Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Boomer's Weekly Basketball Full-Court Press Conference Tournament Edition

The press is going to be a little different for the next month, with the start of Conference Tournaments in Men's CBB, I am going to give you my preview and predictions of the six major Conference Tournaments, while keeping you posted on how the smaller conferences are doing and the teams that have punched their tickets to the "Big Dance". Selection Sunday is six days away and the start of three of the craziest weeks of the year. On a side note, the Press will take a break from reporting on the NBA i.e. the Cleveland Cavaliers during the month of March to cover all the action, that is the "madness" of college basketball in March. Now to the picks...

Philips Arena (March 8-11)
            Atlanta, GA

The ACC tournament looks to be headed towards a classic rubber match for its Championship Game. With the #1 seeded Tar Heels of UNC going up against the #2 seeded Duke Blue Devils. Duke winning the first meeting at UNC, and UNC returning the favor last Saturday Night in Durham. I believe the people in Atlanta and the ACC would love to see a third meeting between the two rivals. Florida State, Virginia, NC State could have something to say by the end of the weekend with my sleeper pick being Miami (FL). Duke has won the past three ACC Tournaments.
Winner: North Carolina over Duke

       Sprint Center (March 7-10)
          Kansas City, Missouri

Again, the Big 12 Tournament is shaping up to have its two top teams face off in a rubber match in their Championship Game. The regular season champs #1 seeded Kansas Jayhawks are looking to win the Big 12 Conference tournament for the 3x in a row and 8th overall since the first year of the tournament in 1997. The #2 seeded Missouri Tigers look to be the opponent in the Big 12 Championship Game, setting up a rubber match between the two rivals, with both winning on their home courts in the regular season. Teams to keep an eye on that could prevent the rubber match from happening are Iowa State, Baylor, and Kansas State. My sleeper pick would be Texas in need of a win or two in this tournament to get into the "Big Dance". Personally, I would love to see the Jayhawks and Tigers go at it one more time this season, and quiet possible the last time for good, with Missouri joining the SEC starting in the Fall. 
Winner: Missouri over Kansas

Madison Square Garden (March 6-10)
       New York City, New York

The most unpredictable conference tournament of the big six by far, it is always entertaining and held at one great (if not the greatest) basketball arena. With the tournament expanding to include all 16 teams in the conference back in 2009, it has led to plenty of upsets and great games. The defending champs, UCONN Huskies, are the #9 seeded team again this time around, and with the return of their head coach (Jim Calhoun) could be primed for another magical run? The top seeded team Syracuse, from top to bottom look to be the most complete team of the 16, but it will not be a runaway for them at all. The top 8 teams get a bye in the first round, with the top 4 getting a double bye and not having to play till Thursday. Teams to look out for that could win it all besides Syracuse: Marquette, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Louisville. My sleep picks consist of Cincinnati, WVU and why not UCONN. Winner: Syracuse over Louisville

Bankers Life Fieldhouse (March 8-11)
          Indianapolis, Indiana

The toughest conference this season in Men's CBB, should provide us with a interesting and entertaining conference tournament over in Indy this weekend. The regular season crown was shared by Michigan State, Michigan AND Ohio State. All three of those teams could run off 3 W's in Indy and get the automatic bid to the "Big Dance". Michigan State received the #1 seed after the tiebreakers were decided, with Michigan getting the #2 seed and Ohio State playing this weekend as a #3 seed in the conference tournament. Teams that could win the tournament outside the top 3, would be Wisconsin or Indiana. My sleeper picks being, Purdue, Northwestern and Iowa. Ohio State is looking to win this tournament for the 3x in a row and 5th overall since the beginning of the tournament back in 1998. 
Winner: Ohio State over Michigan State

      Staples Center (March 7-10)
         Los Angeles, California

By far the weakest conference this season, as of this past weekend, not one team was a "lock" to go to the NCAA tournament. With only two teams in the latest Bracketlogy representing the Pac-12, it just shows you how bad this conference is in the nations eyes. The #1 seed in the tournament, the Washington Huskies are looking to win it for the third time in a row. I mean who cares, this conference will have a hard time winning at least one game in the NCAA tournament, lets just say the top six teams all have a chance in winning this tournament. Winner: Arizona over California

 New Orleans Arena (March 8-11)
        New Orleans, Louisana

Who's going to be the team to knock off Kentucky? Man, that is tough to say, especially with Coach Cal already believing they will be playing three games this weekend. Huh, well the #1 seeded Kentucky Wildcats look to keep the momentum going heading into the "Big Dance" and shouldn't have a problem winning the SEC tournament. If they win it again this year thats three straight SEC tournament championships for UK, with three different looking rosters. Anyways, teams that could pull the upset over UK and win the tournament, Florida, Vanderbilt or Tennessee. My sleeper picks Alabama or Mississippi State. 
Winner: Kentucky over Vanderbilt

Championship Games Tonight
Western Kentucky vs. North Texas (Sun Belt) 7 PM ESPN2
Western Illinois vs. South Dakota St (Summit League) 9 PM ESPN2
Detroit vs. Valparaiso (Horizon League) 9 PM ESPN

Wednesday Championship Games
Robert Morris vs. LIU-Brooklyn (Northeast) 7 PM ESPN2

Automatic Bids (As of Monday Night)
Belmont (Atlantic Sun)
UNC-Asheville (Big South)
Creighton (Missouri Valley)
Murray State (Ohio Valley)
Davidson (Southern)
Loyola-MD (MAAC)
Saint Mary's (West Coast)
VCU (Colonial)

Check back Friday and Saturday for updates on the conference tournaments... enjoy the MADNESS!