-Robert Morris 12-4
Long Island 10-6
St. Mary’s 9-7
-Sacred Heart 7-9
-St. Francis (
St. Francis (PA) 5-11
-Farleigh Dickinson 2-14
Things are certainly crazy all over the place, but things have a funny way of playing themselves out. Wagner and
Island played a classic on ESPNU Sunday night with Wagner pulling
out a last-second win, giving them the season sweep over the Blackbirds. Robert Morris and
Bryant will go head-to-head Thursday in Rhode
Island, which will likely determine the outright regular season NEC championship. Sacred Heart
and St. Francis Brooklyn will play each other in Brooklyn
the last game of the year to determine the last team in. Because I have no life, here is a team-by-team breakdown (referencing this page to help with
tiebreakers), starting with…
|Senior Russell Johnson has never been short on talent.|
Robert Morris: The colonials are fresh off a 43 point drumming of NEC bottom feeder FDU. The win in itself wasn’t impressive but there are some things I took away, like Velton Jones shooting jumpers. His right shoulder/pec has been bothering him a lot lately and you could tell in past games but not so much Saturday, where he dropped 20 and went 4-of-5 from three.
Velton told me in an interview after the game he feels like he’s at 85 percent, which is probably a little better than guard Karvel Anderson, who is battling a wrist injury and told me before the game Saturday he “only shoots when the team needs him too”, an obvious statement if you’ve watched his game of late. Lucky Jones and Russell Johnson continue their tremendous play and center Mike McFadden remains the teams most efficient offensive player with a 56.2 percent field goal percentage, good for seventh in the NEC.
Up next: The Colonials are sitting a game up on everybody but by no means have clinched a one seed. Robert Morris finishes things out on the road at Bryant Thursday and
Saturday, two teams RMU lost to to begin conference play at home. CCSU is fresh
off a big victory over Quinnipiac and have a very dangerous player in Kyle
Vinales, who dropped 34 in the teams last meetings. If RMU wins at Bryant
Thursday (and by the way, I think they do), the CCSU game will become
meaningless. Central Connecticut State
Possibilities: RMU gets the one seed with a win over Bryant./ OR a loss to Bryant, a win Saturday at Central Connecticut, and a Bryant loss to St. Francis (PA)
-The two seed with a 1-1 finish OR and 0-2 finish with Quinnipiac and
Long Island both going 1-1 AND
Wagner goes 2-0/ OR and 0-2 finish with Wagner and LIU both going 2-0.
-The three seed with and 0-2 finish AND a
Island and Wagner 2-0 finish and a Bryant loss to St. Francis
(PA)/ OR and 0-2 finish AND a Bryant, Wagner, and Quinnipiac 2-0 finish.
Bryant: The Bulldogs sit one game behind RMU and just dominated Sacred Heart 84-68 Monday's make-up game. Bryant is just 4-5 in the last month of basketball and you have to wonder if there are some tired legs for coach Tim O’Shea’s squad, who tends to only give significant minutes to seven guys. The trio of Frankie Dobbs, Dyami Starks, and Alex Francis still remain an especially lethal offensive threat but I’m worried that this is a squad that has never been in this situation before.
Up Next: As noted above, Thursday’s home game against Robert Morris will likely determine the NEC regular season champion and give that team home court throughout the NEC tournament. Saturday, Bryant will play St. Francis (PA) at home. The Possibilities are endless for Bryant, especially if Wagner gets upset in any of their games. I'm sure I've missed a few combinations here and if you see a glaring one leave a comment.
Possibilities: Bryant gets the one seed with home wins over Robert Morris and
Francis (PA)/ OR any combination of RMU, Bryant, Wagner, LIU/Quinnipiac being
12-6 would result in the one seed.
- The two seed with a win over Robert Morris but a loss to St. Francis of (PA) and a RMU win over CCSU AND 2-0 finishes from Wagner and Quinnipiac/ OR a loss to St. Francis (PA) and RMU win over CCSU AND a head-to-head tie over Wagner (meaning they go 2-0 and LIU and QU each lose a game) or head-to-head tie or Quinnipiac (meaning LIU and Wagner each lose a game).
-The three seed with a win over Robert Morris, a loss to St. Francis of (PA) and a RMU win over CCSU AND 2-0 finishes from Wagner and Quinipiac/ OR a win over Robert Morris, loss to St. Francis (PA) and RMU defeats CCSU AND Long Island wins out and Wagner finishes 1-1.
-The four seed with a 1-1 finish AND Wagner and LIU win-out.
-The five seed with losses to RMU and St. Francis (PA) AND Mount St. Mary’s, Wagner, and LIU goes 2-0, and Quinnipiac losses at least one game.
