Thursday, January 6, 2011

The New Regrettably Ineligible Atlantic Sun Teams

The Atlantic Sun conference for the past three years has sent East Tennessee State to the NCAA tournament, for in each of these years East Tennessee State has won the Atlantic Sun tournament. But excluded from participating in this tournament has been a relatively strong team from Florida Gulf Coast University.

Florida Gulf Coast today is one of only four teams in Division I that remain undefeated (the others are Duke, North Carolina and West Virginia). FGCU is getting votes in both the AP and the ESPN/USA Today Polls, and they have used their relatively short non-conference season (Atlantic Sun teams have to play 20 conference games) to beat Indiana, Seton Hall and Virginia Tech. But they, along with their Atlantic Sun conference mates from South Carolina Upstate, are ineligible to participate in either the Atlantic Sun conference tournament or the NCAA tournament. Both FGCU and USC Upstate are new to Division I and are going through the final year of their four-year transition.

Both Florida Gulf Coast and South Carolina Upstate are 4-0 in the Atlantic Sun Conference, the only two teams to be undefeated in conference play.

South Dakota State went through a similar transition a couple of years ago. Their first season of tournament eligibility ended with a 7-seed and a trip to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Florida Gulf Coast has the potential to do something similar next year.

Now in: (same as yesterday)
Now out: (same as yesterday)

Conferences with multiple bids:
Big East: 9
ACC: 7
Big 12: 6
Big Ten: 6
PAC-10: 5
SEC: 5
Atlantic 10: 2

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