March 1, 3, 6. All games at higher seed.
kPOY: Dallas Moore, North Florida.
The Atlantic Sun gets conference tournament play started on Tuesday night, with simultaneous action at four different locations.
Rarely does a year go by where there’s not some sort of membership change in the A-Sun. This season, the league added NJIT while Northern Kentucky left for the Horizon. That still leaves the conference with eight teams, and that means a quick 14-game conference slate. Somehow, North Florida managed to win the league by two games even while suffering a four-game losing streak in that brief schedule.
The A-Sun is the country’s highest scoring conference, combining the nation’s highest offensive efficiency with the third-fastest tempo. It’s fitting that UNF won the league, with its 28th-ranked and offense and 327th-ranked defense. But you don’t need to play defense when your offense is nearly 0.1 points per possession better than anybody else in league play.
The Ospreys made 41.5 of their 3’s this season while devoting 48.5% of their field goal attempts to shots beyond the arc. And they participated in the highest-scoring game this season, a 119-108 loss in regulation to LSU. The home-court format shifts the odds in UNF’s favor a little more than a neutral-site event would, but NJIT is still a formidable challenger. The Highlanders conference debut was a successful one. They did get swept by UNF by a combined 50 points during the regular season, but a rematch would likely be closer.
Semis Final Champ 1 North Florida 90.2 69.3 53.0 2 NJIT 84.7 66.8 27.3 4 Florida Gulf Coast 72.3 22.1 8.9 3 Jacksonville 66.7 19.6 5.7 5 Kennesaw St. 27.7 7.0 2.4 6 Lipscomb 33.3 9.5 1.8 7 Stetson 15.3 4.1 0.6 8 USC Upstate 9.8 1.6 0.3
A-Sun tourney records (since 2001)
Florida Gulf Coast 8- 3 North Florida 5- 5 USC Upstate 4- 4 Lipscomb 5-11 Jacksonville 5-14 Kennesaw St. 1- 3 Stetson 3- 9 NJIT 0- 0