Friday, February 18, 2011

Five-Star Matchups

Perhaps we should have called this "The Final Countdown." It's the final day of the basketball season, while the swimmers begin their second season this weekend at Gettysburg at the Conference championships. The track and field athletes prepare for next weekend's championship meet at Haverford, while the wrestlers gear up for next Saturday's Centennial tournament at Washington and Lee.

Let's talk hoops on this blog entry ... and the scenarios surrounding the final berths for the playoffs.

Women's Basketball
Four teams are in the field - Johns Hopkins (1), Muhlenberg (2), Gettysburg (3) and Ursinus. A Bear win over the Mules will give Ursinus the No. 4 seed and home court for Wednesday's first-round game against either Franklin & Marshall or Swarthmore. A loss combined with a Diplomat win vs. Dickinson would enable F&M to slip into the four-spot and host UC on Wednesday. A F&M loss combined with a Swarthmore win vs. Haverford would allow the Garnet to grab the No. 5 position and oust the Diplomats.

Swarthmore at Haverford, 1:00
Ursinus at Muhlenberg, 2:00
Dickinson at Franklin & Marshall, 2:00

Muhlenberg has clinched the No. 2 seed and will face Gettysburg in the CC semifinals next weekend at Johns Hopkins. Ursinus (11-8 CC, 15-9) can secure the No. 4 seed with a win or with a loss by F&M. The Bears have dropped five straight to the Mules since a 2008 win at Memorial Hall. The Diplomats (10-9, 12-12) have lost four consecutive contests and 10 of the last 11 to the Red Devils and need a victory to lock down a playoff berth. A loss opens the door for the Garnet (10-9, 14-10) who has won 23 of the last 26 games with Haverford. But the Fords defeated Swat by 21 in the year's first meeting at Tarble. F&M holds the tie-breaker with the Garnet due to its season sweep of Swarthmore.

Men's Basketball
We know that three teams are in the field - Franklin & Marshall (1), Dickinson (2) and McDaniel. The Green Terror and Gettysburg meet at Bream with the winner receiving the third first-round bye. A Bullet win would make McDaniel the No. 4 seed and the Terror would host the first-round game on Wednesday. A Gettysburg victory would also mean Ursinus can secure the final spot in the tournament with a win at Muhlenberg. A Bear loss in this scenario opens the door for Haverford to get in the field with a win over Swarthmore. Losses by the Fords and UC gets the Mules in as the No. 5 seed.

But if McDaniel wins ... Ursinus can get the #4 spot with a victory, while Haverford gets to host the first-round game with a win and a Bear loss. Gettysburg slides in at #4 with losses by the Fords and the Bears. An Ursinus win means that Haverford can qualify with a win, while a loss puts the Bullets in at No. 5. Follow all that?

McDaniel at Gettysburg, 2:00
Swarthmore at Haverford, 3:00
Ursinus at Muhlenberg, 4:00

The Green Terror (10-7, 13-11) looks for its first season sweep of the Bullets (10-7, 13-11) since 2007. The Bears (9-8, 12-12) and the Mules (8-9, 12-12) meet for the 100th time with UC looking for its sixth win in eight games vs. 'Berg. Watch the battle of the big guys - Ursinus' Jon Ward and Muhlenberg's Kevin Hargrove. The Fords (9-8, 12-11) have won seven in a row vs. the Garnet who has not won at Gooding Arena since 2006.

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