Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Brace Yourselves - Conference Tournament Weekend 2017

In the words of the great 21st century philosopher "The Joker".....Here. We. Go. The final week of the regular season, conference tournaments galore, and some bubble teams who are going to play their way in, play their way out, or just hope to get some help if they are already finished and on the bubble. Inside, you'll find your conference tournament central, with links to every single conference tournament in the country.

CIAA (May 3-6) - Tournament Page
Champion: Winston-Salem State (#7 A)

MEC (May 11-14) - Tournament Page
N1. Shepherd (#9 A)
S1. Concord
N2. West Liberty
S2. West Virginia Wesleyan
N3. Fairmont State
S3. Charleston

PSAC (May 10-13) - Tournament Page
E1. West Chester (#2 A)
W1. Mercyhurst (#1 A)
E2. Shippensburg (#5 A)
W2. Indiana (Pa.)
E3. Lock Haven (#6 A)
W3. Slippery Rock (#8 A)
E4. East Stroudsburg
W4. Seton Hill (#4 A)

The Atlantic is a seven-team regional tournament, and Winston-Salem has their ticket punched, while the winner of the MEC will most likely "steal" a spot, considering the top team in the conference is on the outside looking in right now. The PSAC will end up getting five in, so we'll see who comes out alive.

GAC (May 5-7 & 11-13) - Tournament Page
#1. Southern Arkansas (#4 C)
#2. Arkansas Tech (#7 C)
#3. Arkansas-Monticello
#4. Henderson State

MIAA (May 11-14) - Tournament Page
#1. Emporia State (#1 C)
#2. Missouri Western (#5 C)
#3. Lindenwood (#8 C)
#4. Central Missouri (#6 C)
#5. Central Oklahoma
#6. Southwest Baptist (#9 C)
#7. NW Missouri State (#10 C)
#8. Missouri Southern

NSIC (May 10-13) - Tournament Page
#1. Minnesota State (#2 C)
#2. Augustana
#3. St. Cloud State (#3 C)
#4. Wayne State (Neb.)
#5. Minot State
#6. Minnesota-Duluth
#7. Concordia-St. Paul
#8. Minnesota-Crookston

This is a crap-shoot all the way around. If anyone besides MSU or SCSU wins the NSIC Tournament, one at-large spot will disappear, as both those teams should make the regional along with the conference winner if it is not one of them. As part of an eight-team regional, there are plenty of spots up for grabs, with the GAC most likely getting one team in if someone besides SAU wins, and the remainder of the spots going to the MIAA.

CACC (May 6 & 11-13) - Tournament Page
#2. Wilmington
#4. Chestnut Hill
#6. Dominican
#8. Philadelphia U.

ECC (May 11-13) - Tournament Page
#1. St. Thomas Aquinas (#2 E)
#2. LIU Post (#8 E)
#3. Bridgeport
#4. Molloy

NE-10 (May 9 & 11-13) - Tournament Page
#1NE. Southern New Hampshire (#1 E)
#2NE. Franklin Pierce (#7 E)
#2SW. New Haven (#5 E)
#4SW. Pace (#9 E)

CACC is already going to steal one at-large bid, as the #3 team in the rankings, Felician, was already eliminated from the conference tournament but should at least get an at-large bid in the seven-team regional. That leaves the winner of the tournament to take another, leaving five more spots to fill. If someone besides STA wins the ECC, they'll steal another spot as STA should be comfortably in. That would leave three spots for a bevy of very qualified teams in the NE-10. SNHU being the only one guaranteed a spot, I think.

GLIAC (May 11-14) - Tournament Page
#1. Northwood (#1 MW)
#2. Wayne State (Mich.) (#3 MW)
#3. Tiffin
#4. Walsh (#8 MW)
#5. Grand Valley State (#10 MW)
#6. Hillsdale

GLVC (May 11-14) - Tournament Page
#1E. Southern Indiana (#2 MW)
#1W. Drury (#7 MW)
#2E. Bellarmine (#4 MW)
#2W. Quincy (#6 MW)
#3E. Illinois-Springfield (#9 MW)
#3W. Missouri S&T
#4E. St. Joseph's (Ind.) (#5 MW)
#4W. William Jewell

