Tuesday, March 1

Championship Fortnight Predictions!

It's March, and that can only mean one thing...college basketball is about to get REALLY mad. Tonight marks the start of the conference tournaments (Big South and Horizon leagues for those of you scoring at home). For many of the smaller schools and conferences, it's win or miss the NCAA tournament entirely. Which is precisely why those tournaments are better than those of the big boys. Without further adieu, here are my predictions for the winners of each of these conference tournaments.

America East: Vermont
ACC: Duke
Atlantic Sun: Belmont (C'mon, they're 19-1 in conference, you don't think they'd slip up NOW, do you?)
Atlantic 10: Xavier
Big East: My gut thinks it's St. John's because they dominate at Madison Square Garden, but my head tells me to stick with Pitt.
Big Sky: Northern Colorado. As we like to say in Chicago, "bear down!"
Big South: Coastal Carolina. With how weak the bubble is, maybe they could even get an at-large, but I doubt they'll need it.
Big 10: Wisconsin
Big 12: Iowa State gets hot and wins the tournament! Joke. Gotta go with Kansas, even though they'll probably lose by the Elite 8.
Big West: Long Beach State
Colonial: George Mason is the conventional logic, but I'm all about unconventional, so I'll take a dark horse Hofstra team.
Conference USA: Southern Miss
Horizon League: Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Ivy League: Wait, they don't have a conference tournament--only the regular season champs get the bid. This is still an exciting league, though, likely coming down to a one-game, winner take all season finale between Harvard and Princeton. I'm taking the Crimson to avenge their earlier loss to the Tigers and snatch the bid.
MAAC: Rider, just because I like the name.
MAC: This conference is a MESS. I'll go with Akron. They deserve some good luck.
MEAC: The winner here is likely headed to one of the 16-seed play-in games. Enjoy, Bethune-Cookman!
Missouri Valley: Really a toss-up between Missouri State and Wichita State. I'll take the Shockers.
Mountain West: Do I think BYU will topple San Diego State three times in a season? Not after they suspended starting forward Brandon Davies for violating team rules. He's out for the season, so look for the Aztecs to win the crown.
Northeast: Long Island has got this on LOCK.
Ohio Valley: Murray State makes a return to the NCAAs after a first-round upset (that I correctly picked) last year. Although Morehead State and Kenneth Faried (17.6 PPG, 14.3 RPG) keep it close.
PAC-10: USC has so many bad losses, but they also have some very good wins, and for whatever reason I can see them making a run and sneaking into the tourney.
Patriot League: Only two teams have a winning conference record--Bucknell and American. And even if it makes me unpatriotic, I'm going with the Bison.
SEC: Alabama better win it if they want to make the tourney, but I'm giving it to Florida.
Southern: There are some bad teams in this league, but I'm sure that'll make it more exciting. Give the edge to Charleston, though.
Southland: Nicholls State. They have the only possible NBA prospect in Anatoly Bose, so why couldn't he carry them to a conference title?
SWAC: Jackson State makes up for choking away the regular season championship last year and makes a play-in game in the NCAAs.
Summit: Oakland. Their OOC resume is much better than anyone else in the conference, and they've only lost one game against fellow Summit teams.
Sun Belt: Florida Atlantic
West Coast: Saint Mary's, even though they're in a tailspin of late.
WAC: Utah State, although it would be interesting if someone else snuck in and got the auto. The Aggies again have no real OOC resume, so it would be interesting to see where they fell.

This Day in History
1790- Congress orders the first U.S. census to be taken.

1932- The baby of Charles Lindbergh is kidnapped.

1969- Mickey Mantle retires.

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