Conference Tournament Picks, Part II
Pick- Southern Illinois
At-large- Creighton, Missouri St.
The Salukis have a bid more than locked up but they are still playing for a two or three seed. Winning this tournament will do that for them. More importantly, if Creighton and Missouri St. play in the semis then the winner of that game will likely look up their bid while the loser sweats it out for a week. I like Missouri St. to reach the finals to play Southern Illinois. Creighton should also end up on the right side of the bubble. Bradley, Wichita St., and Northern Iowa will all go to the NIT.
Pick- Appalachian St.
Davidson and Appalachian St. are by far the two best teams in the conference and will meet in the finals. The Mountaineers won at Davidson in the regular season and have some other impressive OOC wins while Davidson couldn’t win any of their big OOC games. Davidson will go to the NIT; Charleston will have their NIT bubble burst.
Pick- East Tennessee St.
East Tennessee St. has home court where they have one loss to Belmont throughout the tournament. However the Bucs returned the favor at Belmont who finished second in conference. I expect the finals to be the rubber match between ETSU and Belmont.
Pick- Central Connecticut St.
CCSU won the conference by four games with a record of 16-2 and earned home court advantage. They did play quite a few close conference home games but I expect them to prevail.
Led by Jared Jordan, Marist easily has the most talent out of any team in this conference. They ended the season with an eight-game winning steak including a sweep of Fairfield who is hosting the tournament. I expect another meeting with Fairfield in the finals since the Stags went 6-2 against teams on their side of the bracket.