Tuesday, March 12, 2013

LIU-Brooklyn eases to 3-peat in NEC Tournament

The Blackbirds of LIU-Brooklyn are quickly becoming a staple of the NCAA tournament and they are heading back to the dance for a third straight year after destroying Mount St. Mary's, 91-70 , on their home court in Brooklyn.

In the previous two years in the NCAA tournament the Blackbirds were 15 and 16 seeds and currently have a 20-13 record (12-6 NEC) and have an RPI of 185 (courtesy of realtimerpi.com) and that likely means another 15 or 16 seed for them this year. Could they take the next step and put a wrench in hundreds of thousands of brackets nationwide? In this crazy year who knows?

As for the championship game? Well, things weren't exactly easy from start to finish for LIU-Brooklyn as Mount St. Mary's decided they were going to at least show up for a half. These two went into the break just four points apart, but that wouldn't stay that way for long in the 2nd half as Blackbirds guard C.J. Garner decided to just go off.

Garner sparked the turnaround from a close game to a blowout with 31 points on an efficient 13 of 17 from the field for the night. His big night was coupled with that of forward Jamal Olasewere, who had a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds in the win.

Could we be looking at an NEC dynasty in the making? Well, blowout wins and domination of the last three tournaments says yes. So does winning two of the last three regular season crowns.

Rick Pitino said this could be the year a 16 seed takes down a 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and if the Blackbirds are a 16 seed you best look out for them - they are explosive and athletic - a combination that always gives teams trouble come tournament time.

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