11/10/2012 11:17 PM (edited)

The mid-season analysis of how each conference sits right now for post-season berths. The first number is the number of teams ranked 1-64, the second number are the additional teams in the 65-96 range of the current projection report. For the first time since I started doing this, the GNE does NOT project to the most national tournament berths. That honor goes to the University with 7...GNE and ASC have 5 each currently. 

ASC — 5/1
Capital — 2/0
Centennial — 2/1
CUNY — None (highest team rated 156)
CCIW — 3/0
Coast — 2/1
Commonwealth — 3/0
Empire — 2/2
Freedom — 0/2
GNE — 5/2
Heartland — 3/1
Iowa — 2/2
Little East — 2/0
Michigan — 2/2
Midwest — 0/1
Minnesota — 0/1
NESCAC — 2/1
New Jersey — 0/2
N. Atlantic — 0/1
NCAC — 2/2
Northwest — 2/1
Ohio — 3/0
ODAC — 2/0
Penn — 1/1
Skyline — 3/1
So. Cal. — 4/0
St. Louis — 1/2
SUNY — None (highest rated is 136)
University — 7/1
Upstate — 0/3
USA South — 4/0
Wisconsin — 0/1

11/11/2012 1:48 AM
Game of the night recap
John Carroll 71, Capital 58

John Carroll showed why they are a top 10 squad with a comfortable home victory over Capital.  A 14-2 run late in the first half put John Carroll in the driver's seat, and Capital was unable to mount a comeback in the second half.  Reserve shooting guard Edward Garling--already averaging an impressive 18 points per game off the bench--led the way with 24 points on 8 of 15 shooting (all from three-point land).

Game of the night
Westminster (PA) at #4 Defiance

Several games between ranked squads are on tap tonight (#2 Rivier at #22 Newbury; #24 Austin at #3 Howard Payne; #7 Colorado at #11 CSU, East Bay), but Westminster's trip to Defiance, Ohio is the game of the night.  This could be the last major regular season hurdle for coach carl3298's defending national champions, who are still trying to keep their record unblemished.  In fact, their last loss was to Hardin-Simmons in the sweet 16 round of the national tournament two seasons ago.


11/11/2012 8:06 PM
Another big one tonight is #5 J&W hosting #9 Emerson.  Both teams have RPIs in the teens, but are a combined 27-1.  Vegas has it as a pickem, hopefully will be a good one!
11/12/2012 4:11 AM
A little belated write-up this time around; my daughter's birthday is this weekend and the festivities have kept me from being online much--I barely had time to gameplan, much less continue filling in for rednu.  But anyway, here goes...

Game of the night recap 1
#4 Defiance 85, Westminster (PA) 70

Westminster kept it close for three quarters of a tough road matchup at Defiance...a four-point deficit at halftime had been cut to three with 9 and a half minutes to go.  However, the visitors could never quite get over the hump to tie it up or take the lead, and Defiance pulled away over the final ten minutes to pick up a not-quite-as-comfortable-as-it-appears 15-point victory.  Coach nm1brownsfan's squad has to hope that they meet up with Defiance again in the conference tourney to try to reverse the outcome.  Frontcourt mates Ben Mitchell and Werner Baccus led the way for the victors with 20 and 18 points, respectively, and Defiance looks like it has a relatively smooth road to an undefeated regular season.

Game of the night recap 2 (going with spasticity's recommendation of a game to follow)
#5 Johnson & Wales 86, #9 Emerson 75

In the only matchup of ranked teams on the night, spasticity's Johnson & Wales squad stays in the ranks of the undefeated on the year by holding off a resilient Emerson squad.  Coach nickjyd has done a great job in his first year at the helm of Emerson, with two wins over ranked teams so far and by keeping his Bostonians in the top 10.  However, several mini-runs in the second half couldn't make up the deficit against a determined Johnson & Wales.  The three guards in the starting lineup for the hosts--Allen Woods, Roy Black, and Travis Fuson--each scored between 14 and 16 points; combined with a double-figure night for top reserve guard Eric Pabst, this strong backcourt play was too much for an Emerson lineup whose top three scorers were also guards.

