It had to happen this way, right?

Two-plus months of Big South basketball eventually came down to two-plus hours in High Point.  The tiebreaker scenarios were all clear Saturday morning.  We all knew what had to happen to cement seeds, hosting privileges and more.

When the dust settled at the end of overtime in High Point, Gardner-Webb’s overtime victory locked in our lineup for the conference tourney, and set up the quarterfinals and semifinals — at least — on the campus of Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina.  The tournament starts Thursday afternoon, and we’ll break down the slate in just a bit.  First, though, here’s a look at your conference superlatives for 2016-2017.

All-Conference Teams

First-Team All-Conference

Keon Johnson, G, Sr., Winthrop
21.8 ppg, Big South Player of the Year, third-highest FT percentage (86.8)
Xavier Cooks, F, Jr., Winthrop
Sixth-highest scoring average (15.9 ppg), second in rebounding (8.8)
Ahmad Thomas, G, Jr., UNC Asheville
Third in scoring (18 ppg), seventh in rebounding (6.5), highest FG percentage (54.3), T-1st in steals (94)
Chris Clemons, G, Soph., Campbell
Conference scoring leader (23.2 ppg)
MaCio Teague, G, Fr., UNC Asheville
Seventh in scoring (15.5 ppg), 47.1% FG, second in FT percentage (88%)

Second-Team All-Conference

LaQuincy Rideau, G, Soph., Gardner-Webb
T-1st in steals (94), conference leader in assists (5.3), 10th in rebounding (5.7), 10th in scoring (13.9 ppg)
Miles Bowman Jr., F, R-Sr., High Point
11th in scoring (13.9 ppg), third in rebounding (8 rpg), leader in FT percentage (89.9%)
Tyrell Nelson, F, Sr., Gardner-Webb
Second in FG percentage (53.8%), sixth in rebounding (6.9), 14th in scoring (13 ppg)
Ryan Kemrite, G, R-Jr., Liberty
Fourth in FT percentage (84.4%), 12th in scoring (13.6), fourth in three-point FG made (71)
Khris Lane, F, R-Jr., Longwood
Fifth in scoring (17.1), fourth in rebounding (7.3), third in FG percentage (53.7)

Honorable Mention All-Conference

Christian Keeling, G, Fr., Charleston Southern
519 points, fourth in scoring (17.3 ppg), fifth in rebounds (6.9), ninth in FT percentage (77.6%)
Ed Polite Jr., F, Soph., Radford
11.7 ppg, leader in rebounds (9.7), fourth in steals (53)
Darrion Allen, G, Sr., Longwood
Eighth in scoring (14.4), fifth in FT percentage (83.7%)
David Efianayi, G, R-Soph., Gardner-Webb
13th in scoring (13 ppg)
John Dawson, G, R-Sr., Liberty
13th in assists (2.5), 14th in steals (1.1)

All-Freshman Team

MaCio Teague, G, Fr., UNC Asheville
Christian Keeling, G, Fr., Charleston Southern
Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz, G, Fr., Liberty
14th in assists (2.5)
Myo Baxter-Bell, F, R-Fr., Liberty
8.4 ppg in Big South play
Jo’Vontae Millner, G, Fr., Presbyterian College
21st in scoring (10.9), 12th in rebounding (5.6), out since Feb. 9 (shoulder injury)

Player of the Year

Keon Johnson, G, Sr., Winthrop

Freshman of the Year

MaCio Teague, G, Fr., UNC Asheville

Defensive Player of the Year

Ahmad Thomas, G, Jr., UNC Asheville

Coach of the Year

Nick McDevitt, UNC Asheville

Saturday’s Results

UNC Asheville 63, Liberty 45
Ahmad Thomas pours in 31 on 12-of-20 shooting; Teague tallies a double-double (12 points, 10 boards); Bulldog defense holds Liberty to 20.8 percent shooting (5-for-24) in second half

Charleston Southern 86, Longwood 78
Lancers pour in 51 second-half points to nearly pull the upset; Khris Lane (LU) paces everyone with 27 points and 10 boards; LU teammate D.J. Allen scores 23; five Bucs finish in doubles, led by Cortez Mitchell (22) and Armel Potter (20)

Gardner-Webb 88, High Point 86 (OT)
LaQuincy Rideau pours in 22 and finishes with nine dimes for the Runnin’ Bulldogs; four other Gardner-Webb shooters finish in double figures; four Panthers score in doubles, including Miles Bowman Jr. (24 points, 8 boards)

Campbell 61, Radford 58
Camel star Chris Clemons finishes 6-of-23 shooting, but cans two huge free throws with five seconds remaining to help seal the win; Ed Polite Jr. scores 11 points and pulls down 19 boards for the Highlanders

Winthrop 93, Presbyterian 56
Eagles take home fifth straight win; Rod Perkins’ 6-for-7 three-point effort helps him lead all Winthrop scorers with 18; PC’s Ed Drew notches a double-double (13 points, 10 boards) in his final game in the Templeton Center

Tuesday (First-Round) Results

#7 Campbell 81, #10 Presbyterian 62
Clemons connects on 10-of-14 shots to finish with 27 points, adding eight boards and four helpers; Campbell shoots 57.8 percent (26-for-45); Darius Moore leads PC with 21 points (7-for-14 3PT); Drew contributes 17 for the Blue Hose; Campbell advances to play #2 UNC Asheville at 1 p.m. Thursday

#8 Charleston Southern 79, #9 Longwood 74
Keeling leads the Bucs with 29 points and 10 boards; Lane and Isaiah Walton score 24 apiece for the Lancers; both clubs snap the 50 percent mark (LU 53.7%, CSU 50.9%) from the field; Charleston Southern advances to play #1 Winthrop at 7 p.m. Thursday

Thursday (Quarterfinal) Schedule (all games on ESPN3)
#2 UNC Asheville vs. #7 Campbell, 1:00pm
SEASON:  2-0 Asheville (72-56 at UNCA Jan. 21, 66-53 at Campbell Feb. 18)

#3 Liberty vs. #6 Radford, 3:00pm
SEASON:  2-0 Liberty (71-64 [OT] at Radford Jan. 14, 57-54 at Liberty Feb. 4)

#1 Winthrop vs. #8 Charleston Southern, 7:00pm
SEASON:  2-0 Winthrop (84-68 at Charleston Southern Dec. 29, 86-72 at Winthrop Feb. 23)

#4 Gardner-Webb vs. #5 High Point, 9:00pm
SEASON:  1-1 (71-64 High Point at Gardner-Webb Dec. 29, 88-86 [OT] Gardner-Webb at High Point Feb. 25)

Friday (Semifinal) Schedule (all games on ESPN3)
UNCA/Campbell winner vs. Liberty/Radford winner, 6:00pm
Winthrop/CSU winner vs. High Point/Gardner-Webb winner, 8:00pm

Sunday (Final) Schedule (game broadcast on ESPN, played at highest remaining seed)
Semifinal winners, 1:00pm

We’ll be on-site all weekend for each remaining game of the Big South tournament.  Follow me on Twitter (@sportsmatters) for updates, notes and game stories from the opening tip to the final buzzer!