The top eight teams of the regular season will battle it out for the Northeast Conference Men’s Basketball Championship, kind of. Merrimack College, who just made the jump from division 2 this season, was the best team in the conference this season, but is ineligible to play in the conference tournament until 2024. This tournament will take place March 4 -10 with the first round play taking place on March 4, the semifinals on March 7 and the championship on March 10. The higher seed will host each game of the tournament and each the bracket is reseeded after the quarterfinal games.
|Mt. St. Mary’s||+3000|
|St. Francis, N.Y.||+6000|
Robert Morris, who will be the top seed in this year’s tournament, is the most successful team in the Northeast Conference. The Colonials have won eight conference tournament titles and hold a two title advantage over both LIU – Brooklyn and Farleigh Dickinson. Mount St. Mary’s (5), Central Connecticut (3), Saint Francis PA (1) and Wagner (1) are other active schools to have won a conference tournament title.
Last season, Farleigh Dickinson entered as the #2 seed, though there were tied with Saint Francis (PA) on record, and came out on top to earn the automatic big to the NCAA Tournament. The Knights opened up play in the quarterfinals with an 84-46 demolition of #7 Wagner. In the semifinals, Robert Morris hosted the #4 seed Robert Morris Colonials and FDU came away with the tight 66-62 win. FDU played the top seed Saint Francis (PA) in the final and came away with an 85-76 road win to lift the trophy. Farleigh Dickinson ended up drawing the top seed in the West, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, and ended up losing 87-49.
It really is a shame that the best team in the conference isn’t eligible to participate in the tournament, but there are still three very good teams competing for the NCAA Tournament automatic bid. In the quarterfinals I see #1 Robert Morris, #2 Saint Francis (PA), #3 Sacred Heart, and #5 Farleigh Dickinson all advancing to the semifinals. In the semifinals I like Fairleigh Dickinson to upset the top seed and for Saint Francis (PA) to beat Sacred Heart. Saint Francis easily beat FDU in the regular season, but I like Farleigh Dickinson to get revenge and win the 2020 Northeast Conference tournament.