_medium

Member since: 2008

Felled by: Ineligibility.

Great moments in basketball history: A memorable 98-55 loss to Northwestern last season. NU could've hit 100, if it hadn't pulled all of its players on account of being up 40. The Kenpom game likelihood graph for it is phenomenal.

Why they'll be missed?: A reminder of a simpler time, when Reggie Hearn didn't start for Northwestern.

And now, the list:

Alive:

Northwestern Wildcats, Big Ten

High Point Panthers, Big South

Youngstown State Penguins, Horizon

UC-Davis Aggies, Big West

Cal Poly Mustangs, Big West

UC-Riverside Highlanders, Big West

UC-Irvine Anteaters, Big West

Sacramento State Hornets, Big West

Grambling State Tigers, SWAC

Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks, MEAC

Norfolk State Spartans, MEAC

Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, MEAC

NC Central Eagles, MEAC

Savannah State Tigers, MEAC

Buffalo Bulls, MAC

San Jose State Spartans WAC

Quinnipiac Bobcats,NEC

St. Francis Terriers, NEC

Sacred Heart Pioneers, NEC

Army Black Knights, Patriot League,

The Citadel Bulldogs, Southern Conference

William and Mary Tribe, CAA

Maine Black Bears, America East

New Hampshire Wildcats, America East

Stony Brook Seawolves, America East

Hartford Hawks, America East

Denver Pioneers, Sun Belt

Jacksonville State Gamecocks, OVC

Central Arkansas Bears, Southland

Elon Phoenix, Southern,

Kennesaw State Owls, Atlantic Sun

Lipscomb Bison, Atlantic Sun

North Florida Ospreys, Atlantic Sun

Stetson Hatters, Atlantic Sun

Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, Atlantic Sun

USC Upstate Spartans, Atlantic Sun

IPFW Mastodons, Summit

South Dakota State Jackrabbits, Summit

Western Illinois Leathernecks, Summit

South Dakota Coyotes, Summit

The dead:

Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks, OVC

SIU-Edwardsville Cougars, OVC

Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs, Big South

Texas Pan-American Broncs Great West

NJIT HIghlanders, Great West

North Dakota Fighting Sioux, Great West

Utah Valley State Wolverines, Great West

Chicago State Cougars, Great West

Longwood Lancers, Independent

Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners, Independent


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