College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, March 4, 2011
Close calls, overtime and exultation typified the opening rounds of conference tournaments from the Metro Atlantic to the West Coast.
While no ranked teams took to the hardwoods on Friday, the action was no less exciting, as teams vie for one final chance to impress the NCAA tournament committee or perhaps pull off enough upsets to win their conference tournament and thus receive an automatic bid.
One such team on a mission is Valparaiso, which finished the regular season in the Horizon League at 12-6, a game behind the trio of Butler, Cleveland State and Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Crusaders outlasted a gritty Detroit squad, 88-78, getting 30 points from the team's leading scorer, junior guard Brandon Wood. Wood hit on 11 of 22 shots from the field, but was dead on from beyond the arc, nailing 7 of 10 three-pointers.
Advancing to the semi-finals against Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Saturday, Valparaiso is keeping hope alive that they can get to the final against the winner of the Cleveland State - Butler match-up and grab the whole prize with a win. The Crusaders split their two games with each of the three teams above them in the standings, with each team winning at home.
For more scores and recaps of a slew of opening round tournament games from the Colonial, Missouri Valley, Horizon, Ohio Valley, West Coast, Metro Atlantic, Southern and Atlantic Sun conferences, click here.