GMAC (May 10 & 12) - Tournament Page
#1. Trevecca Nazarene
#2. Malone
#3. Kentucky Wesleyan
#5. Ohio Valley

In this eight-team regional, we already know the GMAC will get the #8 seed with their conference tournament champion. That leaves seven spots to pick from, and something to watch here is Grand Valley State, which may be seeing its run of 15 straight regional tournament berths coming to an end if they can not make a run in the conference tournament, where I think they'll at least need to make it to the championship series. The only team with more consecutive regional tournament appearances right now is Tampa, which has made 17 straight regionals counting this year. The GLVC should get the majority of teams in to the tournament in this region, as only Northwood and Wayne State are guaranteed from the GLIAC as of now. It could very well be 1 GMAC, 2 GLIAC, and 5 GLVC teams in the regional if things play out as is.

GSC (May 6-9) - Tournament Page
Champion: Delta State (#1 S)

SIAC (May 4-7) - Tournament Page
Champion: Miles

SSC - No Conference Tournament
Champion: Tampa (#2 S)

This regional seems to pretty much already be set. Outside of some kind of jump in OWP or OOWP from other regions this weekend, this field should be ready to go, and it should look like Delta State, Tampa, Nova Southeastern, Florida Southern, Valdosta State, North Alabama, Miles, in the seven-team regional.

South Central
Heartland (May 11-13) - Tournament Page
#1. Lubbock Christian (#3 SC)
#2. Arkansas-Fort Smith (#6 SC)
#3. St. Mary's
#4. St. Edward's (#8 SC)

LSC (May 11-13) - Tournament Page
#1. Angelo State (#1 SC)
#2. Texas A&M-Kingsville (#5 SC)
#3. West Texas A&M (#4 SC)
#4. Cameron

RMAC (May 10-13) - Tournament Page
#1. Colorado Mesa (#2 SC)
#2. Colorado Mines
#3. Metro State
#4. Colorado State-Pueblo
#5. UC Colorado Springs
#6. Regis

The RMAC should fall in to the hands of Colorado Mesa if the regular season is any indication, but if someone else pulls an upset, they'll steal a regional spot. This is a six-team regional, and the LSC should get the three teams in that are already ranked. That would leave two spots for the Heartland, where St. Edward's or St. Mary's would have to win the whole thing to get in, most likely.

Conference Carolinas (Apr. 27-May 1) - Tournament Page
Champion: Mount Olive (#1 SE)

PBC (May 10-13) - Tournament Page
#1. North Georgia (#2 SE)
#2. USC Aiken (#3 SE)
#3. Georgia College (#9 SE)
#4. Columbus State
#5. UNC Pembroke (#5 SE)
#6. Flagler
#7. Lander
#8. Georgia Southwestern

SAC (Apr. 27-May 1) - Tournament Page
Champion: Lincoln Memorial (#8 SE)

Another region where most of the regional tournament field will be set, the Southeast pretty much comes down to the PBC. The top spot should stay under Mount Olive's control unless UNG is able to sweep and pass them. Lincoln Memorial should grab the #7 seed in the seven-team regional, leaving the PBC to battle it out for most likely three spots.

CCAA (May 10-13) - Tournament Page
#1. Chico State (#1 W)
#2. Cal State East Bay
#3. Cal State Monterey Bay
#4. UC San Diego (#4 W)
#5. Cal State San Bernardino
#6. Cal State Los Angeles

GNAC (May 10-12) - Tournament Page (No auto-bid)
#1. Western Oregon
#2. Central Washington
#3. Northwest Nazarene
#4. Montana State-Billings

PacWest - No Conference Tournament
Champion: Azusa Pacific (#2 W)

Azusa Pacific is already locked in to a spot for the regional tournament, most likely the #2 spot unless Chico State falters badly in the CCAA Tournament. Only six teams will be getting in, and with APU locked in and Chico a lock regardless of its tournament result, that leaves four more spots, one of which will go to Dixie State, and three more which will probably end up going to a pair of CCAA teams and maybe one more PacWest team.

