Northeast Conference Tournament 2012 Bracket: Long Island Wins Conference Title, Earns NCAA Tournament Bid

The Northeast Conference men's basketball tournament got underway Thursday night, and top-seeded Long Island advanced.

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Long Island Vs. Robert Morris Final Score: 90-73 Win Sends Blackbirds To NCAA Tournament

The Long Island Blackbirds beat the Robert Morris Colonials by a final score of 90-73 on Wednesday night. The win gives the Blackbirds an invite to the 2012 NCAA Tournament, as the lone representative from the Northeast Conference.

Long Island played a speedy, spirited game. Jason Brickman and Julian Boyd each had a double-double. Brickman scored 18 points and had 11 assists. Boyd had 10 rebounds to go with 18 points of his own. Boyd also hit two of three 3-point shots. CJ Garner led the team with 21 points. Five players from Long Island scored in double figures.

Long Island hit 53 percent of their shots from the field, compared to just 37 percent for Robert Morris.

The latest Bracketology update from SB Nation, projected Long Island to win the Northeast Conference and earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament. Currently, they have the Blackbirds as the 15th seed in the Midwest Regional, matched up against Ohio State.

For complete tournament coverage, check out SB Nation's NCAA hoops hub.

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2012 Northeast Conference Tournament: Long Island Moves On While St. Francis Goes Home

In a conference where only the winner has any hope of getting a taste of March Madness, the action was furious in the opening round of the Northeast Conference Tournament Thursday night. Long Island dispatched Sacred Heart easily, while Robert Morris, Wagner and Quinnipiac all moved on as well.

1. Long Island Vs. 8. Sacred Heart

In a game Long Island was expected to win, it did just that beating Sacred Heart, 80-68.

Jason Brickman had a stellar game with 13 points and 12 assists, leading the way for the Blackbirds. Long Island (23-8, 16-2) showed off a balanced attack with five players in double-digits, including Jamal Olasewere who scored a team-high 20 points.

The Pioneers (14-18, 8-10) got a great effort from Shane Gibson who poured in 22 points on eight of 15 shooting. Louis Montes also accrued a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The main difference in the game was turnovers. Sacred Heart gave away its possession 16 times compared to just 10 Long Island turnovers.

The Blackbirds will now move on to face Quinnipiac in the semi-finals.

4. St. Francis (NY) Vs. 5. Quinnipiac

Basketball is often a game of runs, and this one was no different. Quinnipiac beat St. Francis, 80-72, after blowing the contest open with a 14-0 streak late in the first half.

The Terriers (15-15, 12-6) valiantly tried to fight their way back into the game, but to no avail. Sophomore guard Brent Jones had 21 points and five assists in a wonderful performance, albeit in a losing cause.

The game was tied at 23 when the Bobcats (18-12, 10-8) went off, taking a 37-23 advantage they would never relinquish. James Johnson was the top scorer with 23 points while Ike Azotam had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds to compliment four blocks.

The Bobcats advanced to earn a date with Long Island in the semi-finals.

2. Wagner Vs. 7. Central Connecticut State

Wagner took care of business, winning 87-77 over an over-matched Blue Devils team.

After being beaten badly by Central Connecticut (13-16, 10-8) less than a week ago, the Seahawks (25-5, 15-3) put their best foot forward and assured themselves of a longer season.

Kenneth Ortiz had 16 points, six assists and five rebounds to pace Wagner. The Blue Devils saw senior Ken Horton have a monster game with 25 points and nine rebounds in his final collegiate performance.

Wagner will see the Colonials in the semi-finals.

3. Robert Morris Vs. 6. Monmouth

The Colonials beat up on Monmouth, 87-68, to advance into the semi-final round.

Coron Williams was the unquestioned star of the show, scoring 25 points. Lucky Jones also gave Robert Morris (23-9, 13-5) some punch, adding 16 points and seven rebounds off the bench.

The Hawks (12-20, 10-8) were led Jesse Steele who had a nice all-around game of 11 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals. Ed Waite was the top-scorer for Monmouth with 14 points.

-- For more coverage of the Northeast Conference Tournament, be sure to check out this stream and SB Nation New York.

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