Friday, March 11, 2011

Region tournament begins Saturday

Minnesota State again hosts the NCAA Division II men's basketball tournament, which begins Saturday and runs through Tuesday.

The best eight teams in the region are in town, and judging by last season's tourney, there is a lot of good basketball to watch at Bresnan Arena.

There are some intriguing story lines.

Minnesota State is the No. 1 seed, and for five straight years, the top seed had won the region championship and advanced to the Elite Eight. That streak ended last season when the Mavericks lost in the semifinals.

Will the Mavericks finally claim a region championship in its seventh straight appearance at the tournament?

Minnesota State's opponent is Winona State, which might be the best eighth seed in any region. The Warriors got in by winning the Northern Sun tournament, a three-game stretch of impressive play after suspending leading scorer, and top headache, Anthony Tucker.

Can the shorthanded Warriors stay on a roll?

You might remember Colorado School of Mines, who nearly took out the Mavericks in the quarterfinals last season as an eighth seed. The Orediggers have all five starters back, and as the No. 3 seed, look like the best team in that bracket.

Can Mines use last season's loss as motivation for a better finish?

Adams State must be a hoot to watch. The Grizzlies commit more than 26 fouls per game, and they turn the ball over at an alarming rate. But this is the first 20-win season in school history so they must do other things right.

Will Adams State's frenetic pace be effective in a halfcourt game that is the norm in national tournaments?

Fort Lewis has been to the national tournament seven times since 2002, but the Skyhawks are 0-6 at this level. Fort Lewis was the No. 1-rated team when the first region rankings came out, then slipped to 6 before jumping back to 2 after winning the RMAC tournament.

Can Fort Lewis finally win a national-tournament game?

You can go to Bresnan Arena to watch the games, or you can follow my live blog during each game. It should be fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment