Takin care of bidness
Congrats to the Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast for clinching the first automatic bid of 2013 and the first in the school's short history. Despite playing on the road at Mercer for the Atlantic Sun tournament final, they controlled the game for the final half. They have several transfers from BCS schools and have plenty of talent. It showed today. This was briefly discussed on Twitter earlier, but the Eagles do NOT need to be concerned about getting sent to Dayton for the First Four next Tuesday/Wednesday. Their early season win over Miami should get them to the 15 line at the very lowest. At the moment they are projected as a 14 seed.
Billikens win A-10 Regular Season Crown
What an emotional season for St. Louis. Jim Crews gave his squad more autonomy when he took over for the late Rick Majerus, and it showed after Kwamain Mitchell returned from injury. The Billikens have been truly dominant since the start of December, going 21-3 after a 3-3 start. One could make an argument that VCU has been great in A10 play this year, but SLU has been better. They are now 5-2 vs the RPI top 50 and 12-4 against the top 100 (!), and the selection committee will certainly reward them for their accomplishments. Side note: Dwayne Evans should be a lock for first team All A-10 and should get serious consideration for conference player of the year. The 6-5 forward has scored in double figures in 13 consecutive games and has pulled in five double-doubles in his past ten games. He had 16 points and 17 rebounds in the season finale today against La Salle. Those are ridiculous numbers.
Big Blue Nation can exhale
The 'Cats front court must have channeled their inner Nerlens today, because they drove the Gators crazy in the paint. Willie Cauley-Stein blocked four shots and combined with Alex Poythress for 20 rebounds. Kentucky's guards were efficient enough on the offensive end and forced Florida to take a high number of low percentage shots. Any team that can hold the Gators to 57 points deserves a gold star. What does this mean for the Wildcats NCAA hopes? Barring a large number of bid thieves, Kentucky is in after their win today. Despite only being 2-6 vs the RPI top 50, they now add a Florida to a list of good wins over Maryland-N, Tennessee, and Missouri with only one bad loss to Georgia.
*Photo credit to the Fort Myers News-Press.