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Monday's Daily Briefing: Thursday's game at Denver has high stakes

With Florida Atlantic still boasting the best record in the Sun Belt Conference, Thursday’s game at Denver is certainly looming large.

But it’s not necessarily for the reason many are thinking.
FAU has the best SBC record at 10-1 and Denver is second at 7-3.
High stakes? Yes and No.
A couple of weeks ago I described how this year’s format for the Sun Belt Conference Tournament didn’t give any advantage to the team with best Sun Belt record. Of course, that hasn’t kept some (the misinformed fans who don’t read FAUOwlAccess.com) from declaring that Thursday’s game at Denver, the West Division leader, could help decide the No. 1 seed in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
Unfortunately there is no competitive difference between winning the West or winning the East, regardless who has the better record. Having the best record only determines which team is listed as the “home” or “visitor” in should both division winners reach the finals in Hot Springs, Ark.
When you hear or read someone say this Thursday’s game is big because it could determine the No. 1 seed, disregard that opinion. In fact, in that respect it’s really not that big of a deal at all.
But back to the reason FAU’s game at Denver is big. The winner of the game will hold the tie-breaker for an invitation to the NIT - a possible consolation prize if the team with the best Sun Belt record fails to win the conference tournament. If the Pioneers were to pull the upset, they would only have to finish with the same - not a better -  Sun Belt record to have the NIT bid as a fallback.
And, should FAU win on Thursday, the Owls will clinch at least a first-round bye for the tournament.
That’s why it’s a big game and can’t get here soon enough.
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
It was Super Sunday, but it wasn't so super for the FAU women's basketball team, which lost to FIU
  • Other linkage
Shavar Richardson is stepping up, the Sun-Sentinel says
February 07, 2011

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