February 19, 2021 0 Comments
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)
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!
#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.
#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!
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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