Editor's note: March Madness is too much for any one person to handle, so I'm adding help. The guys behind Ballin' Is a Habit, Rob Dauster and Troy Machir, will be contributing throughout March and into the Final Four, both with content from their Web site and original articles for us. This post originally appeared at BIAH.
By Troy Machir
Everyone loves the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Four straight days jam-packed with 12 hours of do-or-die college hoops is more than most people can handle.
But for junkies like us, the next 13 days are just as good, for it is when the true Madness takes place. Over the course of these two weeks, we whittle some 347 teams down to 30 conference champions (the Ivy doesn't have a tournament). Auto-bids will be won. Bubbles will be burst. Buzzers will be beaten. And most importantly, a 65 team bracket will be made.
Here is what happened on Monday:
Game of the Day: Siena 72, Fairfield 65 OT
Fairfield came out on fire. The Stags opened up a 15 point lead in the first half and were up by as much as 13 in the second half. But playing on Siena's home court -- where the Saints have won 38 straight games -- the Saints came back. They finally took the lead on a three from Ronald Moore with two minutes left to give them a 60-58 lead. But the Stags would tie it up on a layup by Colin Nickerson with 55 seconds left.
In overtime, Alex Franklin scored he first bucket of the game, and it was followed up by a basket from
StevenRyan Rossiter. Fairfield would not be able to get closer than two the rest of the way. For the third straight season, Siena will be in the NCAA Tournament.
Player of the Day: Edwin Ubiles, Siena
Ubiles scored 27 points and added 7 boards to lead the Saints to the overtime victory over Fairfield in the MAAC title game. As mentioned above, Siena came back from a 15 point deficit to knock off the Stags and make their third straight tournament.
They were good too
Alex Franklin, Siena: Franklin went for 22 points and 12 boards, including the go ahead basket in overtime, in the Saints win.
Keith Benson, Oakland: Benson had 17 points and 17 boards as the Grizzlies advanced to the Summit League title game.
Mickey McConnell, St. Mary's: McConnell had a career-high 26 points as the Gaels beat Gonzaga and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. McConnell also added 6 assists in the win.
Team of the Day: St. Mary's Gaels
The Gaels finally broke through. For the first time in 10 tries, the Gaels beat Gonzaga in the WCC Tournament, and they did it in impressive fashion. With Omar Samhan struggling, Mickey McConnell went for a career-high 26 points, Ben Allen added a career high 20 points, and the Gaels outscored Gonzaga 51-33 in a second half they shot 68 percent from the floor.
Welcome to the dance
Colonial Athletic Association Tournament
Finals (Richmond, VA)
#1 Old Dominion 60, #3 William & Mary 53
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament
Finals (Albany, NY)
#1 Siena 72, #2 Fairfield 65 OT
Southern Conference Tournament
Finals (Chattanooga, TN)
#1S Wofford 56, #1N Appalachian State 51
West Coast Conference Tournament
Finals (Las Vegas, NV)
#2 St. Marys 81, #1 Gonzaga 62
Summit League Tournament
Semifinals (Sioux Falls, SD)
#1 Oakland 71, #5 IPFW 58
#2 IUPUI 69, #3 Oral Roberts 65
Sun Belt Conference Tournament
Semifinals (Hot Springs, AR)
#1 Troy 54, #4 Western Kentucky 48
#2 North Texas 63, #6 Denver 56
Like what you read? You can find more of Troy's writing at Ballin' is a Habit.