Observations from the last week of the regular season (for some teams) and conference tournament play...
Big South's big dogs
Winthrop has now won or shared nine regular-season championships, extending its Big South record. UNC Asheville’s total now stands at six, which is tied for second-most in conference history. Keon Johnson showed why he is the most dominant player in the Big South with five 3-pointers while scoring 31 points in a semifinal win over No. 4 seed Gardner-Webb. Xavier Cooks hauled in 15 rebounds and scored 23 points, including a clutch take-the-lead-for-good free throw in OT. Then Johnson, the Big South player of the year, dropped 26 on Campbell in the Big South championship game earning the automatic bid!
Rhode Island’s Hassan Martin is the only active Division I player with at least 1,200 career points, 700 career rebounds, and 300 career blocked shots.
Giddy Potts scored a career-high 30 points to lead Middle Tennessee past FAU 93-59 to close out the regular season with 27 victories. MTSU (27-4, 17-1) has dominated Conference USA and deserves an NCAA Tournament bid regardless of their C-USA tournament fate.
Tigers own March
Princeton hasn't lost a March home game since 2008. That is 14 in a row! Of the five March home games in the current seniors' careers, four have been decided by five or fewer points. The Tigers march into the first Ivy League Tournament undefeated at 14-0 in league play.
Move up and win
Jacksonville State’s 20 overall wins are tied for the most since moving to the Division I level (the team won 20 games in 2002-03). First-year coach Ray Harper is guaranteed his 18th-consecutive winning season as a head coach (Kentucky Wesleyan, Oklahoma City University, Western Kentucky, Jacksonville State). More importantly Harper and his Gamecocks won the OVC tournament earning the NCAA automatic bid. Harper is arguably the greatest March coach in the nation as he has earned two national titles (two NAIA, 2 NCAA DII) and two Sun Belt titles in 2012 and 2013 at Western Kentucky where his team won four straight games in back-to-back Sun Belt tournaments as No. 7 and No. 6 seeds. Add to his resume engineering a win in Nashville as the No. 4 seed this year. The dude can COACH!
Hot! Hot! Hot!
Houston Baptist is the hottest team in the Southland! The Huskies have won nine straight! Colter Lasher had 28 points defeating the other hot Southland team, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 94-80. TACC had won nine straight. Artif Russell scored a career-high 24 points and Reveal Chukwujekwu added a career-tying 23 with 12 rebounds and five assists for the Huskies now 17-12, and 12-6 in the Southland.
Mark Adams is ASN's lead basketball analyst. Follow him on Twitter at @EnthusiAdams.