The Radford Highlanders, Loyola Ramblers, Lipscomb Bisons and Michigan Wolverines all punched their ticket in the NCAA Tournament. This week, we will have all the rest of the NCAA Conference Tournament Action, and then Selection Sunday will tell us the story for the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest conference tournaments and give a brief preview and prediction for them:
Atlantic Coast Conference:
The Virginia Cavaliers are the favorites in this tournament played in Brooklyn, but man oh man, it;s going to be interesting. Can the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels get their tie breaker game and play for the third time this season? The Blue Devils will need 1 win and the Tar Heels will need 2 to make it happen. The top seed Virginia cannot love that they may see Louisville in their first game, as the Cavaliers needed a miracle to beat them earlier last week. Duke is the most talented team in the nation, and they are our pick to win the Atlantic Coast Conference title.
Atlantic 10 Conference:
Interesting bracket, as the defending champion Rhode Island Rams are back as the top seed. The Rams have struggled a bit down the stretch, with teams like St. Bonaventure and Davidson beating them. Those two teams will likely play, with the winner taking on Rhode Island, or another team that beat them in St. Joseph in the title game. This tournament looks to be mostly chalk, with no major upsets. Look for Rhode Island to get back on track and defend their conference tournament this week as winners of the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Big 12 Conference:
The Iowa State Cyclones are the defending champions of the Big 12 Conference, and are the last seed in this tournament. The top seeded Kansas Jayhawks will face either Oklahoma or Oklahoma State, teams that both beat them this season. The bottom of the bracket is a cut throat with West Virginia, Baylor, Texas and Texas Tech all contending. This is a tough one to handicap, as literally nearly anyone in this league could take down the title. Look for Bill Self to have his Jayhawks ready after their loss to Oklahoma State to take down the conference championship.
Pac 12 Conference:
If you thought the Big 12 was going to be a toss up, look at what is going to happen out in Las Vegas for the Pac-12 Tournament. The Arizona Wildcats are the top team in the conference, and the most talented team….. But, we have heard about all of their drama going on. Arizona State will get a chance to upset the Wildcats if they can get by Colorado in the first round. Look for an upset there, and the Sun Devils get to the Pac-12 title. When betting a champion, the 2nd seeded USC Trojans are going to be the team that we want to bet on. Take USC to win the Pac-12 title.
The SEC heads to St. Louis for the first time ever, and there is plenty of interesting storylines for this tournament. The team closest the Missouri Tigers are playing some great basketball right now. As the 5th seed, they have a good shot. But, they will have to take on Kentucky in the third round, and that’s not a good matchup. If the Tigers can beat the Wildcats, they can win this conference tournament. The team that is playing good basketball right now is the Florida Gators. As the third seed, if they can get by Arkansas and Tennessee, take them to win the conference title.
There are some Conference Tournament picks for this week. Enjoy the games!