March Madness is here, and it’s only February.
The first NCAA Division I conference tournament opened Monday night, as the Atlantic Sun-always near the top of the alphabetical D-I conference standings listings-also tipped off the tournament season. One of the few conferences that still gets it right-if unintentionally-with a manageable number of teams, the A-Sun’s eight-team league makes for an event with perfect symmetry starting with four quarterfinal games.
All Atlantic Sun tourney games are played at the site of the higher-seeded team, and indeed the home teams were mainly successful Monday night. Top-seeded Florida Gulf Coast made sure No. 8 Stetson wouldn’t be making another surprise run in the tourney again this year with an 87-57 whupping, No. 2 Lipscomb hammered 7 seed New Jersey Tech 97-66 and third-seeded North Florida edged city rival No. 6 Jacksonville 77-74. The only mild upset came in the 4/5 game as the lower seed Kennesaw State edged fourth-seeded South Carolina Upstate 80-78 for the Owls’ second-ever D-I postseason tourney win. … Continue Reading