CBB Review hands out awards for each conference tournament in 2023. Up first: The Atlantic Sun Tournament.
Mat Mlodzinski predicted the semifinals and championship matchup perfectly in his Atlantic Sun Tournament preview, however, his pick of Liberty fell just short, as the Flames fouled Terrell Burden with just a second remaining. The senior guard calmly knocked down a free throw to give the Owls the advantage and the win.
It ultimately came down to the league’s two best teams, and if nothing else, this game showed how even the two squads matched up. However, it was Kennesaw State who prevailed and now have a ticket to the Big Dance.
CBB Review Atlantic Sun Tournament Most Outstanding Player
Terrell Burden, Kennesaw State
The leading scorer for the league’s champion averaged just 16.3 points per game, which is a testament for how cohesive the Owls were this week. However, in addition to leading KSU in scoring throughout the tournament, Terrell Burden knocked down the go ahead free throw with one second remaining to punch the Owls’ ticket to the big dance.
Burden started the tournament slow with a 10 point output, but led the Owls in scoring the following two games, pacing KSU with 20 points in its win over Lipscomb and 19 in the championship victory. Burden, above all else, was extremely efficient, shooting 19-for-31 from the field throughout the tournament.
CBB Review All-Atlantic Sun Tournament First Team
- G: Terrell Burden, Kennesaw State – 3 games played (16.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 5.3 APG, 1.3 SPG)
- G: Darius McGhee, Liberty – 3 games played (24.0 PPG, 4.0 APG, 3.3 RPG, 1.7 SPG)
- G: Devontae Blanton, Eastern Kentucky – 2 games played (19.0 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.5 SPG)
- F: Jacob Ognacevic, Lipscomb – 2 games played (24.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 62.5 FG%)
- F: Desmond Robinson, Kennesaw State – 3 games played (14.3 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.3 BPG)
Kennesaw State’s NCAA Tournament Prediction
Round of 64
The Owls are definitely an early candidate for a first round upset, as they finished with the league championship in both the regular season and the postseason. They are a team that shoots extremely efficiently, which could be dangerous for a streaky team on a cold night.
The issue with Kennesaw State is the lack of star power. Although they click well as a unit, they lack “the guy” who can isolate for a big basket in crunch time. Team basketball wins, but in the bright lights of March, talent stands out above most.