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A Preview OF NCAA Basketball Madness

Finally, the 2 0 1 7 – 1 8 college basketball season is here and the thrill and excitement of a fast-paced game is back to put a loud dent in the mundane season of winter. March may seem a mile away but it is never too early to figure out who the contenders are this year for the national championship. So, with help from last year’s season as well as the recruits that were added to rosters, putting this year’s teams into shape, here is a snapshot of each of the major conferences in college basketball (and yes I consider the conference with Villanova in it.)

Atlantic Coast (ACC): Without a shadow of a doubt, this conference has been the standard for all other conferences when it comes to creating participants in the NCAA Tournament year after year. No wonder talented players want to play for these schools because of the tradition that they have. College Basketball cannot be complete without schools like preseason ranked #1 Duke, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Notre Dame consistently making their name known in the big dance. A whopping nine schools from this conference are projected to be in the tournament this year. That is 13 percent of the entire fi eld of 68 schools playing for the national title.

Big East: Over the past several years, the Big East had representation in the NCAA Tournament with Villanova, Xavier, Providence, and Butter being regular participants. Although Villanova from regular season standpoint is consistently on top year after year, come conference tournament time the past few years, anything can happen thanks to Seton Hall and Providence. With many teams from the conference this year ready to make a run, prepare yourselves for a fight to the top of the Big East. At least six teams from the Big East are predicted to make the NCAA Tournament.

Big Ten: The place to begin with this conference is to look at the squad that Michigan State has put on for this year. Ranked at #2 in the Preseason Poll, the Spartans have the talent to deliver in the clutch and represent the Big Ten well in the NCAA Tournament fi eld come March. Other teams are trying to make their voice heard as well such as Purdue, Indiana, Ohio State, Minnesota, and Illinois. A well represented conference in the big dance come March would bode well for the conference with seven schools predicted to be in it.

Big 12: When you look at this conference at a glance, you think to yourself, “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk, KU!”; Kansas is a school that is consistently in the big dance via the conference tournament championship spot. They hold the regular season title for the conference every year since 2004; they don’t repair, they rebuild with the talent to continue to make strides to the ultimate goal. Other teams to watch this year that will challenge Kansas are Oklahoma, West Virginia, Baylor, and Texas. Seven teams from this conference are projected to make the big dance this year from this conference.

Southeastern(SEC): The SEC is going to be a sleeper conference but it also happens to be my favorite conference to cover because of the amount of sleeper teams that go to the tournament year after year. Kentucky, a regular participant, makes the conference champ bid a lock year after year. Pay close attention to Alabama this year as the nation’s number one recruit Collin Sexton tries to put Alabama in its first NCAA Tournament bid since 2012. Besides Kentucky and Alabama trying to make the fi eld, also look for Arkansas, Texas A&M and Missouri to make their impact on the big dance. In total, six teams are projected to make the tournament this year.

Pacific Twelve(PAC 12): Last but certainly not least, the PAC 12 is best known as the conference that UCLA plays in, since they won ten national championships in the 1960’s and 70’s under legendary coach John Wooden. In the present day, UCLA is not the only big name in this conference. Arizona and Oregon as of late have had an impact on the landscape of the PAC 12’s representation in the big tournament. Not much in the way of number of teams but four from the conference should be enough to keep everyone on their toes in the big one.

Source: ESPN.com

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