The Atlantic Sun is one of the most intriguing single-bid conferences (or are they?) in the entire country and finally it will play out in their championship tournament.
This season Lipscomb has been near the top of several metrics. As of this writing, the Bisons are ranked 46th in the new NET Rankings. They are hovering around the likes of Syracuse, Nebraska and Furman.
But it was not an easy regular season for Lipscomb in the Atlantic Sun. They lost to Liberty, who's also a decent squad, and Florida Gulf Coast. Those two crucial losses were just enough to move them off of the bubble and to keep this tournament in a winner-take-all situation.
Syracuse and Nebraska are solidly in bracket projections, so who knows if the Lipscomb will be considered. To be safe, though, they need to win it all to get the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Only eight teams make it in for the Atlantic Sun (sorry Stetson).
ALANTIC SUN TOURNAMENT 2019 INFORMATION:
When is the 2019 Atlantic Sun Tournament?
The Atlantic Sun Tournament is March 4, 7 and 10. The Atlantic Sun Championship game is on Sunday, March 10.
Where is the 2019 Atlantic Sun Tournament?
The Atlantic Sun Tournament is hosted at the higher seed of each match-up. The No. 1 seed has homecourt advantage throughout the tournament.
How to watch the 2019 Atlantic Sun Tournament?
The Atlantic Sun Tournament has not announced where there tournament will be broadcast or streamed.
Who is the defending 2018 Atlantic Sun Champion?
Last year the Lipscomb Bisons won Atlantic Sun Tournament championship with an upset over Flordia Gulf Coast. It was Lipscomb's first ever season in the NCAA Tournament.
ATLANTIC SUN TOURNAMENT 2019 BRACKET:
Atlantic Sun Tournament Quarterfinals (3/4, Times ET):
- No. 1 Lipscomb 86, No. 8 Kennesaw State 71
- No. 5 NJIT 83, No. 4 Florida Gulf Coast 78
- No. 3 North Florida 76, No. 6 North Alabama 66
- No. 2 Liberty 72, No. 7 Jacksonville 58
Atlantic Sun Tournament Semifinals (3/7, Times ET)
- No. 1 Lipscomb vs. No. 5 NJIT, 8pm ET, ESPN+
- No. 2 Liberty vs. No. 3 North Florida, 7pm ET, ESPN+
Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship (3/10)
- Lipscomb/ NJIT winner vs. Liberty/ North Florida winner, 3pm, ESPN
ATLANTIC SUN TOURNAMENT 2019 PREVIEW:
Lipscomb and Liberty shared the regular season title after both teams went 14-2 in Atlantic Sun play. Early on it was evident that the championship was going to run through one of these two teams. It is even more clear with them having four of the league's All-First team selections.
The Bisons are led by the 2019 Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, Garrison Matthews (19.8 ppg). As a three-year starter the senior guard experienced the NCAA Tournament a year ago in their path to the A-Sun Championship. This year, however, will be different as they are the hunted team. They run a traditional style of play that has powered them to over 80 points a contest and no other conference opponent has consistently matched up.
A real challenge to their back-to-back claim will be the Liberty Flames who are in their first year in this conference. The two teams split the regular season series, each winning on the road. Liberty has an insanely balanced rotation with three guys averaging 11.6-12.5 points a contest. What makes them really dangerous is any of them can break out and score, either inside or out of the 3pt arc. First-Team selection Scottie James nearly averaged a double-double this season (12.5 points, 9.0 rebounds).
Outside of these two there really isn't a big threat to the league title. Whichever one doesn't get the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, should be headed to the NIT.
PICK: No. 1 Lipscomb
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