After a shortened regular season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s time for March Madness! With the regular season ending last Sunday, we’re now ready for conference tournament season. The NCAA awards 32 automatic bids every season, but since the Ivy League elected not to participate this season, there will only be 31 bids awarded after the conference tournaments. Let’s take a closer look to our NCAAB weekly update so you can continue betting against their College Basketball odds.
NCAA Basketball COVID-19 Update – March 8th Edition
Since this season has been so unique, some of the conference tournaments have already been played. As of Sunday night, there were four bids that had already been awarded. Morehead State was the first team to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, as they upset Belmont to win the Ohio Valley Conference. Liberty, a team that many predicted could make a run in the tournament, won the Atlantic Sun tournament, while Winthrop claimed the automatic bid from the Big South Conference. The fourth automatic bid was the Missouri Valley Conference tournament champion, the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers. Loyola is another team that could make some noise in the tournament.
With four down and 27 to go, we should see an action-packed week of college basketball action. On Monday, we’ll see action from the CAA, the Horizon League, the MAAC, the Summit League, the Sun Belt, and the MAAC. We’ll also see the West Coast Conference semifinals where we’ll see the #1 team in the nation, the Gonzaga Bulldogs take on St. Mary’s. Gonzaga has owned the WCC Tournament over the past few years. They’re looking to end the regular season undefeated by winning the West Coast Conference tournament title.
On Tuesday, we’ll see the major conferences tip off tournament action as the ACC Tournament will kick off. In an unfamiliar site, we’ll see the Duke Blue Devils in action in the first round of the tourney. Duke comes into the ACC Tournament as the 10 seed and will take on the 15th-seeded Boston College Eagles in the first round. Duke is currently below .500 and needs to win the ACC Tournament to get into the NCAA Tournament.
Tuesday will also see more automatic bids awarded, as the West Coast Conference tournament champion will be crowned. The Summit League will also wrap up it’s tournament. On Wednesday, the tournament action will heat up even more as we’ll see the start of the Big East and Conference USA Tournaments.
Throughout this week, we’ll hear numerous terms and phrases repeated over and over. The phrase “on the bubble” will be the most heard phrase. Teams that aren’t a lock for the tournament will be sweating out this week’s action. If they don’t win their conference tournaments, many mid-majors and Power 5 teams that had decent records but didn’t finish near the top of the conference standings will be hoping that the #1 seeds that were supposed to win the tournaments do. If not, that could diminish their chances of getting in.
We’ll also hear the term “at large” many times. These are teams that don’t win their conference tournaments, but will still get into the NCAA Tournament. Conference Tournament week is always full of great action, and we can’t wait to get to Selection Sunday!
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