Update – 2/27/12
I am in the process of gathering information for the 2012 College Basketball tournament. We obviously have a couple of weeks to wait before the tournament brackets are set, but you can check out information on the NCAA Championship 2012 here.
Are you ready for March Madness? Well like it or not, it’s almost here. It’s time to get those March Madness brackets ready because Selection Sunday is only 10 days away.
Are you really ready for March Madness? Maybe if you are a serious College Basketball nut, but probably not. How are you suppose to know all of these teams and all of the possibilities that are out there? Is there a way to prepare and get ready before Selection Sunday?
I have you covered. Take a look at a quick glance at the NCAA Mens Basketball division 1 overall and I’m going to break down several of the conferences.
There is a lot to discuss about the upcoming Championship Week in the Mens NCAA College Basketball division 1 landscape. Unknown to a lot of people, some of the Conference Championship tournaments are already underway. The America East, Atlantic Sun, Big South, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, and Patriot leagues have already started the first round of their respective tournaments. Several more smaller conference tournaments start tonight or tomorrow.
There are a total of 32 conferences in division 1 NCAA mens basketball. Of the 32 conferences, one does not have a conference tournament (Ivy League) and one conference tournament does not get an automatic qualifier (Great West). For many of these conferences, the winner of the conference tournaments will be the only team to make the NCAA tournament.
Here is the list of conferences that will most likely only receive one tournament bid:
America East (favorite – Vermont), Atlantic Sun (favorite – Belmont), Big Sky (favorite – Northern Colorado), Big South (favorite – Coastal Carolina), Big West (favorite – Long Beach State), Ivy (favorite – Princeton), MAAC (favorite – Fairfield), Mid-American (favorite – Kent State), MEAC (favorite – Bethune-Cookman), Missouri Valley (favorite – Missouri State), Northeast (favorite – Long Island), Ohio Valley (favorite – Murray State), Patroit League (favorite – Bucknell), Southern (favorite – Charleston), Southland (favorite – McNeese State), SWAC (favorite – Texas Southern), Summit League (favorite – Oakland), Sun Belt (favorite – Florida Atlantic), WAC (favorite – Utah State)
That means that these 19 conferences are likely only to send 1 team each to the tournament. The exception may be the Missouri Valley Conference depending on whether or not Missouri State or Wichita State can steal a bid from one of the other conferences. Obviously, the favorites listed above are the regular season conference champion and does not mean that they will make the NCAA tournament.
Of the conferences listed above, you will want to root for the following teams in conference tournaments if your team is on the bubble: America East – Vermont, Atlantic Sun – Belmont, Big South – Coastal Carolina, Ohio Valley – Murray State, Summit League – Oakland, WAC – Utah State
These are all teams that might be good enough to steal an at-large bid if they lose in their conference championship game.
However, there is a new format which makes it a little easier for some of the bubble teams to get into the tournament. There will now be a total of 68 bids (up from 65 the past few years) to the NCAA tournament. So that means there are 49 bids that will be split up between the other 12 conferences.
To no one surprise, Duke and UNC are both going to be in the tournament this year. The ACC is probably going to get either 5 or 6 spots in the tournament this year.
With 2 of those spots already claimed, its up to four other teams fighting it out for the last spots. These teams are not going to want to lose early in the ACC tournament.
Florida State probably has the best case followed by Boston College. Even though BC’s record doesn’t look great (18-11), they have one of the best Strength of Schedules in the country. Virginia Tech is very close now after beating Duke. Clemson has the most to prove if they want to make it.
The A-10 has two teams that are definitely going to the tournament. These two teams are Xavier (23-6) and Temple (23-6).
The third team still looking to get a ticket to the dance is Richmond. If they lose their first round match, they can forget about it. They probably will need to go to the finals of the A-10 tournament to be guaranteed a spot.
There isn’t too much that is undecided about the Big East except for the regular season Conference Champion. If Pittsburgh wins tomorrow, they will get be the regular season champs. Notre Dame still has a chance to tie them if they lose though.
