Michigan and Michigan State are at the top of the league. The Spartans have historically done well in the tournament regardless of their placement in the Big Ten Conference, and the Wolverines have had especially good results in the conference tournament. Don’t rule out Purdue either. They have a fierce roster that is capable of stringing together some great, clutch games as well. All this said, I still take the Wolverines to win the Big Ten Conference. They have the best overall body of work and play the most complete game.
Kansas may be one of the toughest teams to read in the nation. Some games they look absolutely great, and others are just plain head-scratching. Kansas State, Texas Tech, and even Baylor are worth watching, but I think when the dust settles, the Jayhawks will emerge victorious once more. They have owned the conference for a while now and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Similar to Michigan’s dominance, Marquette has made a statement to the rest of the conference. They have the most complete team here. Villanova is always a threat. Jay Wright’s team is potent once again, but they just don’t seem to have the magnetism that they have had in years past. I think Marquette holds on down the stretch, but the Big East is full of contenders like Seton Hall, St. John’s and even Butler who could still surprise us before it’s all over.
I think the injury to Zion Williamson finalized the three-headed race for the ACC. The North Carolina Tar Heels have been in the third position seemingly all season. I think, unless they make strides, they will come up short with Virginia hosting the conference title.
Virginia’s lockdown defense is something to behold. They now have one less superstar at full strength to defend. The ground the Blue Devils are giving up without Zion will certainly hurt as well, not to mention the lack of chemistry they are experiencing.
The Washington Huskies have shown they can hang with anyone in the conference. They have just one loss within the ranks of the Pac-12. I’ll take them to finish out as strong as they’ve started. Holding teams like the Oregon State Beavers and the Arizona State Sun Devils will be tough, but they have done it before. They are quietly building a great program in Washington.
The SEC is up for grabs with Kentucky and Tennessee as the top two teams in the league. Look out for LSU as well. They play a brand of basketball different than most. They spread the ball around and get after you on the defensive end. Teams like that, if in a hot streak, can take down Goliath. Look for the experience of Coach Cal to play a huge role in the tournament.
Enjoy March Madness!