Team of the Moment: UT-Arlington
21-11 (7-9 Southland)
Computer numbers (through Saturday; courtesy of kenpom.com): RPI 149, SOS 212
Result today: Defeated Northwestern State 82-79 to win the Southland Conference title.
Make way for another NCAA Tournament first-timer, with the Mavericks of Texas-Arlington punching their ticket to the Dance with a hard-fought win over Northwestern State. Junior forward Anthony Vereen led the way with 25 points and nine rebounds, but the biggest development in regards to next week may be the health of guard Rog'er Guignard, who went down late with an apparent ankle injury. Guignard, who comes off the bench, is an "instant offense" type of player who can give teams fits when on his game. Now, where does this team go? Their overall record is a bit deceiving when you account for the fact that the Mavericks have four wins over non-Division I teams this season. Hello Dayton? We'll find out in a matter of minutes who will play Coppin State on Tuesday, but I think it's a toss-up between the Mavericks and Mount St. Mary's.
But the only thing that matters right now to UT-Arlington is this: they're making their first trip to the NCAA Tournament.
On the clock: Georgia and Illinois. If your team happens to be on the bubble, you'd better cheer like you-know-what for opponents Arkansas and Wisconsin. If the Bulldogs and Fighting Illini complete their magical runs, someone (or someones if both win) will be staying home.