Here is what the most recent regional rankings list from the NCAA looks like, released May 10th:

1. Mercyhurst
2. West Chester
3. Millersville
4. Seton Hill
5. Shippensburg
6. Lock Haven
7. Winston-Salem
8. Slippery Rock
9. Shepherd

1. Emporia State
2. Minnesota State
3. St. Cloud State
4. Southern Arkansas
5. Missouri Western
6. Central Missouri
7. Arkansas Tech
8. Lindenwood
9. Southwest Baptist
10. NW Missouri State

1. Southern New Hampshire
2. St. Thomas Aquinas
3. Felician
4. Southern Connecticut State
5. New Haven
6. Le Moyne
7. Franklin Pierce
8. LIU Post
9. Pace

1. Northwood
2. Southern Indiana
3. Wayne State (Mich.)
4. Bellarmine
5. St. Joseph's (Ind.)
6. Quincy
7. Drury
8. Walsh
9. Illinois-Springfield
10. Grand Valley State

1. Delta State
2. Tampa
3. Nova Southeastern
4. Florida Southern
5. Valdosta State
6. North Alabama
7. West Albama
8. Union (Tenn.)
9. Florida Tech

South Central
1. Angelo State
2. Colorado Mesa
3. Lubbock Christian
4. West Texas A&M
5. Texas A&M-Kingsville
6. Arkansas-Fort Smith
7. Tarleton State
8. St. Edward's

1. Mount Olive
2. North Georgia
3. USC Aiken
4. Catawba
5. UNC Pembroke
6. North Greenville
7. Belmont Abbey
8. Lincoln Memorial
9. Georgia College

1. Chico State
2. Azusa Pacific
3. Dixie State
4. UC San Diego
5. Stanislaus State
6. California Baptist
7. Cal Poly Pomona
8. Point Loma

And here is how the most recent Division II Top 25 sits as of this week. No individual team recaps this week, as we covered pretty much everyone up above with the conference tournament previews, but we have pointed out who the teams not competing in conference tournaments this weekend are facing:

1. Tampa (34-12, 17-4 SSC, #2 S): The Spartans will take their SSC victory lap with three games at home against Rollins to end the regular season.
2. North Georgia (41-8, 19-5 PBC, #2 SE)
3. Chico State (42-8, 34-4 CCAA, #1 W)
4. Emporia State (40-9, 29-6 MIAA, #1 C)
5. Mercyhurst (35-4, 21-3 PSAC, #1 A)
6. USC Aiken (39-11, 17-7 PBC, #3 SE)
7. Colorado Mesa (40-10, 32-4 RMAC, #2 SC)
8. Dixie State (37-12-1, 26-9-1 PacWest, #3 W): Season complete, awaiting regional seeding.
9. Lubbock Christian (36-12, 19-5 Heartland, #3 SC)
10. Mount Olive (47-8, 25-2 Conf. Carolinas, #1 SE): Season complete, awaiting regional seeding.
11. Angelo State (39-11, 17-6 LSC, #1 SC)
12. Azusa Pacific (40-10, 27-9 PacWest, #2 W): Season complete, awaiting regional seeding after winning the PacWest regular season title for an auto-bid.
13. Nova Southeastern (33-16, 16-8 SSC, #3 S): Season complete, awaiting regional seeding.
14. Delta State (41-11, 25-8 GSC, #1 S)
15. Minnesota State (41-9, 35-5 NSIC, #2 C)
16. Southern Arkansas (38-12, 28-5 GAC, #4 C)
17. West Chester (33-9, 22-6 PSAC, #2 A)
18. Florida Southern (33-13, 11-10 SSC, #4 S): The Mocs will finish up the regular season with three games on the road at Saint Leo, hoping to nail down a regional spot.
19. UC San Diego (32-15, 24-13 CCAA, #4 W)
20. Georgia College (32-13, 16-8 PBC, #9 SE): Season complete, awaiting regional seeding, although they are currently on the outside looking in.
21. Southern New Hampshire (40-7, 25-2 NE-10, #1 E)
22. Northwood (39-11, 26-6 GLIAC, #1 MW)
23. Belmont Abbey (35-17, 19-8 Conf. Carolinas, #7 SE): Season complete, awaiting regional seeding, where they are smack dab on the bubble.
24. Lincoln Memorial (33-17, 18-6 SAC, #8 SE): Season complete, won the SAC Tournament and will have a spot in the regional field.
25. California Baptist (34-16, 25-11 PacWest, #6 W): Season complete, awaiting regional seeding, where they are on the bubble.

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