Friday, March 05, 2010

Championshp Week- 12 Champions that Matter

March is officially underway with Championship Week and Conference tournaments going for the next 9 days!!!!

I haven't done the math, but the 64 games it takes to complete the NCAA tournament is nothing compared to the hundreds of games it takes to get 30 conferences of 8-16 teams down to the 30 conference tourney Champs. Not all of the tournaments are of ultimate importance for several reasons. The largest conferences are mostly set and will get 5-7 teams and everyone knows who they are. The smaller conferences will only get 1 team and even a huge upset won't really affect the field. However, some upsets will change the bubble and the view of the true March Madness in two weeks. This post is dedicated to those tournaments and the winners who will set themselves up for a chance to get lucky during the dance!!!

ACC- Doesn't matter much. Duke will play someone in the final, both will get into the tournament, no major upsets here. Duke will not get a #1 seed.

Atlantic 10- This is now the hot topic across the land. Richmond has shown it knows how to win, and I see them getting all the way through the tournament unscathed. This will give them a better seed and they will make a strong push for Sweet Sixteen. Temple and Xavier are in the tourney, will get decent seeds but won't advance far. I see Rhode Island making a deep run to meet up with Richmond and play there way into the tourney, while Dayton is out. Look for Rhode Island to make some noise at the big dance as well!

Big 12- I would like to see something unusual happen here, but hard to imagine Kansas losing. The teams going to the dance are all set, but I am going to call for Texas to make a run into the final game and get their mojo back. As long as they don't meet KU until the final, they can get there. Time for Barnes to earn some of that huge Salary. They have the players to get deep in both this tourney and the dance. Let's see it happen.

Big East- Again a tournament that doesn't matter too much. The deep bubble teams, UCONN, and ND are just not good enough to make the deep run here. Winner will be Syracuse, Nova, or West Virginia. Smart money is on Syracuse. They are the true #1 seed in the NCAA tourney and don't seem to be complacent. ND can't shoot well enough as MSG to do it. Stick with the Orange, but expect great basketball. I am finally off the West Virginia wagon. No point guard is just too much to overcome.

Big Ten- I don't like this conference and won't watch until the final. But Evan Turner will lead Ohio State to the title and a #1 seed. Pretty impressive stuff for a guy who broke his back a few months ago. Without that injury they might be considered an equal to KU, UK, and Cuse. Either way they are the 4th #1. By the way, Turner will win the Wooden award and take it from my Boy John Wall. Reality is, the voters on this award don't like the one and done kids, and Turner has made it close enough to justify.

Colonial- This could be the most exciting and best tournament going this year. If I were to fly to one location, not named the Mecca of basketball, it would be to this tournament. There will 15 games in this tournament to get 12 teams down to 1. I am confident that 12 of them will be closer than a 5 pt margin. Anyone can win this tournament. I am expecting the result will be two very solid teams coming out of the conference and going to the dance.
Old Dominion15-3-23-8
William & Mary12-6320-9
George Mason12-6317-13
Virginia Commonwealth11-7420-8

Anyone of these teams can win it. Hard to go against George Mason and VCU experience, the tough part is one of them will meet ODU in the Semis. But all Old Dominion needs is one win to get an at large. I see VCU behind Sanders winning this semi game and beating NorthEastern in the final. VCU and ODU advance to the tourney. One of them will win in the first round, both will cover!

Conference USA- Tough tournament to call, and I like several teams. Usually I am a UAB fan, but they have faded. In a strange twist, UTEP, who is now good enough to get to the tourney without a victory here, somehow slips up and let's Memphis get the automatic bid by winning the conference tourney. Two Conference USA teams will hurt someone, likely a Big East team or St. Mary's. Memphis will really light up the eyes of their great recruiting class by getting back to tournament a year earlier than expected. Pashner will be applauded for 2-3 years before all the violations roll back in!

Missouri Valley
-Northern Iowa has a bid locked up, but simply because I like to say it, The Shockers, will win the conference tourney and bump out another at large. Wichita St. is a good team and could be great. I don't know why the bubble teams complain. When a team gets hot and earns the way into the tournament, they are simply more deserving than a power conference team who went 10-8 in league because they beat the bottom 3 teams in the league twice. Go figure you need to have a good season to play in the big dance.

Ohio Valley- One of my favorite teams and unfortunately they will upset another one of my favorite teams. Morehead St. will likely beat Murray St for the one bid from this conference. Murray St. has had a great season and it is shameful they won't get in if they lose to #2 seed Morehead St. as they did last week. But Kenneth Faried #35 for Morehead will be a darling of the tournament and we need him. He will gobble up 15 rebounds a game, hustle like crazy and earn himself some money when they get to the dance and cover as a big dog in the opening round. I would love to see them get a 15 seed and beat Duke in the first round!!!! Either team that comes from this conference will be competitive in the opening round and will cover!

Pac-10- Another wide open tournament where any of 4 teams could win it. Interestingly enough, I don't want to go to this, and won't go even though tickets are available to me! Cal has the experience to win, but they just aren't hungry enough. If they do win, they will surprise everyone not named B. Anthony and Doug Gottlieb when they get a #6 seed. A more likely scenario is that Washington gets hot and wins 3 in a row and Washington and Cal go to the dance. Arizona and ASU are the other two options. (This has been the most unpredictable league, so a very strange result could occur) If Stanford goes crazy and meets Cal in the final, I won't be all that shocked!)

SEC- Vanderbilt is playing great ball, and Money really likes them. Kentucky is the most talented team and could beat anyone by 25. However, B. Anthony is going against his own anger and picking Tennessee to win the conference tourney. Bruce Pearl is a great coach, and my hatred from him is only valid because he is so good. His team will do what is takes to mess with Kentucky's head and out hustle everyone to this title. All 3 of these teams will go to the sweet sixteen, but only Kentucky will survive onto the final four! It is desperation time for the freshman when the Dance begins, because it is their first and last!

Sun Belt- Western Kentucky will pull and upset here. Troy is the # 1 seed, but only one team will come from this conference. I like the winner of the conference to make a good showing during the first weekend of the Dance.

Enjoy this week as it is the best time in basketball for true fans. The reality is, we are less than a month from the season ending. That is true sadness!!

Good Luck,

B. Anthony.


Blogger Money said...

Great Stuff B. Anthony!

I could see Baylor winning the big 12 and Arizona making a run at keeping their NCAA streak alive and pulling out a stunner for the Pac 10. UConn could have been a team to pick in the Big East but they are fading now. Bold pick with Pearl and Tenn, but I like how you are finally putting aside your hatred and picking them. You will probably hate them more when they lose in the first round of both tournaments!


10:25 AM  

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