Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Conference Tourney Preview Part. V

Auto Bid Record: 9-5

Big East
The best conference tournament kicks off with Cincinnati and Syracuse both of whom need to win this game to get into the field. It might very well be a play-in game for the Big Dance. Connecticut will likely meet Villanova in the final unless West Virginia has another run in them. Both Villanova and Uconn are near locks for one seeds at this point.

Tourney winner- Connecticut
At-large bids- Villanova, West Virginia, Pitt, Marquette, Georgetown, Seton Hall, Syracuse
Bubble burst- Cincinnati

UCLA is probably the best team but no one in this conference is that dominate. But they are playing in their home city at the Staples Center. UCLA and Washington are locks and are just playing for seeding, but Arizona and Cal could both use a win or two. Arizona will be without Hassan Adams and may want to win a game after several other bubble teams have had huge wins in the past week or two. Cal should have their hands full with USC who is also in its home city in their first game and need to win at least one after losing 3 of 5 down the stretch. If they lose to USC, they will be sweating Selection Sunday.

Tourney winner- UCLA
At-large bids- Washington, Arizona
Bubble burst- Cal

Memphis is easily the best team in C-USA but the question is how hard will they try for the automatic bid? UAB, UTEP, and Houston are all good teams who are either trying to prove they deserve an at-large bid or get the auto bid. UAB proved Memphis is beatable in recent days, but the tourney is on the floor of Memphis. Added to that fact will be Darius Washington trying to atone for last year’s missed FTs.

Tourney winner- Memphis
At-large bid- UAB

Big West
Pacific is easily the team to beat and they also got a bye to the semis because they won the regular season title. They will probably have a rubber match against erratic UC Irvine in the finals but should prevail.

Tourney winner- Pacific

Southern won the regular season title by four games, losing three on the road in close games. Alabama St. should give them the most trouble in the second round if both teams advance. They beat Southern and lost by four in their other game. Alabama St. also is pretty close to home so they should have quite a few fans cheering them on. If Southern gets by them, then they won’t lose to anyone else.

Tourney winner- Southern


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