Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The NEC: Tightening even More

Again we borrow (steal) the format from the good folks at Storming the Floor

We warned you that nothing is predictable in the Northeast Conference. Either that or we severely fired up the Blackbirds of Long Island. Just days after being featured as the Not so good team of the week, the Blackbirds routed previously league unbeaten Wagner. The loss was enough to bring Seahawk head coach Mike Deane out of his seat. Deane reminds me of my high school basketball coach, Jim Dooley, who couldn't stay in his seat. Back then the PIAA assessed a technical to any coach who stood up or got off the bench. Dooley circumvented that by having a few managers hold him down. Who'd have thought of a seatbeat? Deane apparently did.

Anyway back to the NEC, six teams remain above .500 in the league, so a lot of teams are fighting for home playoff games and all 11 are still in contention for the postseason. It is starting to feel like a four horse battle at the top, but maybe we shouldn't count out the defending champion Blue Devils of Central Connecticut so quickly.

The Bobcats of Quinnipiac are the new leaders in the conference race. QU has now won four in a row and is 6-1 overall. They picked up a pair of wins this week, as they knocked off the afforementioned Blackbirds 84-80 in a barnburner on Saturday. Earlier in the week, they stopped St. Francis (NY)'s win streak with a 75-72 win in Brooklyn.

Fairleigh Dickinson lost a pair of games this past week and now is just 1-5 in the conference. Tom Green's group does boast the conference's leading scorer in Manny Ubilla, who has a sweet stroke, and can score the basketball from anywhere. But not much else has gone well for the Knights this year. But you sense if they can win a few games, they could pose someone some problems in the conference tournament.

Demario Anderson had a pretty nice week in leading Quinnipiac to those two wins. The senior is one of the key factors in why the Bobcats have been playing so well of late. He scored 24 points had 6 rebounds and 5 assists in the win at St. Francis. Then in returning home on the weekend, he scored 21, dished out 6 assists, and grabbed another 9 rebounds versus Long Island. He is second in the league in scoring, while averaging better than 6 boards and 3 assists per outing.

Central Connecticut @ Robert Morris - Thursday 7pm - The loser probably has no chance to win the automatic NIT bid
Fairleigh Dickinson @ Monmouth - Friday 7pm - FSN NY - It's Friday Night Hoops
Quinnipiac @ Sacred Heart - Saturday 4pm - Worth the price of admission
Wagner @ Fairleigh Dickinson - Sunday 7:00 - Buckle Up.

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