College Basketball: Previewing Championship Week Conference Tournaments

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College Basketball: Previewing Championship Week Conference Tournaments
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

It's Championship Week in men's college basketball. Most of the major conferences and several mid major and low major conferences crown tournament champions and determine automatic bids for the upcoming NCAA Tournament that starts next week.

For many one-bid leagues, teams play knowing that only the tournament champion gets to play in the NCAA Tournament.

Many teams in power conferences already have NCAA Tournament bids expected based on their regular season performance. Still, other teams sit on the bubble and need to win one or more games to make the NCAA Tournament. Other teams can certainly improve their seeds up to and including a coveted No. 1 seed.

I will preview each of what I feel are the major conferences in college basketball. (In my opinion, the six BCS conferences along with the Atlantic 10 and Mountain West conferences.)

In each conference, I will list each team that is either in my most recent Schmolik 64 or who just missed it and say what is at stake for each team. (Do they need to win a game or two to get in, or what could they be looking at as a seed for the NCAA Tournament?) If you do not see your team listed, assume they have no chance at an at-large bid.

I feel several mid-major conferences do their members a disservice by scheduling their tournament a week ahead. While ACC, Big East, and Big Ten members get to state their cases for NCAA at-large berths, teams like St. Mary's and Wichita State have to sit back and wait.

I have seen plenty of teams from the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) lose bids in the last week. It's easier to make a statement victory on Friday or Saturday than before the Selection Committee meets in Indianapolis. You can say it's the old adage "out of sight, out of mind." St. Mary's has been on the wrong side of the bubble a couple of times recently, and Drexel missed out last year. I wonder if having early conference tournaments hurt them.

As always, RPI rankings are from

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