Dorothy, in her ruby red slippers, told us “There’s No Place Like Home.”
When it comes to postseason basketball, there is no place like the Northeast Conference, especially for those who like playing at home.
The large majority of Division I conferences ask their fans to travel to their hoops tournaments, which are usually hosted at a predetermined neutral site.
On the contrary, the NEC brings its Tournament to the fans.
All NEC Tournament games, on both the men’s and women’s sides, are played at the home facilities of the higher seeded teams from start to finish.
Therefore, in the NEC, if their school’s team has earned a home game, students don’t have to squeeze into a fan bus and subsequently endure a five-hour drive to enjoy postseason hoops action. In most cases, a simple walk across the quad will do.
At the NEC Tournament, fans can sit in the same seat they did all season long. For the superstitious types, they can patronize that same hot dog vendor and carry out their pregame routine within the friendly confines of their own “House.”
To celebrate the uniqueness of its Tournament format, the NEC wants to make this March all about the fans.
To that end, the league will conduct a number of interactive promotions through various social media platforms i.e. Twitter, Facebook, and the one, and only, Overtime! Blog. The promotions will give fans the opportunity to provide their “two cents” on the games, the players, the plays, and the moments that make March a special month for them.
After all, fans, it’s #YourTourneyYourHouse.
From the last week of February through mid-March, Overtime! Blog will be the central hub for all interactive tournament activities and information. Here’s what is in store…
The All-NEC Fan Vote
The NEC will release the 2011-12 All-Conference Teams as a prelude to Tournament play. All all-NEC honorees are determined through a vote of the league’s head coaches, but now fans have a chance to chime in on the process.
Starting on February 23, fans can tweet their selections for the league’s major postseason awards and All-NEC Teams @NECsports and/or @NECralph. The results will be displayed on Overtime! daily and all participants will be enter into a random drawing for complimentary NEC merchandise.
Any fan who correctly predicts all five members of either the All-NEC Men’s First Team or All-NEC Women’s First Team along with all four major individual award recipients (Player, Rookie, Defensive Player, Coach) will automatically win a prize.
Fan voting will be done on a category-by-category, day-by-day basis. Once the day concludes voting for that day’s category will be closed.
Fan Voting Timeline
Feb. 23 – All-NEC Men’s First Team Selections (5)
All-NEC Women’s First Team Selections (5)
Feb. 24 — NEC Rookie of the Year (Men’s & Women’s)
Feb. 25 – NEC Coach of the Year (Men’s & Women’s)
Feb. 26 – NEC Defensive Player of the Year (Men’s & Women’s)
Feb. 27 – NEC Player of the Year (Men’s & Women’s)
Feb. 28 – NEC Unveils Official Men’s All-Conference Selections
Feb. 29 — NEC Unveils Official Women’s All-Conference Selections
Watching from a Fan’s Perspective
The NEC wants to see the Tournament unfold through the fans’ eyes. Fans are encouraged to submit their photos via Twitter (@NECsports) or e-mail (email@example.com). All submitted photos will appear on the Overtime! Blog and be in the running for Overtime!’s “Image of the Day.” Those responsible for winning submissions will receive a prize.
What Types of Images the NEC Wants to See
Fans decked out in team apparel
The appearance of the gym/arena (pre-game, in-game and postgame)
Fans Being Fans
Tournament Tweet of the Day
Since its inception, the Overtime! Blog has been in tune with Twitter. The blog’s staff monitors the social media site on a daily basis in an attempt to discover what NEC members and their student-athletes are talking about, and, more importantly, what others are saying about the NEC and its members. Whether it’s through its “Top Tweets of the Day” segment or comprehensive basketball “Tweet-caps,” Overtime! has been sharing its best findings with its readers.
To celebrate March and the hoops madness that goes along with it, Overtime! will feature a Twitter Feed of basketball-related Tweets as well as a “Tournament Tweet of the Day.” Any Twitterer who produces the “Tournament Tweet of the Day” will receive a prize.
The Fans’ Report
In the words of MidMajority.com’s Kyle Whelliston, the Overtime! Blog is crowd-sourcing the task of NEC Tournament game recaps (see MidMajority’s 800 Games Project). In other words, you go to the game, you write about what you witnessed, and submit it to Overtime! with the possibility of it appearing in the following day’s blog post.
Fan can e-mail recaps to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sixth Man Award
After the NEC Women’s Championship Game brings the 2012 Tournament to a close on March 11, the Overtime! Blog staff will sort through all of the images, tweets, and game recaps submitted amidst the madness. The staff’s comprehensive review will result in the selection of THE No. 1 Fan of the 2012 NEC Tournament. This lucky fan will receive the Overtime! Blog Sixth Man Award presented by Ruby Tuesday.