Men’s Club Bracketology: Who’s Qualifying for NCBBA Regionals in April?
After about a month of action in the league, we are starting to figure out who is emerging as contenders around the country. Teams like UCONN won the Happy Valley Tip-Off, USC beat three top-ten teams on their way to the SoCal Classic championship, and Virginia Tech is 8-0 after winning the Carolina Classic. Others like Brown and Salisbury have had impressive undefeated starts to the year. Let’s take a look at the lay of the land as we get into December:
Great Lakes Regional:
1 Purdue (South Champion) VS 8 Wright State (East Runner-Up)
4 Creighton (West Champion) VS 5 DePaul (North Runner-Up)
3 Ohio State (East Champion) VS 6 Missouri-Black (West Runner-Up)
2 Notre Dame (North Champion) VS 7 Indiana (South Runner-up)
Last year’s national runner-up Notre Dame returns key graduate students Gordie Bess and former Penn State walk on Kyle McCloskey to the roster. They started the year with an impressive 3-1 showing at the SoCal Classic losing only in the semifinals to eventual champion USC. They will look to start of GL-North play off right with 2 games against Michigan in December.
1 Virginia Tech (South Champion) VS 8 Maryland (West Runner-Up)
Virginia Tech is off to an 8-0 start and is the #1 ranked team in the country in the recent top 20 poll. Jalen Suber is a consistent scorer and shooter for them at around 12 points a game. They square off with conference foe Radford week 5, which could decide the winner of the MA-South.
4 Georgetown (West Champion) VS 5 Radford (South Runner-Up)
3 Towson (East Champion) VS 6 Villanova (North Runner-Up)
2 Delaware (North Champion) VS 7 Salisbury (East Runner-Up)
Salisbury had a winning record last year in their first NCBBA season in a competitive MA-East division. JP Herbert (All-region 2nd team), AJ Sims, and Dylan Bright are key returns who have helped lead the way to a 4-0 start in the conference sweeping last year’s regional qualifier Navy. They have their eyes set on overtaking Towson for the conference title and making a run at regionals.
New England Regional:
1 UCONN (South Champion) VS 8 TUFTS (North Runner-Up)
4 Quinnipiac (West Champion) VS 5 Boston College (East Runner-Up)
3 Vermont (North Champion) VS 6 Brown (South Runner-Up)
Brown is 5-0 overall and 4-0 in NE-South conference play. The bears have a large point differential outscoring opponents by an average of 28.8 points a game, second to Georgetown in the NCBBA among undefeated teams. They play Northeastern B before winter break and will face tough conference foe UCONN in February.
2 Northeastern (East Champion) VS 7 Yale (West Runner-Up)
North Atlantic Regional:
1 Penn State (South Champion) VS 8 Binghamton Green (North Runner-Up)
4 Syracuse (West Champion) VS 5 TCNJ (East Runner-Up)
3 Montclair State (East Champion) VS 6 St. Bonaventure (West Runner-Up)
After an 0-3 start at The Happy Valley Tip-Off, Montclair has bounced back in conference play to the tune of four straight wins. 1st team All-American small forward MJ Moncrieffe has two double doubles already on the year and is averaging 13.57 points and 6.14 rebounds to lead this red hawks squad. This is a motivated team playing for something bigger than basketball after the passing of their former player and assistant Mo Traore.
2 Albany (North Champion) VS 7 Robert Morris (South Runner-Up)
Albany had an impressive 16-3 campaign last year before falling to Vermont in the regional semi-finals. They may have lost 3 starters but return their top 2 scoring options in Macky Sow and Tim Selkridge, each averaging almost 20 points per game. Freshman point guard Zyaire Smith has been a key addition leading the Great Danes to winning their pool at the Happy Valley Tip-Off and only having a loss to #2 UCONN on the year.
1 USC – Cardinal (South Champion) VS 4 Stanford (North Runner-Up)
2 Cal Poly (North Champion) VS 3 UCLA (South Runner-Up)
UCLA started the year at the SoCal Classic losing in the championship game to rival USC. They beat #3 UCONN in the semifinals and had some other good wins over DePaul and fellow conference foe Cal Poly Pomona. Seniors Jonny Garnett and Gabriel Hawkins both averaged over 20 points a game in the tournament, look for them to lead this talented bruins team.
1 Auburn (South Champion) VS 4 UNCW (North Runner-Up)
Auburn returns 8 players including 3 starters from last year’s regional team. Phillip DesRosier leads the tigers at the point position as a 1st team All-American selection last year. This would be a rematch of the regional semi-final a year ago that Auburn would be eager to play.
2 Wake Forest (North Champion) VS 3 Florida State (South Runner-Up)
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