The Big East is without question the best conference in college basketball. There should be a total of 11 teams that will make it to the NCAA tournament. Of those, only Marquette is even in question.
Here are the teams that are in the tournament in the Big East – Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Notre Dame, St Johns, Syracuse, West Virgina, Louisville, Uconn, Villanova, Cincinnati and Marquette.
The Big 10 is only going to get 4 or 5 bids into the tournament this year. There are huge games coming starting tomorrow that will directly affect whether or not a team goes to the big dance.
The first game is in the Big 10 where the Michigan State Spartans go to Ann Arbor to face the Michigan Wolverines. Barring a great run in the Big 10 tournament, this should be an elimination game between the two teams.
Both of these two teams are fighting for the likely 5th tournament spot awarded to the Big 10 conference. The four other teams likely in will be Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin and Illinois. The Illini might have to get one or two more wins just to be sure that they are in.
The Big 12 should get at least 5 teams in the tournament guaranteed – Kansas, Texas, Kansas St, Texas A&M and Missouri. There is a possibility that at least one other team will make it from the Big 12 as well.
Nebraska, Baylor and Colorado have destiny in their own hands. Each team is 7-8 in the conference and they are all within of game of each in overall record. If the teams keep winning, they should be in.
Yes, the Colonial Conference should have two teams that are locks to make it to the NCAA tournament this year. Both George Mason and Old Dominion should be going no matter what they do from here.
The thing that fans from other conferences needs to be worried about is teams like Hofstra and VCU getting on a run and winning the Colonial conference tournament. That would be a disaster as it would take away a bid from teams on the bubble.
Conference USA will be lucky to get more than 2 or 3 bids this year. Of the teams in their conference, only UAB and maybe UTEP are locks for the NCAA tournament.
This means that a team like Tulsa, Memphis or Southern Miss will have to come close to winning the conference tournament to get consideration.
The Horizon League won’t necessarily get two bids this year, but they might. Everyone knows how Butler almost won the championship last year and they are very nearly a lock to go back to the tournament this year. It would be hard to snub them at this point regardless if they didn’t win their conference tournament.
Cleveland State has the best argument for an automatic bid otherwise. The teams that are capable of winning the Horizon League tournament are Milwaukee and Valparaiso. These teams need to step up and win the tournament in order to make it.
The best case scenario if you are a fan of another conference is for Cleveland State to lose early and have Butler win the tournament. That would mean there could be a chance of only getting one bid.
I’m going to list the Missouri Valley here as well. Depending on how things go in other conferences, both Missouri State and Wichita State should be in the tournament.
The thing to watch out for is one of the other four teams behind them in the standings winning the Missouri Valley tournament.
There are three teams that are locks for the NCAA tournament from the MWC. San Diego State, BYU and UNLV should definitely be in the big dance.
Other than that, you will want to route against any other team withing the Mountain West tournament.
The PAC-10 is very similar to the Mountain West conference. There are pretty much three teams that have already claimed a spot in the tournament. These teams are Arizona, UCLA and Washington.
This is one conference tournament where I really don’t see any other team winning out of the blue.
The SEC should get between 4 and 5 teams into the NCAA tournament. The four teams that should be locks for the tournament are Florida, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Tennessee.
Both Georgia and Alabama have to do some work before they can get into the big dance. Georgia and Alabama are playing each other in a must win game tomorrow, just like the Michigan/Michigan State game in the Big 10. The loser will probably have to make a long run in the conference tournament.
It’s the same story every year with the WCC; both Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga should be going to the NCAA tournament this year. This is another conference where you will want to root for one of these two teams to win the West Coast conference tournament.
Tags: A-10 Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, Basketball, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Colonial Conference, Conference USA, Horizon League, March Madness, Missouri Valley Conference, Mountain West Conference, NCAA, NCAA Tournament, PAC-10, South Eastern Conference, West Coast Conference