Sunday, March 14, 2004

Area teams hope to land on higher ground



By Dustin Dow
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Today is selection day for Cincinnati, Xavier and Kentucky. The NCAA Tournament pairings will be announced at 6 p.m., letting the area teams know where they fit into the 65-team field.

Five tournament projection Web sites predict that Kentucky will receive a No. 1 seed. The Wildcats (25-4) play Florida in the Southeastern Conference Tournament final at 1 p.m. today.

As many as eight teams could be in contention for one of the four top seeds.

Cincinnati (24-6) won the Conference USA championship Saturday and is projected to receive a seed between No. 3 and No. 5.

"I would be surprised if they got a 3," said CollegeRPI.com's Jerry Palm,who predicts UC will get a 4 seed.

Xavier (23-10) stands to go into the tournament anywhere from a No. 8 to a No. 11 seed, according to the bracket projections. The Musketeers could move ahead of Dayton in seeding after beating the Flyers on Saturday in the Atlantic 10 final.

"There just isn't a whole lot of movement now," said Palm, who has Xavier as a 10.

This year the seeds mean more than usual. Instead of randomly matching the winners of each region, the NCAA will rank the top four seeds and their regionals when the field is chosen.

The No. 1 overall seed will be in line to play the No. 4 overall seed in the national semifinals in San Antonio.

Last season Arizona and Kentucky, widely considered the best two teams, were in line to meet in the national semifinals. Neither made the Final Four, but the selections prompted the reseeding.

Also new for this year: The four regionals no longer will be given geographic identifications but will be named after the host cities.

Conference tournaments

America East Conference

Championship

Saturday

Vermont 72, Maine 53

Atlantic Coast Conference

Semifinals

Saturday

Duke 85, Georgia Tech 71

Maryland 85, North Carolina State 82

Championship

Today

Duke vs. Maryland, 1 p.m.

Atlantic Sun Conference

Championship

Saturday, March 6

Central Florida 60, Troy State 55

Atlantic 10 Conference

Championship

Saturday

Xavier 58, Dayton 49

Big East Conference

Championship

Saturday

Connecticut 61, Pittsburgh 58

Big Sky Conference

Championship

Wednesday

Eastern Washington 71, Northern Arizona 59

Big South Conference

Championship

Saturday, March 6

Liberty 89, High Point 44

Big Ten Conference

Semifinals

Saturday

Illinois 74, Michigan 60

Wisconsin 68, Michigan State 66

Championship

Today

Illinois vs. Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m.

Big 12 Conference

Semifinals

Saturday

Oklahoma State 82, Texas Tech 77

Texas 64, Kansas 60

Championship

Today

Oklahoma State vs. Texas, 3 p.m.

Big West Conference

Championship

Saturday

Cal State Northridge vs. Pacific, night

Colonial Athletic Association

Championship

Monday

Virginia Commonwealth 55, George Mason 54

Conference USA

Championship

Saturday

Cincinnati 55, DePaul 50

Horizon League

Championship

Tuesday

Illinois-Chicago 65, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 62

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

Championship

Monday

Manhattan 62, Niagara 61

Mid-American Conference

Championship

Saturday

Western Michigan 77, Kent State 66

Mid-Continent Conference

Championship

Tuesday

Valparaiso 75, Indiana-Purdue-Indianapolis 70

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

Championship

Saturday

Florida A&M 58, Coppin State 51

Missouri Valley Conference

Championship

Monday

Northern Iowa 79, Southwest Missouri State 74, 2OT

Mountain West Conference

Championship

Saturday

Utah vs. UNLV, night

Northeast Conference

Championship

Wednesday

Monmouth, N.J. 67, Central Connecticut State 55

Ohio Valley Conference

Championship

Saturday, March 6

Murray State 66, Austin Peay 60

Pacific-10 Conference

Championship

Saturday

Stanford 77, Washington 66

Patriot League

Championship

Today

American at Lehigh, Noon

Southeastern Conference

Semifinals

Saturday

Kentucky 78, South Carolina 63

Florida 91, Vanderbilt 69

Championship

Today

Kentucky vs. Florida, 1 p.m.

Southern Conference

Championship

Saturday, March 6

East Tennessee State 78, Chattanooga 62

Southland Conference

Championship

Friday

Texas-San Antonio 74, Stephen F. Austin 70

Southwestern Athletic Conference

Championship

Saturday

Alabama State 63, Alabama A&M 58

Sun Belt Conference

Championship

Tuesday

Louisiana-Lafayette 67, New Orleans 58

West Coast Conference

Championship

Monday

Gonzaga 84, St. Mary's, Calif. 71

Western Athletic Conference

Championship

Saturday

Nevada 66, Texas-El Paso 60

Automatic NCAA Tournament bids

• Alabama State, Southwestern Athletic Conference

• Central Florida, Atlantic Sun Conference

• Cincinnati, Conference USA

• Connecticut, Big East Conference

• East Tennessee State,

Southern Conference

• Eastern Washington, Big Sky Conference

• Florida A&M, Mid-Eastern

Athletic Conference

• Gonzaga, West Coast

Conference

• Ill.-Chicago, Horizon League

• Liberty, Big South Conference

• Louisiana-Lafayette, Sun Belt Conference

• Manhattan, Metro Atlantic

Athletic Conference

• Monmouth, N.J. Northeast Conference

• Murray State, Ohio Valley

Conference

• Nevada, Western Athletic

Conference

• Northern Iowa, Missouri Valley Conference

• Princeton, Ivy League

• Stanford, Pacific-10

Conference

• Texas-San Antonio, Southland Conference

• Valparaiso, Mid-Continent Conference

• Vermont, America East

Conference

• Virginia Commonwealth,

Colonial Athletic Association

• Western Michigan,

Mid-American Conference

• Xavier, Atlantic 10 Conference

NCAA Division II

First Round

Saturday

Alderson-Broaddus 85, Mount Olive 80

Bowie St. 86, Lenoir-Rhyne 81

Bryant 65, C.W. Post 63

Cheyney 76, California, Pa. 59

Columbus St. 77, Virginia Union 75

Eckerd 70, Florida Southern 62

Findlay 84, Indianapolis 83, OT

Francis Marion 86, Armstrong Atlantic 84

Henderson St. 71, Morehouse 51

Kennesaw 78, Catawba 63

Mass.-Lowell 74, Bridgeport 64

N.Y. Tech 81, Philadelphia 75

NW Missouri St. 77, E. New Mexico 57

Nebraska-Kearney 104, Bemidji St. 90

Rollins 88, Benedict College 79

S. Indiana 96, Kentucky Wesleyan 83

South Dakota 82, Nebraska-Omaha 71

W. Virginia St. 80, Dist. of Columbia 69

Washburn 81, St. Mary's, Texas 70

Wayne, Mich. 65, Lewis 62

NCAA Division III

Quarterfinals

Saturday

Amherst 81, Franklin & Marshall 70

John Carroll 70, Wooster 64

Williams 79, Keene St. 64




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