clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Our favorites, sleepers, and dark horses in the 2020 Atlantic Sun basketball tournament

The Liberty Flames will be overwhelming favorites, but can someone else sneak up and steal the automatic bid?

Liberty Flames forward Myo Baxter-Bell walks off the court after losing to the Virginia Tech Hokies in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at SAP Center. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA Tournament is a few weeks away, which means it’s conference tournament time to set the table for March Madness. We’ll be taking a look at some of the best teams in each conference, and providing picks and predictions each conference tournament. Plenty of favorites will win, but we’ve got some sleepers to consider that might be able to pull off a big upset on the way to the NCAA Tournament.

Here’s the bracket for the A-Sun Tournament with TV listings, dates and times.

No league in America has a pre-determined conference tournament more than the A-Sun. The conference that once gave us Dunk City in the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles now is dominated by the Liberty, who have invested massively in D1 Athletics. It shows in their results, with the Flames a full 100+ spots clear of any other school in the league in the NET. If they weren’t so heavily favored to win this tournament, they’d be a contender to host an NIT game.

Favorite

Liberty. By a lot. They defend well (48th in adjusted defense), but really slow it down as they’re 352nd in tempo. Scottie James is one of the best offensive rebounders in America, and he helps with possessions for a team that values them more than most. The Flames go nine-deep, and don’t really turn it over. They’ll be a tough out for someone that won’t want to play them in March.

Sleeper

Hard to call the second-best team in a league a sleeper, but in this case it’s warranted. UNF is 12-3 in the league, and only lost by five in Lynchburg and by one at home. They’ll be a long shot, especially with the conference tournament taking place on the home court of the higher-seeded team, but they have the best chance to get it done. They’d also likely end up in Dayton, so other mid-majors are rooting for this to happen as it gets one more of their league title-winners out of the First Four.

Dark Horse

Lipscomb: The Bisons (yes, it’s plural) are the most efficient offense outside the top-two. But the top-two are also Kansas-Baylor levels ahead of everyone else in the A-Sun. They only lost by seven at Liberty and by eight at UNF in Jacksonville, but will still be serious underdogs here. And as they’re on track for the No. 4 seed, it means they get Liberty in the semifinals. Just have to hope they’re looking past you in Lynchburg.