Sunday, March 10, 2013

Bust Out Your Brackets

You can watch the Division II tournament selection shows, both men's and women's, live online tonight starting at 10 PM. Just go to this NCAA web page and click on the link you want. Not that predictions mean anything, but I expect the Gannon women will host the Atlantic Regional and this is what I think the men's bracket will look like:

#1 West Liberty vs. #8 Bowie State
#2 Winston Salem vs. #7 East Stroudsburg
#3 IUP vs. #6 Slippery Rock
#4 Fairmont State vs. #5 Livingstone

I think Alderson-Broaddus might sneak into the #7 slot ahead of East Stroudsburg who hasn't beaten a team with a winning record since March 6 (vs. 14-12 Cheyney). The Warriors are 2-4 in their last 6 games with their only Ws at home vs. 8-19 Bloom and 10-18 Mansfield.

When the men's and women's brackets are official, I'll post them here. Go Knights!

Updated 3/10/13 10:16 PM: The Hammermill will be rocking this weekend -- the Gannon women will host the Atlantic Region NCAA tournament. Here are the brackets:

#8 Fairmont State (23-9) at #1 Gannon (28-4)
#5 Bloomsburg (24-5) vs. #4 IUP (22-8)
#3 Shaw (25-4) vs. #6 Glenville State (26-3)
#2 Edinboro (22-6) vs. #7 California (20-8)

Updated 3/10/13 10:40 PM: Gannon's season is officially over. Despite a 22-7 record, the Knights were not selected for the NCAA tournament this season. Kind of makes you extra ill to see Franklin Pierce be the #1 seed in the East Region at 21-8 and the 18-11 Arkansas Tech Wonderboys get at at-large bid in the Central Region. Here is the bracket for the Atlantic Regional which will be held at West Liberty:

#8 Bowie State (16-13) at #1 West Liberty (30-1)
#5 Livingstone (22-6) vs. #4 Fairmont State (22-8)
#3 IUP (24-5) vs. #6 East Stroudsburg (22-6)
#2 Winston-Salem State (21-6) vs. #7 Slippery Rock (22-8)


  1. Here is what I think for the Men's Bracket:

    1. West Liberty vs 8. Bowie State
    2. Winston Salem vs. 7. Alderson-Broaddus
    3. IUP vs 6. East Stroudsburg
    4. Fairmont State vs. 5. Livingstone

    I got a feeling that SRU is still going to miss the NCAA's. Just call me nuts.

    The Women's side, unless there is some crazy NCAA crap that happens, Gannon is going to be the host with the breakdown below

    1. Gannon vs 8. Fairmont State
    2. Edinboro vs. 7. Cal U
    3. Shaw vs. 6. Glenville State (Matchup to see in the 1st round)
    4. Bloomsburg vs. 5. IUP

    I believe the 1, 2, 7 & 8 seeds are going to be right. 3 thru 6 I can see shake up almost any number of ways.

  2. Almost time ...

    EWensel ... wouldn't put any kind of crazy crap past the NCAA.

  3. Hmmm...a bit high of a seeding perhaps, for East Stroudsburg....could there be a sliver of a chance that they get bumped completely in favor of........???, don't want to jinx what little, uh, ummmm, never mind, we'll just wait......!!!!

    ( A super high scoring #1 seed versus the #3 defensive team in the nation???.....that brings fans!!!!!)

    All I'm gonna say is stranger things have happened...

  4. HOSTING!!!!

    EWensel ... nice try, but you messed up the 4 & 5 seeds. FAIL. :-) Just kidding ... nice job!

  5. Bracket worked out well ... If we make it that far (with emphasis on the IF) ... I'm glad that we won't have to play both Edinboro and Shaw.

    Fairmont will be tough enough ... If we get by them, Bloom / IUP will be very, very tough. Recall that Bloom pretty much had us best in January ... I thought they gave the game to us.

    Having Edinboro there will also help atmosphere ...

    The fourth year in a row that the Atlantic Regional will be held in Erie County. And the fifth straight year of NCAA D-2 basketball in Erie County.

    And we're guaranteed a sixth in 2014 with the D-2 women's Elite 8 at Erie Insurance Arena!

    1. I know, I did such a bad job on the seedings. LOL.

      All of the games are going to be tough, no easy games. The 2nd round matchup, if we get there, will be very difficult. The Hammermill should be electric for the Regional.

      And I will take one positive with the Women losing last night. After every loss that they have had this season, they have won at least 6-7 games in a row after that.

