Monday, March 7, 2011

Broseph's Bits And The Tuesday Gospel

The real conference tournaments kick off this week as teams make their last second push to glory and a chance to be one of 68 in the NCAA tournament or one of seemingly hundreds who will play in a tournament that only gamblers will care about. With that, let's take a look and see who is going to make some noise.

ACC (3/10 - 3/13) -- It's a down year for the conference despite what their fans want to tell you. North Carolina and Duke are the cream of the crop with Florida State being the 3rd seed by default. They are a shell of themselves without Chris Singleton. It would be a major upset if Carolina and Duke didn't meet again this season for the 3rd time in the title game. If you are looking for a sleeper, it could be the winner of UVA and Miami. The Hoos grind it out and force you to play at a pace you just aren't used to while the Canes are the head scratching team with a ton of talent that just hasn't been put together. CHAMPION: North Carolina

Atlantic 10 (3/8 - 3/13) -- This is a conference that always seems to have upsets and intrigue. Xavier and Temple are the cream of the crop and definite tournament teams. The Spiders have the talent to knock off anyone in the conference. The Musketeers haven't exactly treated the tournament as life or death and that strategy has paid off in the NCAA Tournament. Temple should heed that and look to bow out gracefully as the Owls don't have the depth they had in past years. If Richmond can get past Rhode Island, a team they lost to at home this season, the Spiders will be your conference champion. CHAMP: Richmond

Big 12 (3/9 - 3/12) -- Plenty of intrigue with Texas sliding and Kansas State seemingly hitting their stride. The Wildcats are a dangerous team and a quarterfinal matchup against the Jayhawks will light up the Sprint Center. On the other half of the bracket, Baylor and Missouri will present problems for the two and three seeded squads from Texas. This conference is a tough one to call so I'm going to go chalk and take the Jayhawks. Their road isn't tough until the title game. CHAMP: Kansas

Big East (3/8 - 3/12) -- The best tournament in America gets underway this week in the historic Madison Square Garden. This one is WIDE open with a whole host of teams who could take it. We've seen the squads with the double bye fail last season so those teams aren't a guarantee to take it. The best matchup could be the eventual 4/5 game with St. Johns looking to wrest away the title "New York's team" from Syracuse. Ninth seeded UConn would win a lot of conferences, but they are playing in the first round in this monster. I don't think the double byes will be an issue this year. CHAMP: Pittsburgh

Big 10 (3/10 - 3/13) -- Yawn. I'll admit it...this conference is about as intriguing as paint drying in my eyes. I keep waiting for Michigan State to wake up and play like Tom Izzo teams do. They'll have to roll thru Iowa, Purdue and Wisconsin before getting to the title game. I don't see much intrigue out of this conference. Give me the chalk. CHAMP: Ohio State

Conference USA (3/9 - 3/12) -- This one is on UTEP's campus as the Miners get the benefit that Memphis had all those years it was in their town. The one seed is UAB. This conference is a one big league barring one of the bubble teams making an uber run. Remember UCF? Yeah, they fell down big time after their undefeated start. Homecourt rules in this one. CHAMP: UTEP

MAC Conference (3/8 - 3/12) -- Some may be asking why this is here. This conference has always provided excitement and fun as the teams battle on campus sites and then Cleveland. Kent State is the class of the conference, but Ohio may be the hottest team in there. Buffalo is about as dangerous an eight seed as there is in ANY conference in the country. They've had some good wins this season and could upset Kent State in the second round. We're going to take the team playing some of the best basketball right now. CHAMP: Ohio

Mountain West Conference: (3/8 - 3/12) -- It's Jimmer's world vs. UNLV's home court. This tournament will be intriguing to see if BYU can handle the step up in talent without Brandon Davies. UNLV gets a tough first matchup with Air Force who makes you work for every basket and takes time running their offense. Should they win that, they'll most likely face the Aztecs and their balanced attack. This is an underrated conference with Jimmer vs. the Running Rebs my final. CHAMP: UNLV

PAC-10 (3/9 - 3/12) -- The Staples Center will host this spectacular tournament as the PAC 10 tries to get more teams into the tournament. Washington and USC are on the bubble as well as UCLA. Arizona held on for dear life at home against the Huskies. U-Dub has way too much talent, but a first matchup with Wazzu could prevent any sort of run and a postseason bid. Still, I think Washington puts it together and gets help from USC who will knock off Arizona. CHAMP: Washington

SEC (3/10 - 3/13) -- Underwhelming. Outside of Florida and Kentucky, this conference has a lot of teams that you can mix and match. The one squad to keep a look out for is Mississippi State who has been a thru a ton with the problems of talented Renardo Sidney and Ravern Johnson. Still, when they want to play, they are going to beat a lot of teams. Mississippi State may have the most talent outside of UK and Florida. Tennessee and Georgia are also intriguing if they get past their first round matchups. Who knows what Volunteers team will show up on a day-to-day basis. CHAMP: Mississippi State

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