By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @NoontimeLax
Happy Monday, everyone. And welcome to a BUSY conference tournament week, which will feature some amazing games (and moments), along with some automatic qualifiers (and at-large bids, as well) for the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament.
While conference tournament play has begun for some, it’s never too last to dish out some predictions for who will win their respective tournament.
Below are the teams Matt Noonan believes will win their respective conference crown.
Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Men’s Tournament: Western New England. The Golden Bear marched through their conference tournament schedule without a single loss and will have no problem topping Curry College on Tuesday and then Endicott College in the final round.
Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Women’s Tournament: Endicott College. The Gulls will repeat as conference champions this week behind solid efforts from Jackie Healy and Jennifer Lacroix.
Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Men’s Tournament: Lasell College. The Lasers breezed by Rivier University earlier this spring and should do the same in the semifinals before beating the winner of Johnson & Wales-Norwich University.
Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Women’s Tournament: Johnson & Wales. There is no way the Wildcats lose this week. Simmons College will provide some early challenges in its semifinal meeting, but in the end, they will find a way past the Sharks before topping Regis College in the championship round.
Little East Conference (LEC) Men’s Tournament: Keene State. The Owls struggled from the get-go but will secure their conference crown on Saturday with either a win over Plymouth State or Western Connecticut.
Little East Conference (LEC) Women’s Tournament: Plymouth State. The Panthers are a safe prediction to win the LEC title, but they will need to get past Southern Maine to secure the automatic bid. Additionally, I would not overlook Castleton University in the LEC Tournament, as well.
Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Women’s Tournament: Framingham State. The Rams finished the regular season with a 7-0 mark in conference play to secure the top spot in this year’s MASCAC Tournament. They will surely find a way past Massachusetts Maritime Academy or Worcester State in the semifinals to secure a spot in the championship round.
New England Collegiate Conference (NECC)/ North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Men’s Championship Prediction: New England College. The Pilgrims can move up and down the field at ease and should find a way past SUNY Canton in the 2019 NECC/NAC Finals.
New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Women’s Tournament: Becker College. The Hawks secured the top seed and should have no problem winning the NECC title. Expect the championship game to be between Becker and New England College.
New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Men’s Tournament: Tufts University. Since falling to Wesleyan University, the Jumbos have scored some impressive wins over Amherst College, Bates College, and Middlebury College. Their semifinal tilt with the Panthers won’t be easy – Middlebury knocked-off last year’s national champion Cardinals and will certainly provide challenges for the Jumbos. But in the end, I see the Powder Blue and White competing for a championship against Williams College, which I think will find a way to beat Amherst in the other semifinal matchup. Williams topped Amherst earlier this spring by a score of 13-11.
New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Women’s Tournament: Tufts University. Yes, I am picking the Jumbos to beat Middlebury College in the championship. Their semifinal match-up against Wesleyan won’t be easy, but Tufts will find a way to outlast the Cardinals before taking down Middlebury, which should beat Amherst in its semifinal matchup.
New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Men’s Tournament: Coast Guard Academy. The Bears will advance to the NCAA Tournament but will face some stiff competition along the way to snatching its conference crown. The winner of Babson College-Clark University will provide the Blue and Orange with challenges, as well as whoever wins between MIT and Springfield. But in the end, the Bears will prevail by at least one or two goals.
New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women’s Tournament: Babson College. The Beavers are the top seed and favorite – they will most likely face MIT, which I think should outlast Springfield in its semifinal tilt.
North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Women’s Championship Prediction: SUNY Canton. SUNY Canton had its way with Husson University on Sunday in the conference tournament semifinals and will have no problem topping UMaine-Farmington in Saturday’s championship.
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