Sunday, March 8, 2009

Disappointment for Davidson

The reason tournaments like the Southern Conference are so dramatic is the all-or-nothing aspect. These mid-major tourneys are like the ACC tournament was back in the 1970s, when only the tourney winner went to the NCAA and everyone else was left hungry.

Davidson has had the "all" part of things each of the past 3 years, but they got the "nothing" Sunday night. Their 59-52 loss to Charleston in the tournament semifinals in Chattanooga Sunday night turned the Davidson postgame locker room into a tomb. Everyone looked like they were either on the verge of either crying or hitting something -- or both.

I just don't see how Davidson gets an NCAA at-large bid now. The Wildcats' best non-conference wins are against West Virginia (a very good one) and N.C. State (not much of one). The Wildcats (26-7) are far more likely to go to the NIT, where they are guaranteed a bid because of their 18-2 SoCon record in the regular season.

Charleston and Chattanooga will play for the NCAA spot guaranteed to the Southern Conference on Monday night. By then the Wildcats -- who won that NCAA bid in 2006, 2007 and 2008 -- should already be back home. They found their mojo at just the right time in 2008, but this is 2009. And as much fun to watch as Stephen Curry (5-for-18 Sunday night) was this season, this Davidson team simply wasn't as good as the '08 version.

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