Tuesday, February 27, 2007


While "March Madness" is still days away, there are some conference tourneys that kick-off in February and we are gonna give ya the lowdown on each and every one. And awaaayyyy we go:

We'll start off with the O' Reilly Auto Parts Ohio Valley Conference Basketball Championship. Now the Governors of Austin Peay are the regular season conference champions, making them the #1 seed and the early favorite to win the O'Reilly Auto Parts Ohio Valley Conference Basketball Championship. But let me tell you, this is tournament is wide open folks. After the Governors, the 2-5 seeds are very close together, and really the Govs are not that far ahead of the pack, and if you ask me The Govs could be in trouble. My darkhorse in this tourney is Samford. The Bulldogs have the #1 scoring defense and are a great free-throw shooting team, two big keys to winning championships. However you can't sleep on the Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech. The Golden Eagles boast the highest scoring offense in the conference, led by Belton Rivers (18.0 PPG), Anthony Fisher (17.3 PPG)and Amadi McKenzie (13.7 PPG). The quarterfinals should be dominated by the higher seeds with just the five seeded Samford edging out the fourth seeded Racers of Murray State. I think Samford will put up a good fight in the semis, but in the end will be taken down by the Governors. Then watch for a wild final coming down to Tennessee Tech and Austin Peay, with the Governors taking home the O'Reilly Auto Parts Ohio Valley Conference Basketball Championship Trophy. Next....

The Advance Auto Parts Big South Conference Championship. This one seems a little bit easier to predict. The Big South only has three teams with records above .500, with Coastal Carolina just barely making the list at 15-14. The Eagles of Winthrop led the way, going 14-0 in conference, with three guys who average double digits in points per game. But they have balance, with Michael Jenkins, Torrell Martin, and Craig Bradshaw all averaging about 15 points per conference game. However, the High Point Panthers did come close to beating them, but that was at High Point and the Advance Auto Parts Big South Championship Game will be played on the higher seeds court, which more or less means, if High Points has to face Winthrop for the Advance Auto Parts Big South Tournament Championship it'll have to be at Winthrop. If the Panthers are gonna do it they'll need a big game from Big South player of the year, Arizona Reid, who was the conference's # 2 scorer and top rebounder. I forsee no major upsets in this tournament. Look for Winthrop to be your Advance Auto Parts Big South Conference Tournament Champions. Our favorite player in the conference, Dusty Pflugner of the Virginia Military Institute Keydets will probably not be much of a factor. He's not very good, we just like his name. And now onto....

The Horizon League Tournament. (Nope, no sponsor in the title. Really!) Well of course it seems like a lock that the Butler Bulldogs, led by A.J. Graves will get in regardless of how they do in their conference tournament. Now, we wish Youngstown State had a shot, because their Penguin logo is just so darned cute, er, um, ah, something manly. The Wright State Raiders, led by Horizon League player of the year DeShaun Wood as well as the Loyola Ramblers and Horizon League 1st teamer Blake Schilb could pose some problems for the Bulldogs. Watch for some clever signs in the stands like "Wright State?! More like Wrong State!" But rest assured, the teams that come out of this conference to go dancing will be troublesome for those higher seeds as Butler, Wisconsin-Green Bay and Wisconsin-Milwaukee have all had recent tournament sucess. We actually think the Ramblers will beat Butler in the semis before falling to the eventual champs- Wright State. Also watch out for Youngstown State's Finnish Flash, Mikko Niemi. Mostly just for his hair. Certainly after the conference tournament there will be much more...on....the....Horizon.....for the tourney winner.

So there's your look at the first three conference tourneys. There's much more to come!

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