    2. I'll take a six game winning streak right now.

  6. Meant to say that Bloom had us beat.

  7. Just for fun, I thought I'd count all the teams with seven losses that made the NCAA's by region:

    Northeast (6), S. Central (7), Central (7), Atlantic (3), South (5), Midwest (7), Southeast (8).

    That's 46 of the 64 teams chosen that have 7 or more losses.

    I am not saying that Gannon deserved a bid over any of the eight teams in the Atlantic region ... at least one or two teams that did not get in deserved it over us ...

    It just shows how tough it is to make the NCAA's in the Atlantic Region. There are 44 teams in our region. It's one of the biggest, if not the biggest region. Some regions have 28-32 teams.

  8. Whoops ... forgot about the West ... they had 4 teams. And Southeast have 7, not 8. Sorry.

  9. Brutal set of numbers, Golden.

  10. Conversly, Golden (or, anyone else), wonderin' how many 22 win teams are staying home?..

    If nobody has it handy, I'll click around tonite and drown in a beer.

    1. Click around tonight ... I won't have time to look.

  11. Pulling for the Lady Knights big-time and hoping for a repeat of 2010. Looking forward to the excitement this weekend. There's nothing like playoff basketball.

    For the sake of discussion, however, it seems to me they were playing a lot better last year at this point in the season than they are now, in my opinion. I can't put a finger on why that is.

    They lost one player whose major contribution was her outside shooting ability and one who didn't play much, everyone else is back and theoretically better, with another year of experience under their belts, and they have added several promising new players. Yet, they don't seem to be getting many easy shots out of their offensive sets and end up forcing a lot of shots with the shot clock running out, then they seem to miss a lot of easy shots when they do get them. They give up a few too many easy baskets on defense. I don't see the same confidence or consistent intensity that I noticed last year. Some have speculated that some players (Papich comes to mind) are playing through injuries, so that's a possible factor.

    Other than that, I can't come up with an explanation. Anyone else have a theory? Am I seeing something that isn't there?


    1. See, I believe that the GU Women are playing MUCH better as of late than they did around this time last season, minus the game on Saturday. Heading into the NCAA's last year, GU was coming off of two straight losses to IUP, where as this go around they have won 7 in a row before the Bloomsburg loss, which included wins against Edinboro, Cal and Millersville.

      I feel like the inside game with Nettie is much more developed than it was all of last season, and we have Brittany Batts who has been on a hot streak shooting.

      I think perhaps the team last year may have played more consistent during the season, where as this time as times during a game has an 8-10 minute stretch that makes you wonder.

      I think that with this team now, we can make a deep run in the NCAA's. Last year, they made it about as far as that time was capable of in my view.

    2. Your question made me wonder. I checked the team stats for last year vs. this year. I compared the 12-13 team to the 11-12 team (and just for fun, the 09-10 team -- the gold standard)

      All figures are 2013, then 2012, then 2010
      Points per game 70.6, 71.0, 79.4
      Opp points 59.5, 58.3, 59.4
      FG %: 44.3, 43.6, 47.3
      Opp FG% 38.5, 38.8, 36.9
      FTs made: 12.9, 13.8, 13.0
      Rebound margin: +7.5, +1.9, +8.8
      Turnovers: 19.0, 16.8, 15.9
      Opp TO's: 20.1, 20.6, 18.4
      Threes per game: 7.3, 6.6, 7.9

      My takeaways:
      The 2012-13 team turns the ball quite a bit more ... two TOs per game is huge. But they are more efficient ... better FG% and MUCH better under the boards (the Nettie effect)
      They also make a little under one three-pointer per game ... the Batts effect.
      Overall ... this team is a little better than last year ... the rebounding is the difference ... we don't have to shoot as high a percentage because we get more rebounds.

      My other takeaway ... Wow, the 2009-10 team was unbelievable ... in every phase of the game.

      This will be a tough regional to win ... We have to get by Fairmont State first. IF that happens, we need to control turnovers vs. teams like Bloom or Boro and / or handle Shaw's incredible inside game and championship experience. And there's also IUP and Glenville State. Whew.

      Regardless, it will be fun to watch!

    3. The only stat that is a concern is the TO per game stat going up by over 2 per game compared to last year. That being said, the rebounding game has been MUCH better this season as the stats shows. Also an underrated player on the rebounds is Jennie Thies, who does a very good job of getting both offensive and defensive rebounds.

      Every team has a very difficult road to get thru the regional. Shaw may have the biggest question mark of a team in Glenville State. How good is that team? We will see on Friday, Glenville State vs Shaw is going to be a gem I believe.

