Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament: Odds, Bracket, Predictions, How to Watch
Tournament Time is finally here and the best two week stretch of all day basketball gets under way Monday with the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament leading the way. It’s time for prayers to be answered and dreams to be crushed. I couldn’t be more excited.
When is the ASUN Tournament?
The Atlantic Sun tournament begins Monday, February 27th and finishes up on Sunday, March 5th with a 3pm EST championship game.
Where is the Tournament taking place?
The higher seed’s home arena hosts all Atlantic Sun Tournament games, so if Kennesaw and Liberty were to meet in the final, the tiebreaker for the top seed could become very pertinent.
How to watch the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament
If you feel like streaming the smaller conference games this would be a good time to pony up for ESPN+. All games save the final will be on ESPN+ starting with the two Monday matchups:
#10 FGCU vs. #9 Queens, 7:00 p.m., ESPN+
#8 Bellarmine vs. #7 North Florida, 7:00 p.m., ESPN+
All Quarterfinal games will be Tuesday night, again on ESPN+ with a short break before the semis resume on Thursday the 2nd and another few days for the finalists before the Championship game, Sunday the 5th at 3PM ET on ESPN2.
Who won the regular season title?
Kennesaw State and Liberty finished with identical 15-3 conference records and will share the regular season title. Based on their head-to-head win over Liberty earlier in the season, the tournament granted Kennesaw State the #1 seed.
Who will participate
Only the top 10 teams will participate, meaning five teams’ seasons have ended. Despite their current transitional status, Bellarmine and Queens will play in the tournament while being ineligible for postseason play.
How Many teams will the Atlantic Sun send to the tournament
The ASUN is a one-bid league with no team being even close to an at-large bid, this is a do-or-die tournament. Depending on the champ, this is more than likely a 14 or 15 seed. For reference, Jacksonville State was a 15-seed last year, taking on Auburn in the first round.
ASUN Tournament Bracket
Note: the bracket is reseeded after the quarterfinals so the highest remaining seed will host the lowest remaining.
ASUN Tournament Odds
Liberty is a big favorite and deservedly so, boasting a top-50 defensive efficiency ranking (the league average of the other 14 teams is 234th, with none in the top 100). The loss to Kennesaw should give you pause before laying the chalk though. As mentioned, they did lose to the Owls on the road just nine days ago.
ASUN Tournament Preview
A quick aside: If you recall, last year’s title was won by an ineligible Bellarmine squad, giving the auto-bid to the regular season champion, Jacksonville State. This seems highly unlikely to happen again considering where Bellarmine and Queens are this year odds-wise. But, it’s not called “March Normalness” and anything can happen.
It’s not abundantly clear who would represent the ASUN in the Big Dance in a similar situation with the shared regular season crown. I’ll assume it’s Kennesaw until I hear differently and hope it just doesn’t come to that again.
While not strictly a two horse race, there is a pretty decent drop off after the two top seeds with a trio of “also-rans” that have some cases to be made. Eastern Kentucky and Lipscomb handed Liberty two of their three loses this year. Stetson was able to push Kennesaw State to overtime when they met earlier in the season.
ASUN Tournament Prediction
I’ll take Amir Abdur-Rahim’s Kennesaw State Owls at +380. They’ve beaten Liberty in their only meeting this year and will host every game they play. They lead the conference in free throw rate and defensive turnover rate while boasting a pretty high offensive efficiency metric.
One down, 31 to go.
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