College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, March 7, 2011
Big Frank Hassell dominated in the lane and the Monarchs of Old Dominion ruled over the VCU Rams, 70-65, in the Colonial Athletic Conference tournament final.
Hassell, a 6'9", 255 behemoth, scored 22 points on 8-for-9 shooting, many of his baskets dunks or easy layups on feeds from his hawk-eyed teammates. when he was harassed and fouled, Hassell was efficient at the free throw line, hitting 6 of 7 attempts. He also fell one rebound short of a double-double, grabbing nine boards.
ODU gets the automatic bid for their conference, after finishing tied for second place during the regular season with Hofstra, at 14-4. George Mason, which took the regular season with a 16-2 record, is also expected to receive an invitation to the Big Dance, via the at-large route.
NOTABLE: Two other teams punched their ticket to the NCCA tourney Monday night. Gonzaga outlasted a determined St. Mary's squad to capture the West Coast Conference tournament final, 75-63, and surprising St. Peter's upset Iona, 62-57, to grab the automatic bid from the Metro Atlantic Athletic conference. The Peacocks beat both Fairfield and Iona in the tourney after having lost all four of their regular season games against the two which finished 1-2 in the conference.
Wofford downed Charleston, 77-67, in the Southern Conference tournament final. The Terriers will represent their conference in the NCAAs for the second straight season. Last year, they were taken down in the opening round by Wisconsin, 53-49.