WESTFIELD, Mass. – The Salem State Vikings have earned the top seed in the 2013-14 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament which begins on Tuesday, February 25 with the quarterfinals, then the semifinals on Thursday, February 27 and commences with the championship on Saturday, March 1.
Landing a first-round bye, Salem State and Bridgewater State will await the winners of the quarterfinal match-ups on Tuesday. Third-seeded Worcester plays host to sixth-seeded Framingham State at 7 p.m. at Assumption College while fourth-seeded Westfield State entertains fifth-seeded MCLA at 7 p.m.
Salem State will play the winner of Westfield State/MCLA at 7 p.m. and Bridgewater State will take on the victor of Worcester State/Framingham State at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. The semifinal winners will meet in the championship game on Saturday which will be hosted by the highest remaining seed.
Salem State earned the top seed in the tournament with nine conference wins and a 16-8 overall record. Junior Bryan Ortiz led the Vikings in points per game (15.7) and finished the season third in the conference in three-point percentage (39.4).
Earning the second seed in the tournament, Bridgewater State ended the regular season with eight wins and a 14-11 overall record. Leading the way for the Bears, junior Michael Lofton concluded the season first in the conference in field goal percentage (66.3) and third in both points per game (16.8) and rebounds per game (9.2).
Worcester State sits in the third slot with eight conference wins and an 11-13 overall mark on the season. Senior Dane Jobst was a dominant force for the Lancers, leading the league in rebounds per game (13.5) and fourth in points per game (16.7). Westfield State locked down the fourth-seed with eight league wins and a 15-10 overall record. Junior Grant Cooper had a strong season for the Owls, finishing second in both points per game (17.2) and rebounds per game (9.2).
Nabbing the final two tournament spots were MCLA and Framingham State. MCLA concluded the regular season with five conference wins and an 8-16 overall record. John Jones paced the Trailblazers, finishing third in the MASCAC in field goal percentage (50.6), fourth in rebounds per game and fifth in points per game (16.7). Framingham State rounds out the tournament field with the sixth-seed. Junior Jamie Henderson led the Rams in points per game (10.8) while freshman Daniel Gould finished the regular season fourth in the MASCAC in three-point percentage (38.2)
During the 2012-13 conference tournament, fifth-seeded Fitchburg State upset second-seeded MCLA 80-72 to claim their first conference title and an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.