Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rounding out the smaller schools

Selection Sunday 2011 is finally here.  With all the schools named and ready to go this will be the final post on schools that I think are lesser known in this years tournament.  Thursday will start four of the greatest days of the year.  I have to admit that those first four days of the tournament were a lot more fun in my college years, but they are still very enjoyable today, as well as a great excuse for some to take a day or two off from work.  I, being the dedicated employee that I am, will be at work listening to the games instead of watching them.  No worries though, come Saturday and Sunday I will be glued to the TV hoping that my bracket doesn't have a lot of red slashes by the end of the weekend.  Let's get started with some of the schools that could also cause some trouble in some brackets.

Alabama State (17-17) won the Southwestern Athletic Conference title by beating Grambling State (12-21).  The Hornets are located in Montgomery, Alabama and is home to 4,600 undergraduates.

University of Texas San-Antonio (19-13) won the Southland Conference title with a win over McNesse State (21-11).  Almost 26,000 undergraduates call UTSA, located in San Antonio, home.  The Roadrunners mascot is named Rowdy, like their fan base.

The 2011 Patriot League champs, Bucknell (25-8), attained that title with a win over Lafayette (13-19).  Bucknell is located in Lewisburg, PA and is home to 3,500 undergrads.  This will be the Bison's fifth tournament appearance, they first went in 1987, then in 1989, 2005 and 2006.  Bucknell is the 2005 Espy award winner for best upset for their first round win over #3 seeded Kansas.

Long Island University (27-5) was crowned Northeast champs with a win over Robert Morris (18-14).  LIU is located in brookville, NY and has a little over 10,600 undergraduates.  The Blackbirds won their last thirteen games including the conference title to get their second bid to the tournament; their first was in 1997.

Hampton University (24-8) beat Morgan State (17-14) to become MEAC champs.  Hampton is a historically black university located in Hampton, VA.  The Pirates claim to tournament fame is they are one of only four teams to be seeded fifteenth and defeat a two seed.  Hampton accomplished this feet in 2001 with a win over second seeded Iowa State in the first round.

With a one point victory (77-76) over South Dakota (18-15), the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux became champs of the Great West.  Better known for hockey then basketball, UND is located in Grand Forks, ND ans is home to a little over 11,000 undergraduates.

UC Santa Barbara (18-13) earned the Big West championship with a win over Long Beech State (22-11).  19,800 or so undergraduates attend UCSB located in Santa Barbara, CA.  This will be the Gauchos fourth trip to the tournament and they bring a 1-3 record from appearances in 1988, 1990 and 2002.

I know I have learned more about the smaller schools then I ever have in the past by researching and writing these posts.  I hope they have been at least a little informative and maybe you will be able to use this knowledge for more then a day or two during the tournament.  I will be rooting for some of these smaller schools even if it destroys my bracket, because as last years amazing run by Butler proved, a Cinderella story just makes it a little more exciting.

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