NEC Tournament: Quinnipiac seeks first-ever NCAA bid

Conference tournament play began Tuesday, kicking off a 12-day mad scramble for NCAA tournament berths. Up next in our previews is the Northeast Conference, which features co-champs Quinnipiac and Robert Morris as well as surging dark horse Mount St. Mary's.

Northeast Conference Tournament

Date: March 4, 7, 10

Site: at higher seed

No. 1 Quinnipiac vs. No. 8 Monmouth
No. 4 Long Island vs. No. 5 Farleigh Dickinson
No. 3 Mount St. Mary's vs. No. 6 St. Francis
No. 2 Robert Morris vs. No. 7 Central Connecticut State

Favorite: Quinnipiac (21-8, 15-3)

Contenders: Robert Morris (20-11, 15-3), Mount St. Mary's (15-14, 12-6)

Did you know: Mount St. Mary's started 2-6 in conference play, but has reeled off 10 consecutive victories to claim third place and emerge as a contender.

Outlook: The inside-outside combination of Justin Rutty and James Feldeine led Quinnipiac to its first-ever NEC title and a school record for victories in Division I, but the Bobcats now have higher aspirations. They're seeking the school's first-ever NCAA tournament berth, a goal that looks very realistic considering they're on the opposite side of the draw from fellow contenders Robert Morris and Mt. Saint Mary's. Quinnipiac beat Robert Morris in their only regular season meeting and split with Mt. Saint Mary's, but the Bobcats would be the home team in the final.