Monday, December 11th, 2017

Conference Champion Week Winners

Published on March 13, 2011 by   ·   No Comments

It is selection Sunday and the brackets have come out. Before we find out what the brackets have in store as far as matchups for prelim games and first round, you should get to know the teams that won their conference championship tournament.

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Conference Championship Week Results

ACC – Duke

Duke won their third straight ACC championship tournament. Duke will be a number 1 seed this year as they finish the season with a 30-4 record. The Blue Devils blew out all three opponents that they faced in the ACC tournament. They should be setting up for a long tournament run.

America East – Boston U

With Vermont’s surprising loss in the semifinals of the America East tournament, the Boston University Terriers (21-13) won in a squeaker over Stony Brook to earn their 7th trip to the NCAA tournament. Stony Brook barely lost their chance to earn their first NCAA bid. Boston was rewarded with a 16 seed and has virtually no chance of advancing.

A-10 – Richmond

The Richmond Spiders (27-7) won its first Atlantic 10 tournament and get the automatic birth into the NCAA tournament. Richmond has made some noise in past years and they look to do so again this year. Richmond is a serious candidate to go to the Sweet 16; it all depends on their first and second round matchups.

There was a surprise early in the A-10 tournament when the top seed and favorite Xavier and 4th seed Duquesne went out in their first tournament games against Dayton and St Joesph receptively. That set up Dayton’s surprise run to the finals. But Richmond would not be denied after beating 2nd seed Temple in a really close semifinal matchup.

Atlantic Sun – Belmont

The Belmont Bruins (30-4) are the perennial favorites in the Atlantic Sun conference. They went 19-1 in conference play and have won 12 straight going into the tournament. Belmont had no problems dispatching the other teams in their conference tournament as they won the tournament championship game by 41 points. Their non-conference schedule is not much to write home about; although they did play three close games in their three non-conference losses against top 25 teams (Tennessee twice and Vanderbilt).

Big 12 – Kansas

The Kansas Jayhawks (32-2) will should have solidified their claim on a number 1 seed after beating Texas in the Big 12 championship game. Kansas hopes to avoid the same fate they had last year when the overwhelming favorites bowed out in the second round of the tournament.

Big East – Uconn

This was a complete surprise. No one had the 9th seed Uconn Huskies (26-9) winning the Big East tournament. The Huskies won 5 games in 5 days as the top 4 seeds get byes from the first 2 rounds and the 5-8th seeds get a bye from the first round of the tournament. Other then Marquette making a case for their NCAA bid by winning two games and upsetting West Virginia, the favorites won almost every game not played against Uconn.

Big Sky – No. Colorado

The Northern Colorado Bears (21-10) won their first Big Sky championship and secured their first bid to the NCAA tournament. How were they rewarded? By playing San Diego State in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Thanks for playing No. Colorado, but you won’t be making it past day 1 of the tournament.

Big South – UNC Asheville

The UNC Asheville Bulldogs (19-13) beat the heavily favored Coastal Carolina to win the Big South tournament. They are rewarded with one of the two play-in games for 16th seed teams against the University of Little Rock Arkansas.

Big Ten – Ohio State

There was no surprise in the Championship game as Ohio State (32-2) was able to put away the Penn State Nittany Lions. Penn State played their way into the tournament with their surprise run to the finals. The one thing that is surprising about the Big Ten is that they got 7 teams into the NCAA tournament. Penn State came out of no where while Michigan and MSU were able to do enough in the conference tournament to convince the selection committee to put them in.

Colonial – Old Dominion

Old Dominion Monarchs (27-6) won the Colonial tournament as the number 2 seed in the tournament. That gets Old Dominion the automatic bid; but they were not in any danger of not making the tournament. The talk so far after the brackets were released was how the Colonial league got 3 teams into the NCAA tournament. Specifically, there was a lot of debate about how VCU made the tournament over a team like Colorado.

Conference USA – Memphis

While you might not be surprised to see the Memphis Tigers (25-9) won the Conference USA tournament championship, Conference USA had a down year overall and this isn’t your Memphis teams of yesteryear. Only two conference USA teams made the NCAA tournament. UAB won the regular season of the C-USA and were rewarded with an at-large bid. This was the other controversial team that took one of the final four at-large bids.

Horizon League – Butler

As I predicted in my post last week, the Butler Bulldogs (23-9) did indeed win the Horizon League and allowed the tournament selectors to exclude the other teams in the league. Butler comes into the tournament on a 9 game winning streak and plays a good Old Dominion team in a classic 8 vs 9 matchup.

Ivy – Princeton

The Princeton Tigers (25-6) won the Ivy league championship game in an upset over the favored Harvard Crimson on a last-second shot. This earned Princeton their first trip to the NCAA tournament in 7 years. Harvard had a good case to be included in the field of 68 anyways, but they were also among the snubbed teams that will have to settle for the NIT.

MAAC – St Peter’s

The St Peter’s Peacock’s (20-13) earned their first NCAA trip in 16 years as the surprise run in the MAAC tournament. They beat the best two teams in the conference on route to the title and the automatic bid. This earned them a 14 seed and a date with 3 seed Purdue Boilermakers. This is an unlikely upset candidate.

