Friday, March 7, 2008

NCAA Basketball Conference Championship Week

It's March and you know what that means: ESPN's name for a week, "Championship Week", finally means something!

All throughout the college basketball season ESPN has an obsession with stupid, pointless names for every single week to try get people to watch like it's important.  Judgment Week, Bracket Busters Week, Rivalry Week - the list goes on and on, but the most important part of the season is finally here.

For all the mid-major times that have 20-odd something wins and have beaten up on crappy teams in their conference that no-one cares about, it means nothing if they can't beat the same crappy teams one last time.  Win the conference tournament and they make it to NCAA tournament and get to play a team like Duke; lose in the conference tournament and the season is over with.  Of the two choices I don't really know which one I would choose, but I am probably leaning towards the second.

It's times like these that really make me root for the underdog.  When watching conference tournaments that you don't really care about you have to root for teams like Rice, 3-25 overall and 0-15 in Conference USA play.  I just feel bad for New Jersey Tech, who won the award for worst Division 1-A basketball team by a landslide.  This season, the Highlanders went 0-29 and since they are an Independent they have no conference tournament to play in.  At least the good news is that they will do better next year...hopefully!

Here are my picks for the 30 remaining conference tournaments, since Cornell has already locked up a position from the Ivy League.  We'll just see how many I get right, but hopefully I'll do better than Robert Horry's alma mater NJ Tech.

Atlantic Sun: Belmont
Big South: UNC-Asheville
Ohio Valley: Austin Peay
Missouri Valley: Drake
Colonial: VCU
Metro Atlantic: Rider
Southern: Davidson
West Coast: Gonzaga
Horizon: Buter
Summit League: IUPUI
Sun Belt: South Alabama
Big Sky: Portland State
Northeast: Robert Morris
Patriot League: American
America East: UMBC
Atlantic 10: Xavier
Big East: Georgetown
Western Athletic: Utah State
Conference USA: Memphis
Mid-American: Kent State
Mid-Eastern: Morgan State
Mountain West: BYU
Pac-10: UCLA
Southwestern Athletic: Alabama State
Big West: Cal St. Fullerton
ACC: North Carolina
Big Ten: Wisconsin
Big 12: Kansas
SEC: Tennessee
Southland: Stephen F. Austin

1 comment:

Neil Joshi said...

Absolutely the greatest time on the sports calendar. All these conference tournaments serve as an appetizer for the amazing action that is seen year in and year out in the Tournament. Yesterday, VCU lost its chance at making the Dance when it lost in the semifinals of its conference tournament, and now is sweating waiting until Selection Sunday comes around. On the other end of the spectrum is a team like USD that rallied from 17 down in the semis of the WCC to beat St. Mary's, then followed that up by locking a bid by upsetting Gonzaga. Only in college basketball.