    4. I am firmly in your camp with Glenville State / Shaw as the game of the first round. Glenville leads the country with 95 points per game (almost 14 points above second) and is fourth in scoring margin (+18.6) and sixth in turnover margin (6.6). They are tenth from the bottom in scoring defense (76 ppg). What else do you expect from the wild, wacky, WVIAC?

      Shaw is the defending champion and leads the country in rebound margin (+13.8), fourth in scoring offense (78.6), but is 23rd from the bottom in turnovers (22.0).

      Get there at noon for that one. Less than 72 hours to go!!

    5. It is just going to be interesting to see how those teams match up against each other. I am also quite happy that one of those teams will be GONE after the 1st round as well.

      I'll be there at 12 for it, I feel like a genius now for taking this coming Friday off of work. Is 12 too early to wear the Gannon facepaint?

  12. The Lady Knights are undefeated at home this year (15-0) & are (13-4) on the road.

    1. And Fairmont State is 6-6 on the road this year.

  13. We need to get wild and crazy out there to support our gals. There are no pushovers and we need to give them all the psyche help we can. See you there.

  14. I agree ... this regional feels wide-open. I would not be shocked if any one of the top six teams wins the regional and advances to the Elite Eight. That's what makes this so entertaining.

    It's much different from 2010 when GU was heavily favored and only Cal was a possibility that could knock them off. I suppose that Gannon has to be the favorite playing at home, but anyone can beat anyone at this level.

    More than ever the old adage applies ... one game at a time, survive and advance. Beat Fairmont and worry about the next opponent if and when it happens.

  15. Wouldn't it be nice if Reilly and his staff of crack assistants showed up to support the girls. Better not hold your breath because he never shows any support for the Lady Knights.

  16. To be fair, Reilly is usually preparing for a game when the women's team is playing as most games are doubleheaders. I am sure that Cleve's attendance at men's games would plummet if his team played second.

  17. I heard part of Coach Reilly's season finale interview with Jim LeCorchick this week, and he talked about the two full-time assistants being in the middle of the country recruiting. And I know Riles is on the recruiting trail as well because I ran into a Notre Dame (OH) assistant coach while I was in Cleveland last week, and he said he had just talked with Coach Reilly yesterday at a basketball game.

    If I had to choose between Reilly and his staff replacing their 6 seniors or holding pom-poms at the weekend's games, I choose recruiting.

  18. I feel like Reilly is a great recruiter and always brings in players who can play and that's great, bbut he also seems to let those kids get away. But what I think this team really needs is someone who can slash to the basket and draw a foul or take it strong and get a layup. Also we're gona need another spot up shooter, and maybe a exact replica of darell Blanton that is three inches taller is out there for GU to pick up.

  19. Jim: What else did he say? Is it available to view like with the other weekly interviews?

    mmcoy: We have a slasher in Jabs but really the offensive sets are not designed for slashing.

    1. I haven't seen it online yet. I'll keep looking.

  20. The men's coaching staff has been in 4 states recruiting during the last week.

    1. I've been in two states since the end of the season: State of Denial and State of Despair.

  21. Reason number 164 to be excited for the Atlantic Regional: Glenville State is coached by someone named Bunky Harkleroad.

    Actually, I may remove Glenville from the teams that can win three games ... they lost by 47 to Cal earlier this year. Not sure if they can string together three wins against quality competition.

    1. You must jinxed Gannon, Golden89! Bunky Harkleroad's team fired in an incredible 21 3pointers on their way to 111 points and an easy win over defending regional and national champ Shaw. Gannon will have their hands full. If they lose, it's all your fault!

  22. Interesting stat from the Atlantic Regional:

    Edinboro's Kiara Brown is 10-0 in Edinboro / Cal games. She played for Cal in her freshman year and swept the Fighting Scots. She then transferred to Boro and she is 8-0 against the Vulcans. She's favored to make is 11-0 on Friday afternoon.

  23. Totally random note - we moaned and groaned most of the season about the men's turnovers...

    In first half against Louisville, Villanova has 18 TO's. and only down by 9. Geesh! I feel like I'm watching a Gannon men's game this season. Tons of TOs and awesome defense!

  24. I noticed in the Dll final eight seven number 1 seeds and one number 2 made it. This has to be an aberation because of the 118 players on the combined rosters 87 were recruited as freshmen and 31 are transfers. West Liberty's roster is 14 freshmen and one transfer recruit. South Carolina Aiken is at the other end with 7 freshmen and 8 transfers. The others are 2,3,4 transfers per roster. I say aberation because we know you cannot build a winning team with freshmen.