NEC tournament begins on Thursday

The Northeast Conference tournament tips off on Thursday, with three local schools vying for a championship and an NCAA tournament bid.

LIU Brooklyn (22-8, 16-2 NEC), the top seed, takes on No. 8 seed Sacred Heart. Wagner (24-5, 15-3 NEC), the No. 2 seed, faces No. 7 seed Central Connecticut State. And St. Francis of Brooklyn (15-14, 12-6 NEC), the No. 4 seed, plays No. 5 seed Quinnipiac.

All NEC tournament games are played at the home venue of the higher-seeded team. All three games on Thursday are at 7 p.m., with the semifinals three days later on Sunday.

Both LIU and Wagner ended the regular season on a losing note -- LIU lost to Monmouth 106-78, while Wagner lost to Central Connecticut 78-61. But both had already clinched their No. 1 and No. 2 seeds.