Johnson & Wales is now one of only eight unbeaten teams left in Division III; a matchup with jack_duck's top-ranked Rivier squad is on tap in two days, where that undefeated status will be greatly tested--assuming spasticity's boys don't overlook their road tilt at Norwich first.

Game of the night
#25 University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth at East Connecticut State University.

No games between ranked squads are on the docket tonight, and the only game with less than a 9-point spread is this "pick-em" matchup out of the Little East Conference between cjones4mvp's ECSU squad and that of docwooden's UMass, Darthmouth team.  These two third-year coaches are each riding at least a ten-game winning streak, and docwooden's Massachusetts boys are in fact also one of the remaining undefeated squads at 16-0.  Both teams are currently projected as bubble squads, however, and a marquee win or two will be crucial for both coaches, who will have to overcome a weak conference to merit NT at-large bid consideration.  The return matchup in North Dartmouth will take place early next week, and with the overall Little East RPI ranked 30th out of 32 D3 conferences, a loser of one or both games between these two squads may have to rely on winning the conference tourney to ensure a national tournament bid.
11/13/2012 10:57 AM
Big showdown tonight in the Evil Empire as #2 ranked 16-1 Rivier hosts the #5 ranked 16-0 Wildcats from JDub.  Vegas has Rivier by 1.

Looking at the matchup, Rivier has a pretty solid edge in Rebounding and more scoring depth with their Motion offense.  J&W has significant edges in Ath/Spd/Def, so hopefully that will pull us through.  The 2 teams are fairly similar looking at the stats.  Both teams shoot around 50% overall and 45% from deep.  You can see the difference in Reb clearly, as Rivier averages about +6 with J&W at -1.  J&W does force more TOs and has a better foul differential due to the Ath/Spd/Def. 

A caveat to all of that is Rivier has played a much tougher schedule.  J&W has played a few tough games, but also had some complete pushovers where I apparently forgot to schedule a game (I would never schedule a 300+ RPI on purpose).  Rivier has played very good teams night in and night out and won comfortably nearly every time.

One injury note is super soph Jay Bird is only at 86% for tonight.  He'll be starting down low anyway, but that won't exactly help the Reb situation.
11/13/2012 8:39 PM
Game of the night recap
#25 UMass, Dartmouth 69, E. Connecticut St. 54

An almost wire-to-wire win for still-undefeated UMass, Dartmouth, though not without a bit of a scare in the second half.  A 2-0 lead in the first minute turned out to be the only lead for coach cjones4mvp and East Connecticut St. on their home floor in Willimantic.  A suffocating defense fueled the visitors as they went on an extensive run to open a 26-4 lead halfway through the opening stanza.  Although the home team was able to conjure up a bit of a run of their own and close the deficit to just two points a few minutes into the second half, they were never able to tie the score and coach docwooden's squad opened up the lead on route to a comfortable 15-point win.  Richard Ross led the way for the victors with 17 points, and major contributions also came from Justin Pigford's 13 rebounds and Michael Mayfield's 10-point, 8-board effort off the bench.  The real key for Dartmouth was their vaunted defense, which held the boys from Connecticut under 36% shooting, including a paltry 3 for 17 from long range, and only a 4 for 16 effort from the ECSU bench.  Thomas Sharp's 14 led the effort for the vanquished squad, and in fact was the home team's only player in double figures.

Game of the night
#5 Johnson & Wales at #2 Rivier

The obvious choice, and already introduced by spasticity.  The two last undefeated teams in GNE conference play battle it out for early conference bragging rights.

Another big matchup tonight sees brianxavier's #7 Millsaps team visiting coach ironman2011's #26 Southwestern squad in a matchup of two likely national-tournament bound teams.
11/15/2012 2:02 AM
Game of the night recap
#2 Rivier 68, #5 Johnson & Wales 58

In this matchup between Great Northeast Conference powerhouses and perennial national title contendors, Rivier pulls away from Johnson & Wales in the second half, turning a four-point halftime deficit into a ten-point win, and handing J&W their first loss of the season.  William Nadeau and Harold Smith led the way for the victors with 17 and 12 points, respectively, but it was truly a team effort for coach jack_duck's squad, with all 11 players on the active roster playing between 16 and 22 minutes over the course of the game.

