Conference tournaments actually started yesterday - ! - and I wasn't around to do a post. But let's take a quick look at what's going on, then today's slate:
Tuesday's Never Made The Tourney Action
We actually had some pretty sweet results from what was a nuts first day in the Big South. Kenpom gave the No. 335-ranked Longwood Lancers, the most phallic team in the Never-Made-The-Tourney Club, just an 8.9 chance of winning their first round against UNC-Asheville. But Longwood wasn't dicking around: Tristan Carey exploded for 21 points as Longwood pulled out a 87-72 win. They've won five of eight. Good job, Lancers!
Sadly, Presbyterian lost a ridiculous upset bid. After trailing Campbell by five with 12 seconds left, Eric Washington hit a layup and Khalid Mutakabbir got a steal and drilled a three, but the Camels had energy left in store - most likely due to the large fatty deposits contained in their signature humps - and scored 14 points in the extra session, winning in overtime.
If I had to put in an early guess, the Big South is the most likely conference to send a Never-Made-The-Tourney team dancing, with High Point and Gardner-Webb both receiving first-round byes.
The Midwest's second-favorite middle tier athletic conference has just one team in the Never-Made-The-Tourney club: Youngstown State, and those cute little waddlers had a 62-60 win over Loyola-Chicago thanks to D.J. Cole's driving banker at the buzzer. (The Ramblers did win the NCAA Tournament once, so they're just being generous in the Never-Made-The-Tourney department.) Youngstown State won their three games against the Ramblers this year by a combined five points, so, it's a real bummer they can no longer drown their sorrows at Hammies. In other news, D.J. Cole should be J. Cole's DJ.
Wednesday's never-made-the-tourney action
All four games feature Never-Made-The-Tourney, so I'll be brief:
No. 8 Lipscomb vs. No. 1 Mercer: Not looking good for the Bison.
No. 7 North Florida vs. No. 2 Florida-Gulf Coast: Both teams are never-made-the-tourney - WHY MUST WE KILL OUR OWN KIND - but at least Kenpom's Log5 gives FGCU a 25 percent chance of dancing this year.
No. 3 Stetson vs. No. 6 East Tennessee State: The Hatters being the No. 2 seed means that them winning will face the winner of UNF-FGCU, which is more never-made-the-tourney on never-made-the-tourney crime. Damn, one of these teams better win.
No. 5 USC Upstate vs. No. 4 Jacksonville: GO UPSTATE! I mean, not like get arrested, you know what I mean
No. 8 Tennessee-Martin vs. No. 5 Morehead State: The SkyHawks have a real uphill battle - they're the No. 8 seed, which means they'll be underdogs in ever game, and also have to win four games to make the tourney as opposed to just two for teams like Belmont. Kenpom gives No. 331 Tennessee-Martin a 15 percent win expectancy against Kenneth Faried's old team.
No. 4 Army vs. No. 5 American: One of the OG members of the Never-Made-The-Tourney Club, the Black Knights have a better shot this year than most as the No. 4 seed. This game's at home, and No. 166 Army has an 84 percent chance of winning. Besides, if American were TRUE Americans they'd lose to Army.
No. 6 Quinnipiac vs. No. 3 LIU-Brooklyn: Man, if I weren't on vacation I'd consider taking the train to catch some live in-person Never-Made-The-Tourney action here. Kenpom likes the Mighty Quinn better than Brooklyn, but it's a home game for the Blackbirds, so it'll be tough for them. They just lost to Brooklyn last week, and KenPom gives them a 37 percent chance tonight.
No. 8 St. Francis (NY) vs. No. 1 Robert Morris: The other OG member of the Never-Made-The-Tourney Club in action Wednesday, the Terriers have to face the No. 1 seed right off the bat and a 19 percent chance of victory.
Back next year:
Chicago State Cougars
Texas Pan-American Broncs
Utah Valley Wolverines
Presbyterian Blue Hose
Cal-State Bakersfield Roadrunners
Kennesaw State Owls
Sacred Heart Pioneers
Jacksonville State Gamecocks
Eulogies coming for all as I get around to them.