-The six seed with loses to RMU and St. Francis (PA) AND Mount St. Mary’s, Wagner, and Quinnipiac goes 2-0 and LIU goes 1-1.
Quinnipiac: Tom Moore has led his squad to a hot streak, making them winners of six of their last seven. The Bobcats are riding their huge front court and the health of point guard Dave Johnson, who gives QU a nice flow to their offense.
Up Next: Quinnipiac has maybe the toughest weekend of any NEC school, making a trip out to Brooklyn to play St. Francis Thursday and
Saturday. There’s a lot on the line, but with a little help, QU could
potentially be the NEC regular season runner-up.
Possibilities: -The two seed with a 2-0 finish AND Robert Morris losses to Bryant and
State/ OR a 2-0 finish AND Bryant
loses to Robert Morris/ OR a 2-0 finish AND Bryant goes 0-2/ OR a 2-0 finish
AND Bryant defeats Robert Morris and Robert Morris defeats Central Connecticut
*Reminder: Quinnipiac going 2-0 (thus 12-6 in conference) means
Long Island could at best finish 11-7*
-The three seed with a 2-0 finish AND Bryant finishes 2-0, Robert Morris 1-1, and Wagner either 2-0 or 1-1
- The four seed with a 1-1 finish AND Wagner and Mount
St. Mary’s finishes 1-1 and LIU finishes 2-0.
- The five seed a 1-1 finish AND both LIU and Mount
St. Mary’s finishes 2-0 and Wagner finishes 1-1/ OR the
same situation but Wagner and LIU switch roles.
-The six seed with a 1-1 finish AND Mount St. Mary’s and Wagner both go 2-0
|Wagner guard Kenny Ortiz finishes at the rim.|
Wagner: The Seahawks have gotten healthy and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Winners of seven of their last ten, they defeated
Island Sunday on a classic for a national audience to see. Latiff
Rivers is one of the best in the NEC at creating his own shot and while it has
been a long season for transfer Dwaun
Anderson, it seems like he’s finally starting to hit his groove and played a
vital role in their last win. Mario Moody and Jonathan Williams have also been playing solid basketball. Michigan
Up next: Wagner will finish the season with two very winnable games, at Monmouth and at a dreadful Fairleigh Dickinson squad, who may be without their best player Kinu Rochford.
Possibilities: -The two seed by going 2-0 AND Bryant going 0-2 and
Long Island going 2-0.
- The three seed by going 2-0 AND Bryant going 1-1 and Long Island going 2-0/ OR going 2-0 AND Bryant and Long Island going 2-0 and Robert Morris 1-1.
-The four seed by going 2-0 AND Bryant going 1-1 and Quinnipiac going 2-0/ OR going 2-0 AND Bryant and Quinnipiac going 2-0 and Robert Morris goes 1-1/ OR going 1-1 AND QU goes 1-1 and the Mount goes 2-0/ OR going 1-1 AND Long Island and Quinnipiac switch roles/ OR in a scenario where Bryant, Wagner, Long Island, and Mount St. Mary’s all finish 11-7
-The five seed by going 1-1 AND
Island goes 2-0 and Quinnipiac and Mount St. Mary’s 1-1.
Long Island, all things considered, has had a solid
season. The first two conference games they had suspensions to lots of key
players and just before the start of NEC lost Julian Boyd (last years NEC POY) to a torn ACL. In my opinion,
Jamal Olasewere is the clear-cut NEC player of the year and whenever you have
someone to the caliber of him on your team you have a chance to win an NEC
title. Justin Brickman is one of the best point guards in college basketball
and C.J. Garner is the gel that sticks the offense together, in my opinion.
Up Next: Two home games against a desperate Sacred Heart squad and a reeling Quinnipiac team. Both games are must-wins or LIU could very easily face the possibility of going on the road every round of the NEC tournament.
Possibilities* -The two seed by going 2-0 AND Bryant and Wagner going at best 1-1.
-The three seed by going 2-0 AND Wagner going 2-0 and Bryant going 0-2.
-The four seed by going 2-0 AND Wagner going 2-0 and Bryant going 2-0 or 1-1.
-The five seed by going 1-1 AND the Mount going 1-1 and QU and Wagner going 2-0/ OR going 1-1 AND Quinnipiac, Wagner, and Mount
St. Mary’s goes 2-0.
-The six seed by going 1-1 AND Quinnipiac goes 1-1 with a loss to St. Francis (
Brooklyn) and Mount St.
Mary’s goes 2-0/ OR by going 0-2 AND Quinnipiac and the Mount go at least 1-1/
OR by going 0-2 and the Mount goes 2-0.
*Assume all one-loss scenarios are to Quinnipiac and not Sacred Heart.
