Championship Week 2020 Preview Part 1
Even though the big conference championships don’t start until next week, there are still some great games. In fact, there are two hopeful one seeds playing this week, San Diego State out of the Moutain West and Gonzaga out of the WCC. On top of those matchups, the SoCon tournament is probably the most interesting to me. Make sure you come back next week for the major conference championships.
Vermont is by far the favorite to win the American East and for good reason. They have been playing very well across the board the entire season. They are determined to continue the success of there tournament birth last year. While there is a chance that we could see someone else win this tournament, but its highly unlikely. Vermont is my pick to win the American East.
My Pick: Vermont
* Bracket reseeds after the first round
Liberty comes into this tournament as the heavy seed to win it. According to Bracket Matrix, they are the only team that is even receiving votes. I believe that they will have an easy route to the championship, but they may have a little more competition in the championship. They will likely play either Lipscomb or North Florida. Out of both of these two teams, I think Noth Flordia has the most likely chance for an upset. However, I believe that Liberty will come out victorious in the Atlantic Sun.
My Pick: Liberty
I think that there are 3 teams that can win this tournament, Radford, Winthrop, and Gardner-Webb. Of those teams, I think that number 3 Gardner-Webb is the best all-around team. After a rough start to the season, they have won 6 of there last 7 games. Bracket Matrix doesn’t agree with me having Garder-Webb receiving 0 votes. They have Radford getting a 16 seed, but my pick is for the Big South is Gardner-Webb.
My Pick: Gardner-Webb
This tournament looks like one of the more wide-open ones this year. Hofstra is definitely the favorite coming out of the Colonial Conference. I think their hardest opponent in the tournament will be in the 3rd round against Charleston. Even though Charleston hasn’t been playing well lately they appear like a very good team. With that said I don’t think that William & Mary will put up much of a fight in the Championship. My pick for this tournament is Hofstra.
My Pick: Hofstra
This tournament is by far my least favorite format. it is set up so the 1 or 2 seeds can be champions with only 2 wins. With that said it makes it easier for me to pick a winner. Because of the format I think that Wright State and Northern Kentucky are the only possible champions. While I have liked this Northern Kentucky team all year, this Wright State team is just too good. Bracket Matrix agrees with me on this having Wright State as a 15 seed.
My Pick: Wright State
The Missouri Valley is one of those conferences that always delivers with its conference tournament. While this will likely be a one-bid conference this year, this is a conference that can produce multiple tournament teams. While Northern Iowa is the heavy favorite, Loyola Chicago, Indiana State, and Bradley all have tournament hopes. Of these Loyola Chicago has the best chance of an upset, but they have fallen from there final four appearance a few years ago. While all of these teams have a chance at the tournament I think that Norther Iowa wins the Missouri Valley.
My Pick: Northern Iowa
San Diego State is by far and away the favorite and an all most a certain 1 seed in the tournament. The Mountain West is a 2 bid hopeful conference currently having Utah State on the bubble. In order for Utah State to convince the committee to give them a spot in the tournament, they need to make a deep run in the MW tournament. As far as my pick for the Mountain West Tournament I am picking San Diego State.
My Pick: San Diego State
Unfortunately for the NEC there best team will be left out of the tournament. Merrimack took the NEC by storm this year, but due to NCAA rules, they can’t participate in March Madness so the NEC left them out of the conference tournament. As far as who I like this tournament is wide open. Personally I think that this tournament will likely go to St. Francis PA. They have won 8 of there last 9 games with there only loss coming to Robert Morris. It is very likely these two teams will meet in the championship. My official pick for this conference is St. Francis PA.
My Pick: St. Francis PA
* Bracket reseeds after the first round
Last year this team was able to get 2 bids between Murray State and Belmont. Both those teams once again site atop the conference and are the favorites. Austin Peay has a shot at the title, but it is a lot smaller than the other two. Only having to win two games is a huge advantage in these conference championships. During the season Belmont and Murray State split there games. I think this is going to be one of the best matchups of Championship week. My pick is going to be Belmont, but by a very slim margin.
My Pick: Belmont
When it comes to these smaller conferences sometimes the top teams are just way better than the other teams. Colgate in the Patriot League is a perfect example of this. Colgate is one of these teams that I have been betting on the entire season. They have been doing a great job of shooting the basketball and just moving the ball. Boston University and American have a chance to come out victories, but I am taking Colgate in this one.
My Pick: Colgate
The SoCon is a conference that is on the verge of getting 2 bids to the tournament. Unfortunately, this year doesn’t look like the year it will happen. East Tennessee, Furman, and UNC Greensboro are all tournament hopefuls. These games look like they will be some of the most competitive of the week. This is probably the hardest conference for me to predict because I can see scenarios were all 3 of them can make it. With that said I have been a huge fan of Furman this entire year and I can’t give up on them now.
My Pick: Furman
The Top 4 seeds in this tournament all have a great shot at being victorious. South Dakota State and North Dakota State are the only teams that Bracket Matrix has as possible tournament teams. While both of these teams are very good and have the stats to back them up, I really like South Dakota in this one. Even though South Dakota has had some questionable loses their stats have been crazy. My pick for the Summit League is South Dakota.
My Pick: South Dakota
The Sun Belt is one of the most wide-open conferences. All of the top 4 teams have a decent shot at the championship. Little Rock has been leading the conference most of the year, but the other 3 have been near them. South Alabama has been playing very well winning 8 straight games. They have been very hot and I think they will win this tournament. My pick is South Alabama to win the Sun Belt.
My Pick: South Alabama
When it comes to the WCC they might have the craziest tournament. The fact that Gonzaga and BYU have three byes in just insane. Because of that, it is almost certain that the championship will be Gonzaga and BYU. While they were able to split wins in the regular season neither of these teams needs to win this game. Both Gonzaga and BYU are already firmly in the tournament. With that said I find it hard to go against Gonzaga, but to be honest, this tournament is one of the least interesting.
My Pick: Gonzaga
Part 1 Recap
Head over to twitter to let me know what you think about the Championship Week 2020 Preview Part 1. If you enjoyed this article head over to my picks page to see who I am betting on. Also, go check out my college basketball rankings for all 353 teams. Finally, don’t forget to check out my sports betting record and blog posts.