The regular season is officially in the rearview mirror for all 32 college basketball conferences. Champ Week will be in full swing for the power six conferences, which include the ACC, SEC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, and PAC-12. NCAA Tournament tickets have already been punched this past weekend, opening the stage for the power conferences in the second half of Champ Week.
If you watched the regular-season conference games in any of the conferences above, you understand how crazy the post-season conference tournaments will be. Here is my prediction of the winners for each power conference tournament.
Champ Week: Power 6 Conference Tournaments
ACC: Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Any one of the top five seeds in the ACC can win the conference tournament. Looking at the bracket, the Demon Deacons will play the winner between Pitt and Boston College, Miami, and potentially Duke before the championship game. They are all teams Wake Forest has either beat or played competitively this season.
Even being a 5-seed, Wake Forest has a decent draw to win the tournament. The Demon Deacons have ACC Player of the Year in Alondes Willaims to help take them there.
Big 12- Texas Tech Red Radiers
The Big 12 is a competitive basketball conference every year. In his first year at the helm, Mark Adams has the Red Raiders playing consistent basketball. There’s a lot to love about Texas Tech, especially their defense. TTU is the most consistent Big 12 team in a lot of eyes, giving them a great chance to take the automatic bid, even though they won’t need it.
Big Ten- Iowa Hawkeyes
Champ Week is here in the Big Ten! This conference tournament is one of the best out of all the P6 leagues. Arguments can be made for teams seeded one through eight to potentially win the tournament. That’s exactly what’s happening here. Iowa has a great hand dealt to them with a five seed.
The Hawkeyes get the winner of Nebraska and Northwestern and play Rutgers if they advance to the quarterfinals. A potential rematch with the Fighting Illini is in store in the semifinals, giving them a chance to play a mix of Wisconsin, Purdue, Ohio St, Michigan State, Maryland, Penn State, or Minnesota. Despite their loss to end the regular season, the Hawkeyes are playing the best basketball in the Big Ten.
Big East- Villanova Wildcats
If you like chaos, you’d like Big East basketball. Even with Providence taking home the regular-season title, the Big East is still Villanova’s to lose. Collin Gillespie and Justin Moore lead the Wildcat backcourt coming into March. These two guys are great, composed guards who don’t get fazed easily. That leadership will be key in a March run for Jay Wright and Co.
PAC 12- Arizona Wildcats
Arizona is fit for a March run. The Wildcats are clearly the best team in the PAC-12, making the pick an easy one. Anything can happen in March, but Arizona has an edge on most of their league. Tommy Loyd has a dominant presence down low, as well as perimeter players who can create on their own or for others. The PAC-12 runs through Tucson.
SEC- Kentucky Wildcats
The Southeastern Conference is the most up in the air tournament of Champ Week. There’s no doubt that the top of the SEC is a complete dogfight. Kentucky gives off the vibe of a championship team. That can also be said for a lot of teams in the conference. Kentucky has the most complete roster top to bottom.
Head coach John Calipari has veteran guys like Oscar Tshiebwe and Sahvir Wheeler. He also has players playing well above their years, like TyTy Washington. The Wildcats have weapons all over the floor, each dominating different aspects of the game. That’s what makes them so hard to defend.
Champ Week is a two-week-long appetizer before the main course of the NCAA Tournament. It’s filled with its own buzzer-beaters, Cinderella runs, you name it: it’s there. In the wise words of Jon Rothstein, This is March. Enjoy it while it lasts.
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