St. Mary’s: The Mount’s “Havoc” style of play is
perfect for this time of the year and it’s showing. No team wants to see 40
minutes of a full-court press defense… it’s exhausting. Sam Prescott’s offense
has been great as of late; he’s averaging over 30 points per game the last five
games and went for 44 against Bryant. You also have to like what junior guard
Rashad Whack has done this year:
Up Next: Winners of seven of their last eight, the Mount will hit the road with two very winnable games against the NEC bottom feeders-- at Monmouth and at Fairleigh Dickinson. A lot like Bryant, there are tons of different combinations. Please comment if there are glaring omissions
Possibilities: -The two seed with a 2-0 finish AND Bryant, Wagner, and LIU all finish 0-2 and Quinnipiac finishes 1-1
-The three seed with a 2-0 finish AND Bryant, Wagner, and Quinnipiac all go 0-2 and an LIU 1-1 finish.
-The four seed with a 2-0 finish AND Wagner goes 2-0, Bryant and Quinnipiac 1-1, and Long Island 0-2.
-The five seed with a 2-0 finish AND Bryant, Wagner, Quinnipiac, and Long Island all go 1-1.
-The seven seed with and 0-2 finish AND CCSU 2- finish.
|Kyle Vinales could be a first team all-NEC teamer.|
Up Next: CCSU will have two home games against St. Francis (PA) and Robert Morris. I’ll be interested to see how the colonials handle Saturday’s game if they win Thursday; CCSU could potentially see a lot of back-ups while Robert Morris rests some key guys.
-Possibilities: -The six seed by going 2-0 AND Mount St. Mary's goes 0-2.
-The seven seed by going 2-0 AND Mount St. Mary's goes 1-1.
-The eight seed by going 0-2 AND St. Francis (Brooklyn) or Sacred Heart go 2-0.
Sacred Heart: It’s been a tough go for the Pioneers as of late, losing seven of their last eight. Shane Gibson has been an incredible yet again, averaging 21.2 ppg and just became the fifth player in NEC history to reach 2,000 points after his 30 and 6 game Sunday at Bryant. Unfortunately for him, part of his legacy will be he won one playoff game in his SHU career, assuming an upset does not occur in the first round of the NEC tournament.
Up Next: The stretch run remains tough for the Pioneers as they go to
Island and St. Francis Brooklyn. Those are going to be two tough
games but I do not believe they can lose tiebreakers to Monmouth or St. Francis
(PA) if it comes to that situation.
Possibilities: -The seven seed by going 2-0 AND CCSU goes 0-2.
-The eight seed with a win over St. Francis Brooklyn
-Out of the tournament with and 0-2 finish.
St. Francis (Brooklyn): It’s been an odd year for the other team in
who came out of the gate in conference play with the most lock-down defense in
an otherwise offensive conference year. The Terriers played very well up to
their win against Robert Morris; since then they have been 2-5 and have only
held one team below 70 points in that stretch. Forward Jalen Cannon and guard
Ben Mockford have held steady on the offensive end.
Brooklyn will play host to Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart, controlling their own destiny on if they get in or not.
Possibilities: -The seven seed by finishing 2-0 AND CCSU finishes 0-2
-The eight seed by defeating Sacred Heart.
Monmouth/St. Francis (PA)
It’s been a disappointing year for Monmouth especially; as they were a more popular pick to at least make the NEC tournament. To be fair, the Hawks have been without their leading scorer Andrew Nicholas for the stretch run (I believe his last game was in a January loss to CCSU). The Red Flash faced injury problems earlier in the conference year but have played teams really tough despite that and are currently winners of three of their last four.
Up next: St. Francis will head to
and Bryant while Monmouth gets home games against the Mount and Wagner. Central
What I would most like to see: As this is an RMU site created by RMU students, I would like to see RMU clinch up a one seed by beating Bryant Thursday. In return, I’d like to see Bryant beat St. Francis (PA) thus finishing 12-6 in conference, Quinnipiac lose to St. Francis (
Brooklyn) and beat LIU, and have Mount St. Mary’s win out
forcing a three-way tie for the 4-5-6 spots in the conference tournament
(Wagner is going to finish 2-0). If the Mount, QU, and LIU all finish tied in
this scenario, Mount St.
Mary’s will get the four, Quinnipiac the five, and Long
Island the six, making the first round matchups:
(1) Robert Morris- (8) St. Francis (
(2) Bryant- (7)
Central Connecticut State
(3) Wagner- (6)
St. Mary’s- (5) Quinnipiac
(1) Robert Morris- (8) St. Francis
(2) Wagner- (7)
Central Connecticut State
Long Island - (6) Quinnipiac
(4) Bryant- (
5) Mount St.