MAC – Akron

The Akron Zips (23-12) made a surprise run to the MAC tournament championship as the number 6 seed defeated the top three seeds in order. They won over the top seed Kent State in the championship game in overtime. The game was back and forth for the entire game after Kent State got out to a 12-2 start. For their efforts, the Zips get the 15 seed and a date with 2 seed Notre Dame, another unlikely upset.

MEAC – Hampton

The Hampton Pirates (24-8) won the MEAC championship as a 2 seed. The MEAC is usually one of the weaker conferences in division 1 basketball. The winner from this conference is often a 16 seed as they are this year against Duke.

Missouri Valley – Indiana State

The ghosts of Larry Bird are echoing through the Indiana State Sycamores (20-13) locker rooms. They were picked to finish 7th in their conference, but won the tournament as a 3 seed. They will face Syracuse in a 3-14 matchup. This is not a likely candidate for an upset. The one thing that was surprising was both Missouri State and Wichita State being denied from the NCAA tournament. I figured that Missouri State would have gone.

Mountain West – San Diego State

It isn’t surprising at all that the San Diego State Aztecs (32-2) won the MWC title over BYU in the conference championship. BYU has been fading fast ever since they kicked their player off the team for violating the honor code. San Diego State is a 2 seed in the tournament and they have a relatively easy contest against No. Colorado.

Northeast – Long Island

The Long Island Blackbirds (27-5) were the favorites all year in the Northeast; but struggled to win the conference tournament. They won an overtime game in the finals to clinch the automatic bid. The NEC is one of the weakest division one conferences and often receive either a 15 or 16 seed. Long Island received a 15 seed and does not stand a chance against North Carolina.

Ohio Valley

The Morehead State Eagles (24-9) won the Ohio Valley Tournament in fairly easy fashion. They did not have to play against number 1 seed Murray State in order to win the title. Morehead State earned itself a 13 seed and a trip to play Louisville in the first round. This would not be my ideal candidate for an upset pick.

PAC-10 – Washington

The Washington Huskies (23-10) won the PAC-10 championship on an overtime buzzer beater over Arizona. UCLA slipped up early in the tournament to Oregon. This is a down year for the Pac 10 as only three teams got into the tournament and Arizona has the highest seed (5). Washington gets a favorable first round matchup against a Georgia team that squeaked into the tournament.

Patriot League – Bucknell

This will be the Bucknell Bison’s (25-8) fifth trip to the NCAA tournament. They famously beat Kansas in a 3-14 matchup a couple of years ago. This year, they have another 3-14 game against the red-hot Connecticut Huskies. Do not sleep on Bucknell, because they have proven that they can do it. They are on a 10 game winning streak. However, they have not done well against quality opponents this year, so I would feel safe in letting Uconn go through to the next round.

SEC – Kentucky

The Kentucky Wildcats (25-8) beat their rivals, the Florida Gators in the SEC championship in a matchup of 1 vs 2 seeds. Yet for some reason, the tournament selection committee decided to make Florida a #2 seed and Kentucky a #4 seed. They aren’t getting any favors in the first round against Princeton. This is a game that they should win, but nobody knows how to slow a game down like Princeton.

Southern – Wofford

Wofford Terriers (21-12) won its second straight Southern championship. They beat the number 1 seed College of Charleston in the title match. The Terriers have an 8 game winning streak heading into the tournament. They face the BYU Cougars in a 3-14 matchup. Outside of Davidson the couple of years that they had Steven Curry, the Southern conference has not made much noise in the tournament.

Southland – Texas San Antonio

The Texas San Antonio Roadrunners (19-13) pulled off the upset as the number 7 seed in the Southland tournament. They beat the number 1 seed McNeese St in the finals. They play in one of the two 16 seed play-in games against Alabama St.

Summit – Oakland

Don’t sleep on the Oakland Grizzlies (25-9) out of the Summit conference. They powered through their conference while only losing 1 game in the process. They played a very good non-conference schedule against the likes of Tennessee, Michigan, Michigan State, West Virginia, Ohio State and Purdue. Unlike last year, where the Grizzlies thoroughly got handled in these games, they were very competitive and even beat Tennessee when they were ranked in the top 10. They play a very good Texas team that can not underestimate this game unless they want another first round exit.

Sun Belt – UALR

The University of Arkansas Little Rock Trojans (19-16) got their first NCAA tournament bid in 21 years. They played in an upset riddled Sun Belt tournament and won as the 5 seed. They will play in the other 16 seed play-in game against the North Carolina – Asheville.

SWAC – Alabama State

Every year there always seems to be one. The Alabama State Hornets (17-17) win the SWAC with the 4th seed to make the NCAA tournament with a .500 record. They get a chance to win their first round matchup in the play-in game against Texas San Antonio.

WAC – Utah State

A very dominant Utah State (30-3) won the WAC championship for a third year in a row. They made some noise in past NCAA tournaments as a team that can hit the three. They have changed that some this year and come in as a very dangerous team in the tournament. The number 17 ranked Aggies got a raw deal with a 12 seed, but this is the annual 12 vs 5 upset alert against Kansas State.

West Coast – Gonzaga

The Gonzaga Bulldogs (24-9) are a fixture in the NCAA tournament, having played in 13 straight years. They won the WCC tournament over their rivals St Mary’s. St Mary’s really got the raw deal, as they were not invited to the Big Dance. If St Mary’s (the 1 seed) would have won, you know that Gonzaga would have still made the tournament. Gonzaga will be a popular pick to upset St John’s in this 6-11 matchup.

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