NCAA Basketball: The annual argument against conference tournaments
10 March, 2018, 00:55 | Author: Miranda Cannon
Will he play? He hasn't ruled it out, and many indications are that Missouri's star freshman - who has missed virtually the entire season - will give it a go in the SEC Tournament.
Now college basketball's other top conferences are heading into their tournaments.
The Big Ten Tournament title is Michigan's third, although only two are official. That number includes teams which are now playing in their conference tournaments but are considered locks regardless of how they do this week. With wins against North Carolina, Clemson and Duke, the Cavaliers now sit first in the nation in strength of record, and they have proven they are the best team in the nation.
After spending five weeks at No. 1, Villanova was able to bounce back from a pair of conference losses and finish the season on a strong note. The Wildcats have won five of their past six, clinching a Pac-12 regular season title Saturday against Cal, and DeAndre Ayton has averaged 22 points and 15.2 rebounds over that stretch. Throughout the season the competition has been the best in the nation and even some members of the national media -shout out to Dick Vitale- agree that the SEC was the best conference this year.
Villanova (27-4) is No. 2 after jumping over Xavier (27-4). There are about ten teams that have a legit shot at winning it.
It's tough to pick a favorite in this event since so many teams look beatable, but Tennessee has perhaps the most favorable path. This year, there won't be as much suspense regarding the bubble teams.
No. 17 Ohio State fell four spots after an early loss at the Big Ten tournament, while No. 9 Kansas and No. 12 North Carolina - which lost on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at home to Miami and then at rival Duke - each fell three spots. It's an excruciating wait until the bracket is announced this weekend because the Big Ten tourney ended Sunday after being moved up a week earlier than normal in order to play at Madison Square Garden in NY. But the last impression that the Cornhuskers left on the selection committee was a loss to MI in their first game of the Big Ten Tournament on Friday. OK State is the first team to sweep the Jayhawks in the Self era. However, every year, there has been one team that we select that the Committee does not. Coupling this experience with its 16th-ranked strength of schedule in its pocket, this team is destined for a Final Four run.
Tennessee wants to make sure the jubilant atmosphere that followed its regular-season finale isn't its last celebration. The Boilermakers won the tournament title in 2009.
The Big Ten's bubble teams can only watch now while other schools get a chance to impress the selection committee.
Despite losing nine games this season, North Carolina is risky. The four lowest-seed teams to earn an automatic bid by winning their conference tournament and the four lowest-seeded at-large teams are the eight teams chosen for those games.
ASU (11 seed)- For the Sun Devils, a win over Colorado gets them in and a loss would leave them out of the NCAA Tournament. "Vincent Edwards - his ankle looked pretty good last night (in the quarterfinals), but that would be a good example of a few more days of treatment, and that type of thing", former coach and CBS analyst Bill Raftery said.
Selection Sunday is this weekend, and 68 teams will make it into the NCAA tournament bracket. Teams like Butler, VCU and, most recently, South Carolina, proved that Cinderella stories can come out of nowhere.
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