"It's All About The Game"

The National College Basketball Report






Robert Stephens-Featured Reporter

Crunch time is here.


February 25, 2016 - The chase for the ever elusive $ NCAA Championship is in full swing as the nation’s top squads jockey for conference seeding as the preliminary for the annual “March Madness “run to the NCAA 2016 National title.

Let’s take a look at the prospects of the local teams and their prospects for entry into the $ “March Madness” invitational.

No secret here the Maryland Terrapins are a lock to enter the annual agonizing fray to capture the National Championship trophy.

Maryland 23-5 (11-4) have remained in the top ten in the national polls all season. The Terrapins are currently in third place in the Big Ten. This week Maryland is ranked 6th by the associated press and 9th by the RPI computer. We will get to that later.

The College Park squad is led by Soph. 6’2 Melo Trimble’s 14 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.3 rebounds, frosh 6’10 Diamond Stone’s 12.9p, 5.4r, junior 6’9 Robert Carter’s 12.6p, 6.8r, senior 6’5 Rasheed Sulaimon’s 11.8p, 3.6r and senior 6’9 Jake Layman’s 10.5p and 5.4r. With five starters in double figures the Terps have balanced scoring which could lend itself to a run in the big dance. If the Terps can maintain an aggressive defense they could be a major player in this year’s tournament.

Melo Trimble leads Maryland's attack.

The Colonials of George Washington out of the Atlantic Ten have the second best shot to make the NCAA Tournament. GW will have to make a run in their conference tournament but the Colonials have shown that they are capable to make a solid run in the Atlantic Ten with solid wins over VCU, Seton Hall, and Virginia.

GW 20-7 (9-5) is led by Tyler Cavanaugh (16.7p, 7.4r), Patricio Garino (13.8p, 4.3r) and Kevin Larsen (11.5p).

The Hoyas of Georgetown need to make the finals of the Big East Tournament in order to be considered for a spot in the “ March Madness annual run for glory.

G’Town 14-14 (7-8) has been inconsistent this season in a nutshell. They are led by D’Vaunte Smith-Rivera’s 16.3 p and 4.4a, L.J. Peak’s 11.4p, 3.3r and Isaac Copeland’s 10.6p, 5r’.

The Howard Bison 12-17 (6-8) will have to win the MEAC Tournament to participate in post season play. Howard features the nation’s leading scorer James Daniel 3rd averaging 27.5 pts per game and 3.2 assists each time out.

Let’s take brief look at some of the usual suspects and possibly some newcomers in this years “March Madness run which is shaping up to be the most unpredictable tournament ever. This year parity is the word most around as the pundits attempt to predict the outcome of “March Madness”.

Let’s take a look at the conferences which will be participating in this years
tournament. The first team mentioned leads their conference at this writing. Some teams mentioned may not make the cut.

America East- one team Stony Brook (23-5)

American Conference- Temple (17-9), SMU (22-4), Cincinnati (20-8), Connecticut (19-8), Tulsa (18-9), Houston (19-8) are in play.

Atlantic 10- Virginia Commonwealth (20-7), St. Joseph (22-5), Dayton (21-5), St. Bonaventure (18-7), and George Washington (20-7)

ACC- North Carolina (22-5), Miami (Fla.) (22-5), Louisville (21-6), Virginia (21-6), Duke (20-7), Notre Dame (18-8), and Pittsburgh (19-7).

Big 12- Kansas (23-4), West Virginia (21-7), Baylor (20-7), Oklahoma (21-5), Texas (18-10), and Iowa State (19-9).

Big East- Villanova (24-3), Xavier (24-3), Seton Hall (19-7), Providence (19-8), and Creighton (17-10).

Monmouth, paced by Justin Robinson, is a force.

Big Sky- one team Weber State (20-7) and Montana (17-8) tied at the present.

Big South- Winthrop (20-7)

Big 10- Indiana (22-6), Iowa (20-6), Maryland (23-5), Ohio State (18-1), Michigan State (22-5), Purdue (21-7), Michigan (19-9), and Wisconsin (17-10).

Big West- one team Hawaii (22-3)

Colonial- one team- North Carolina-Wilmington (21-6).

Conference USA- UAB- (22-5)

Horizon- Valparaiso (24-5)

Ivy – Yale (18-6)

MAAC - This is the one non BCS conference that could receive an at large berth. If Monmouth (23-6) stumbles in their conference tournament they could receive it.

Mid-American- Akron (21-6) or Ball State (18-9) are the current front runners.

Mid-Eastern- Hampton (16-9) or South Carolina State (16-12) appear to be the teams to beat.

Missouri Valley - Wichita State (21-7)

Mountain West- San Diego State (20-7)

Northeast- Wagner (18-9)

Ohio Valley- Belmont (20-9)

PAC-12- Arizona (22-5), Oregon (21-6), Utah (21-7), California (19-8), USC (19-8) and Colorado (19-9).

Patriot - Bucknell (15-12)
Southeastern - Kentucky (20-7), South Carolina (22-5),Texas A&M (20-7), and LSU (16-11)

Southern - Chattanooga (24-5)

Southland -Stephen F. Austin (21-5)

SWAC - Texas Southern (14-12)

Summit - IPFW (22-7)

Sun Belt- Ark. Little Rock (24-3)

West Coast- St. Mary’s (22-4), and Gonzaga (21-7)

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