By Jim Jaworski
Is your favorite college basketball team struggling right now? Have you already given up NCAA tournament dreams? Don’t throw in the towel. There is still time for your favorite school to make a run for the tournament.
The conference tournaments happen during the first two weeks of March. The Big East, for example, competes March 8 – 12 in Madison Square Garden. A team that wins its conference tournament is automatically in the big dance.Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim has said, “Any league opponent can beat any other league opponent on just about any night.” In other words: upsets happen. In 2008, Georgia was at the bottom for worst conference record. They had to play 3 games within 30 hours, but they prevailed, winning the SEC tournament.
During conference tournaments, no team has an advantage because the tournament is held in a neutral arena. Also, everyone gets to play. The lower teams in the conference are champing at the bit because this is their last chance to snag a spot in the big championship. With 16 teams, the Big East is the largest conference, so the underdogs will have to fight extra hard. In the first round, the #9 seed will play the #16 seed, the #10 seed will play the #15 seed, and so on. The winner of these games will play 6 – 8 seeds, and the winner of these games will play the 1 -4 seeded teams. The match ups are a bit confusing, but the winners are well rewarded. The winner of this conference tournament will automatically be a part of the March Madness that goes on there.
So, if your team is struggling right now, don’t give up hope. They just might upset everyone in the conference tournament.