The 2013 Atlantic Sun Championship played between the Mercer Bears and the upstart Florida Gulf Coast Eagles featured an intresting player, team, and program. A-Sun conference player of the year Sherwood Brown was quiet in the 1st half but helped lead the Eagles soar to victory with 16pts and 11rebs on the road in Macon. Guy has talent, maybe a little too much showman but nevertheless he did make it count when the Eagles needed it most. I saw 2 airballs and a 10 second violation from the Eagles with no pressure from Mercer in a game that FGCU controlled. You feel bad for Mercer but they were hesitant most of the game. Not going to win like that. Crazy part is Florida Gulf Coast is in its second year of eligibility and is making their inaugural trip to the NCAA tournament. Perhaps nuttier is Coach Enfield's journey. This is a fantastic story and gets my juices going. Good luck to the Eagles.
The 2013 Ohio Valley Championship pitted the Belmont Bruins(last years ASun Champs) against the Murray State Racers(defending OVC Champs). Western Kentucky and Murray State might have the coolest logos. Anyways this was a game that I was rooting for Murray State because of the logo, Isaiah Cannan, and the fact that Belmont may just be America's "Cinderella". At the end of the game I found myself officially converted to a Belmont Bruin believer. Murray State had its chances and couldnt't script a lousier way to lose. Really couldn't. I watched their previous matchup on Feb.7th and thought that Murray State had an advantage athletically and in pure scoring. Didn't seem to matter last night. So, Belmont switches conferences and wins another conference title. Belmont, the new Butler, Gonzaga? Who knows but what a story.
Chew on these facts:
The victory marked win No. 1000 for the Belmont program.
Belmont becomes the first program in the nation to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament six of the last eight years (Kansas and Memphis have opportunity to equal).
Kerron Johnson was named Tournament MVP for a second consecutive year (which, to me is insane considering the conference switch).
Belmont is 18-2 in conference tournament games since 2006, including eight straight victories.(great job).
In closing, I have to comment on some other basketball. How about Valpo? Not to mention the other semifinal. Horizon league lost Butler but doesnt't seem to matter for loss of excitment. Kudos to Alabama buzzer beater. Sick. And I DO know that it really is hard to rank teams especially the bottom 3rd but how about your trendy, well dressed, "fighting" ducks from Oregon. Way to "fight" this past weekend on the road. Can't stand Oregon right now.
Today will feature the Big South Championship and "Arch" Madness. Have a great day and enjoy your basketball.
PS-Shout out to my brother who got the opportunity of a lifetime to go to the deandome(again) to watch Duke/UNC. Shame it was a blowout.