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Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament Preview

Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament Preview

By naiahoopsreport_admin February 19, 2021 0 Comments

2021 AAC Conference Tournament Bracket

Via aacsports.com

Opening Round

February 20th

#9 Bluefield at #8 Kentucky Christian, 4 pm – video

#12 St. Andrews at #5 Milligan, 2 pm – video

#10 Bryan at #7 Union, 4 pm – video

#11 Truett McConnell at #6 Montreat, 4 pm – video

Quarterfinals

February 25th – (Kingsport, KY)

Game 1 winner vs #1 Reinhardt
 

Game 2 winner vs #4 Tennessee Wesleyan

Game 3 winner vs #2 Point

Game 4 winner vs #3 Columbia International

WATCH LIVE

Semifinals

February 26th –(Kingsport, KY)

Game 5 winner vs Game 6 Winner

Game 7 winner vs Game 8 Winner

WATCH LIVE

Finals

February 27th – (Kingsport, KY)

Game 9 Winner vs Game 10 Winner

WATCH LIVE

League Notes:

The top seed:  Reinhardt (18-7, 13-6)
NAIA Locks:  None
NAIA Bubble Teams:   None
Best chances to win this tournament:  Reinhardt (18-7, 13-6), Point (18-6, 14-6), Columbia International (14-6, 13-6), Tennessee Wesleyan (14-7, 12-7)
Possible sleeper:    Union (9-9, 8-8)

KEY PLAYERS:

Markell Turner 6’2 Soph – Union: 27.3ppg, 4.1rpg, 3.2apg

Turner heads into the AAC Tourney as the Nations 2nd leading scorer. He is one of the best shooters in the NAIA and has lit  up the AAC this season. Despite Union not winning as many games, Turner should still be the AAC Player of the Year.

Corey Benton 6’4 Senior – CIU: 24.7ppg, 6.6rpg, 3.7apg

After transferring in from Shawnee State as a Sophomore, Benton has been really good for CIU and is a big reason why this program has had such a huge turnaround. 

Bryant Bernard 6’0 Senior – TN Wesleyan 21.9ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.3apg

Bryant is capable of going for 30 pts while completely taking over games.  He’s shown that he is an elite scorer several times this season and if his 3-ball is falling, this TWU team could win the AAC Tourney!

KEY TEAMS:

#1 Reinhardt – Winners of 8 of their last 10 games. The Eagles under Head Coach Justin Newton went from a 7-22 squad in 19-20, to a 18-7 team this year. They get the #1 overall seed for the AAC Tournament and will have a great shot at getting 1 of the 2 AAC auto-bids.

#2 Point – Another team with a dramatic turnaround in their Head Coach’s 2nd season. Jake Deer has led his Skyhawks to an 18-6 record this season after going 15-15 in his first season. The Skyhawks were ranked as high as #24 on the season and are a favorite to win the AAC Tourney Title!

#3 Columbia International – Have won 9 of their last 11 games coming into the Tournament. Head Coach Tony Stockman has done great things with this CIU program over the past 3 seasons. Raising the programs standards each year he’s been at the helm. A program who just 3 years ago had their first winning season in program history and is now competing for AAC Titles.

 

UPSET SPECIAL: 

#7 Union – The reigning champs have won the AAC Tournament 7 straight times. Despite being the 7-seed they have the pedigree to win the AAC Tournament. Wouldn’t count out the Bulldogs quite yet!

OTHER NOTES:

The last team, outside of the Union Bulldogs to win the AAC Tourney? – Tennessee Wesleyan in 2013-14

AAC has (2) auto-bids: The AAC Tournament Champion and the 2nd team will be selected by the AAC Committee

Best Opening Round Matchup: #10 Bryan @ #7 Union –This Bryan team is young but has some talent. Union is looking to push its AAC Tournament Championship streak to 8 years in a row. Both teams have lost a ton of close games this season. Expect a close game throughout the entire 40 minutes or more!

Our Pick To Win It:  Reinhardt – We love their balance, their ability to defend and force turnovers and their ability to shoot the three ball. They don’t turn the ball over and they know how to get open shots. All of that usually leads to successful postseason runs!

 

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