Rotating in fresh players was obviously a key with the two high-quality squads each running the press, and it was especially important against the vaunted J&W defense that has been constructed by coach spasticity; Rivier was able to shoot 42% from the floor and only committed 15 turnovers on the game, while Johnson & Wales only registered four steals (six less than their season average).  Rivier put on an impressive defensive show of their own, holding the visitors from Providence to 37% shooting, and less than 30% as a team with Travis Fuson's 5 for 5 effort taken away.  Fuson and fellow starting guard Roy Black led the way for J&W with 14 points apiece.

Bonus recap: #26 Southwestern 73, #7 Millsaps 58

Southwestern scores five quick points at the start of the second half to almost double their 6-point halftime lead, and Millsaps never is able to get the gap below five points the rest of the way in this minor upset on Southwestern's home court in Georgetown, Texas.  Jess Wright led Southwestern with a season-high 19 points on 9 of 13 shooting, while Jack Garrett's 12 and reserve Dennis Bryant's 11 led brianxavier's Millsaps squad.

Game of the night
Centenary at #19 U.S. Merchant Marines

Coach pdub5813 and Centenary travel to Kings Point, New York, for a tough matchup versus the Merchant Marines Academy.  The Merchant Marines are thus far undefeated in Skyline Conference play, and coach lynchmob1414 has never lost to Centenary coach pdub5813 in four previous meetings.  Centenary is currently on the national tourney bubble, and a strong road win would boost their tourney hopes considerably.
11/15/2012 4:33 PM
This is fantastic. Thanks for doing this.
11/15/2012 4:50 PM
Posted by artie40 on 11/15/2012 4:33:00 PM (view original):
This is fantastic. Thanks for doing this.
Thanks, artie, but I'm just filling in for rednu.  Hopefully he'll get back into the swing of things soon and reclaim this thread, since I've been barely managing to get some of the writeups posted (note the time of day when some of my recaps are appearing--I can sometimes only work on them after my wife and kids are asleep, and then only after my gameplanning is done).
11/15/2012 5:27 PM
Game of the night recap
#19 U.S. Merchant Marine 66, Centenary 55

A tight Skyline Conference matchup saw the U.S. Merchant Marines come out on top in a back and forth contest versus Centenary.  The game was tight throughout, with neither squad opening up more than a four-point lead until midway through the second half, when an Omar Spears jumper put Centenary on top 44-38.  From there, though, it was all USMMA, who closed the game on a 28-11 run in front of a rollicking home crowd.

Michael Cavanaugh's 14 points led the way for a balanced attack by the victors, while Centenary's Charles Brooks was the game's top scorer with 16 points.  The opposing teams were pretty evenly matched on the stat sheet--with similar numbers in shooting percentages (the squads combined to miss only three free throws), rebounds, steals, etc.  The near-50% shooting (7-of-15) from 3-point land for Centenary--as opposed to 30% (6-of-20) for USMMA--ended up being offset by the turnover differential between the two teams.  Although each squad totaled six steals, the Merchant Marines' press forced 16 turnovers versus only 7 that their offense gave up; this led to a difference of 16 in field goal attempts (60 vs. 44), which played a large measure in dictating the final outcome.

Game of the night
#14 Susquehanna (17-2) at #13 Penn St., Altoona (15-3)

To the once-dominant Centennial Conference for tonight's matchup.  Two-time national champ zeuspole's Susquehanna travels across state to meet Penn State, Altoona, whose coach frankgrimes1 likewise has a national title on his own resume.  Susquehanna has been installed as a surprising one-point favorite on the road, even though frankgrimes1 has dominated zeuspole in their previous meetings, winning 29 of their 42 head-to-head matchups.  A return matchup will take place on the Susquehanna campus in Selinsgrove in just two days, and while both squads are seemingly national tournament-bound, a high NT seed will likely await whichever team can take the season series.  On the other hand, if a series split is in the works, then bragging rights for season 62 might have to be settled in the conference tourney at season's end.

