March 2nd, 2011Sully’s Court: The sky is falling in Provo
The sky is falling in Provo: Yikes, what an incredible reaction BYU had to the dismissal of its best inside player Brandon Davies because he violated the school’s honor code. I stayed up and watched the horror show unfold in Provo Wednesday night as the Cougars lost to New Mexico 82-64. I think the absence of Davies had more of mental effect on the Cougars although they did get outrebounded 45-29. New Mexico has beaten BYU twice and you could argue it’s just a bad matchup for the Cougars. You could also argue that is was fluky because New Mexico hit 9 of 20 three-point shots. When they forged a big lead in the first half, it seemed like they couldn’t miss. Still, the Cougars seemed to be pressing especially Jimmer Fredette and Jackson Emery. They shot way too many three-pointers and didn’t make enough. Fredette scored 33 but did not play well. It could be they just need to adjust so the situation bears watching. Bracketbusting: Teams that didn’t help themselves Wednesday night, Memphis losing to East Carolina 68-57; Mississippi losing to Auburn 76-73; Maryland losing to Miami 80-66; Colorado losing to Iowa State 95-90; Minnesota losing to Northwestern 68-57.
A look a the conference tournaments which begin Friday:
Colonial Athletic Association All games in Richmond, final is Monday Favorite: George Mason, the Patriots are on a 15-game winning streak and we’ll probably get an NCAA invite even if they don’t win the tournament. It’s not a lock, there are plenty of other contenders but Mason has separated itself this season. Contenders: Old Dominion wins with great defense and would love to get Mason in a low-scoring game; Drexel plays a similar game and if the Dragons get enough offense, they could surprise. VCU, the league’s old-reliable, is playing in its hometown although not on its actual homecourt. Longshot: James Madison, one of my favorite wacky teams, has lots of talent and is capable of stringing together enough good games. Prediction: George Mason
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All games in Bridgeport, Conn., final is Monday Favorite: Fairfield, former Al Skinner assistant Ed Cooley has the best team in the league and the home court, that’s going to be tough to beat. Contenders: Iona will be a tough out with its sawed-off big man Mike Glover; Rider is well-coached and has won 10 of its last 12. Longshot: Siena, things have slipped for the Saints but they still have one of the best players in the league in center Ryan Rossiter. Prediction: Iona Southern Conference All games in Chattanooga, Tenn.; final is Monday Favorite: College of Charleston is coached by former Georgia Tech coach Bobby Cremins and they finished the regular-season on a flat note with two losses but they still one of the best players you’ve never seen in guard Andrew Goudelock. Contenders: Wofford won this last year and although the Terriers have been inconsistent, they’re a threat to do it again. Chattanooga holds the homecourt which makes them dangerous. Longshot: Davidson, always well-coached, the Wildcats could recapture some Stephen Curry magic. Prediction: College of Charleston West Coast Conference All games in Las Vegas, final is Monday Favorite: Saint Mary’s, the Gaels have slipped at the end of the season but they’re still the best team in the league and just have to revert to their better days. Contenders: Gonzaga just beat Saint Mary’s on their own court so the Zags have to be labeled a co-favorite and we’re probably looking at a rematch in the final. Portland has a bunch of shooters that could all get hot at the same time. Longshot: San Francisco was an after thought before the season but the Dons have really improved under coach Rex Walters. Prediction: Saint Mary’s