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Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament – Quarterfinal Preview

Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament – Quarterfinal Preview

By naiahoopsreport_admin February 25, 2021 0 Comments

2021 AAC Conference Tournament Bracket

Opening Round

February 20th

No. 5 Milligan def. No. 12 St. Andrews, 83-81 (OT)

No. 6 Montreat def. No. 11 Truett McConnell, 88-79

No. 7 Union def. No. 10 Bryan, 95-73

 

No. 8 Kentucky Christian def. No. 9 Bluefield, 87-75

Quarterfinals

February 25th – (Kingsport, KY)

No. 1 Reinhardt vs. No. 8 Kentucky Christian, 10 am

No. 4 Tennessee Wesleyan vs. No. 5 Milligan, 12 pm

No. 2 Point vs. No. 7 Union, 6 pm

No. 3 Columbia International vs. No. 6 Montreat, 8 pm

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

Named the AAC Player of the Year, and played like it in the opening round leading the Bulldogs with 35pts, 9assists and 5 rebounds in their win.

 

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 – Won their opening round game behind 35pts, 9 assists, 5 rebounds from the AAC Player of the Year, Markell Turner

Quarterfinal Game Notes:

No. 1 Reinhardt vs. No. 8 Kentucky Christian, 10 am

Season series tied 1-1

The last time these two met Reinhardt won by 27pts. Winners of 5 straight coming into the tournament Reinhardt picked up the top seed. How an early morning game played in a hotel affects them is key. If they can pounce early, they can run away with this one.

No. 4 Tennessee Wesleyan vs. No. 5 Milligan, 12 pm

Tennessee Wesleyan 1-0

Oddly enough, these two teams haven’t played each other since the middle of November. In that game Tennessee Wesleyan won by 17. It’s a different part of the season though and both teams come in pretty hot. Milligan has an AAC Tournament game under their belt already, but this Tennessee Wesleyan team plays hard and will be hungry.

No. 2 Point vs. No. 7 Union, 6 pm

Point 1-0

These two teams played an OT thriller back in early January with Point winning 100-92. They have their hands full in trying to slow down Markell Turner, but AAC Coach of the Year Jake Deer will try to get his boys ready to fend off the upset.

No. 3 Columbia International vs. No. 6 Montreat, 8 pm

CIU 1-0

Again this game was played back in November, but it was a SHOOTOUT as CIU won 118-115. This Montreat team has some good youngsters so this will be great experience for them. CIU is led by Corey Benton who is one of the better scorers in the AAC. Should be another high scoring affair in this one.

OTHER NOTES:

AAC Tournament Page

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 Quarterfinal Game: 

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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