The real question with this matchup is: who will former LaRoche coach wiz3421 be rooting for; the long-time rival of both zeuspole and (of more recent vintage) frankgrimes has been surprisingly silent on the matter thus far.  His silence--and his absence in general--has perhaps made the conference a bit less newsworthy of late; certainly the CC Coaches Corner has been a more peaceful--and much less interesting place--since his departure 10 seasons ago.
11/15/2012 5:41 PM
Posted by theriddler on 11/15/2012 4:50:00 PM (view original):
Posted by artie40 on 11/15/2012 4:33:00 PM (view original):
This is fantastic. Thanks for doing this.
Thanks, artie, but I'm just filling in for rednu.  Hopefully he'll get back into the swing of things soon and reclaim this thread, since I've been barely managing to get some of the writeups posted (note the time of day when some of my recaps are appearing--I can sometimes only work on them after my wife and kids are asleep, and then only after my gameplanning is done).
And doing fine work at it riddler. I was surprised and happy to see my name as my conferences favorite for this season...the first time I've been noted in one of these forums. Though I am the only human in my conference, i'm happy to get some recognition nonetheless.
11/15/2012 10:49 PM
"The real question with this matchup is: who will former LaRoche coach wiz3421 be rooting for; the long-time rival of both zeuspole and (of more recent vintage) frankgrimes has been surprisingly silent on the matter thus far. His silence--and his absence in general--has perhaps made the conference a bit less newsworthy of late; certainly the CC Coaches Corner has been a more peaceful--and much less interesting place--since his departure 10 seasons ago."

THIS IS HILARIOUS.  I used to read those back and forths on their board sometimes. 
11/16/2012 12:36 AM
Posted by theriddler on 11/15/2012 4:50:00 PM (view original):
Posted by artie40 on 11/15/2012 4:33:00 PM (view original):
This is fantastic. Thanks for doing this.
Thanks, artie, but I'm just filling in for rednu.  Hopefully he'll get back into the swing of things soon and reclaim this thread, since I've been barely managing to get some of the writeups posted (note the time of day when some of my recaps are appearing--I can sometimes only work on them after my wife and kids are asleep, and then only after my gameplanning is done).
I'll be back Sunday riddler, so if you post Saturday's game of the night, I can jump back in with the recap and stuff on Sunday morning, airport snafu's notwithstanding -- really appreciate the work you've been doing to keep it going!
11/16/2012 4:45 PM
Nice job Riddler, keep up the good work.
11/16/2012 6:14 PM
Game of the night recap
#13 Penn St. Altoona 82, #14 Susquehanna 68

Round one of the battle for supremacy in the Commonwealth Conference's South Division goes to Penn St. Altoona, who pulled away in the second half to hang a 14-point win on coach zeuspole's Susquehanna squad.  Altoona got off to a quick start in front of their home fans, scoring 12 of the first 13 points, only to watch the visitors slowly chip away through the rest of the first half, getting the deficit down to just one point before the first-half buzzer.  Neither team could pull away early in the second half, with the lead changing hands several times.  A Nathaniel Frederick 3-pointer with just over 11 minutes to go gave Penn St. Altoona a 49-46 lead that they would not relinquish, and over the next four minutes coach frankgrimes1's squad would open up a double digit lead and coast to a comfortable victory.  Jared Bolton and Alvin Webb led the way with 20 and 16 points, respectively, for Altoona, while Susquehanna was paced by reserve forward Levi Hamilton's 12 points.  Susquehanna will hope to turn the tables on their home floor when the teams meet again in just two nights.

Game of the night
Whitworth (13-7) at #22 Chapman (17-2)

The game of the night can be found in the Northwest Conference, as coach tim_buggie and Whitworth travel to Orange, California, to take on coach redsoxrootr1's 22nd-ranked Chapman College.  The top of the West Division of the Northwest Conference has been hotly contested all season, with the top four teams all having better records than George Fox, the current leader of the East Division.  Fourth-place Whitworth (7-3 in conference play) will try to tighten the division standings even more as they take on a Chapman squad that has yet to lose in conference play.  The teams met last weekend as Chapman escaped with an 80-77 road win on Robert Parra's 3-pointer at the buzzer.  Whitworth will try to reverse that outcome and improve their at-large national tourney chances at the same time; despite the similar RPI numbers for the two opponents (56 and 57 in Division 3), Chapman is very close to locking up a tourney bid, while Whitworth appears to be sitting squarely on the bubble.
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