USA TODAY Sports
Sunday was a bruuuuuuuuutal day on the Never-Made-The-Tourney vibe, with two semifinalists losing. But IPFW and Western Illinois are right there again!
Sunday's never-made-the-tourney action
Stony Brook was the No. 1 seed and needed only to beat Albany - a team they'd beaten twice - to make the championship. But alas! The tournament was hosted by the Great Danes, and Stony Brook - inexplicably forced to play a road game - took an L as Mike Black made a game-winner to give Albany a 61-59 win. That's two games for Albany, two game-winners against never-made-the-tourney squads, as you may remember they also downed Maine on Sam Rowley's jumper the day before. You know what? Screw the Great Danes. They're not that great, and they - probably - aren't from Denmark. I'm not impressed by their size or their stupid jowls. They're in my bottom 10 percent of dog breeds. Anyway, the America East has disintegrated from four never-made-the-tourney squads to zero in just two days, and we're done.
Elon was also two wins away from a tourney spot, but the College of Charleston never gave the Phoenix a chance. They started off on an 11-0 run, held Elon to 19 points in the first half, led by as much as 13, and eventually won 68-60. Here's to Charleston becoming the second team with "Charleston" in the title to lose a conference championship game this March after Charleston Southern lost in the Big South the other day.
IPFW did the easy part, dropping 91 points on Oakland thanks to 12-for-20 shooting from deep and 23 points from Frank Gaines. UMKC did not follow suit, allowing 50 second-half points to North Dakota State.
Monday's Never-Made-The-Tourney action
MAC Tournament (props to T.J. Doyle for photo choice there)
7 p.m., No. 8 Buffalo vs. No. 9 Central Michigan: Who will get to play top-seeded Akron? It's looking good for the Bulls, who blew out Central Michigan 91-73 in their only regular season meeting behind 21 points from Cameron Downing off the bench. Buffalo's one of the few teams from conferences you're sort of familiar with in the Never-Made-The-Tourney club and the only one in the MAC, so a few wins here would be okay.
They have four Never-Made-The-Tourney teams and one super-weird bracket. It starts today, with two of those teams fighting to the death.
6:30 p.m.: No. 4 Savannah State vs. No. 13 Maryland-Eastern Shore: These teams met for the first time a few days ago, with Deven Williams dropping 21 for Savannah State in a comfortable 71-54 win. Shouldn't be a problem for
Summit League Tournament
We got two teams in the semis here, so 1-in-2 chance of making the tourney, right?
7 p.m.: No. 5 IPFW vs. No. 1 South Dakota State: Mastodons! Jackrabbits! It's SUMMIT LEAGUE BASKETBALL! The Mastodons haven't had much luck stopping Nate Wolters this season, giving up 29 points in their first loss, an 83-57 defeat, and 53 points - 53 points! - a season high amongst any player in Division I in the rematch, an 83-74 loss. They'll be looking to keep Wolters to like, 38 if they want to advance to the finals.
9:30 p.m.: No. 2 Western Illinois vs. No. 3 North Dakota State: I, um, sort of missed Western Illinois' first tourney matchup, where they beat fellow never-made-the-tourneyers South Dakota - KIYOAAAAAAAAAATS - by the slimmest of margins, 54-53 behind 21 from Ceola Clark III. Ceola had also been the guy in their matchup just days earlier dropping 27 on the Coyotes. Now, the Leathernecks face North Dakota State, a team they've beaten twice behind two hideous scorelines: 49-36, and 50-42. The Leathernecks are strictly anti-points, apparently.
Back next year