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.
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.)
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:
Northwestern Wildcats, Big Ten
High Point Panthers, Big South
Youngstown State Penguins, Horizon
UC-Davis Aggies, Big West
Cal Poly Mustangs, 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
Army Black Knights, Patriot League,
The Citadel Bulldogs, Southern Conference
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,
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
Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs, Big South
Texas Pan-American Broncs Great West NJIT HIghlanders, Great West North Dakota Fighting Sioux , Great West Chicago State Cougars, Great West Longwood Lancers , Independent Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners, Independent