There really isn't anything that compares to March Madness. The NCAA Tournament is watched by everyone, and millions upon millions of brackets are filled out every year after Selection Sunday. A handful of them end up being correct.
The fact that anything can happen and upsets are anywhere and everywhere you look makes this one of the greatest tournaments in all of sports. Like I said before, there really isn't much that can compare to it.
What is nearly as good, though, is watching the conference tournaments unfold before our very eyes. Who will take an early exit, who will see their bubbles burst, and who will win the whole thing, clinching their spot in the field of 68.
While most of the smaller conference tournaments are just getting underway, the excitement and buzz is around all of those teams trying to win one of the "big six" conference tournaments.
Predicting these things are almost impossible, and I'm sure not everyone will agree with my picks, but instead of sour comments, I would like to hear how you think it will go and why.
I like Arizona out in the Pac 10, and I don't think many would argue this one. Though they are in a battle with UCLA for the regular season title, they have some impressive wins on their side and a better overall record. I think people expected another down year from this conference in comparison to the other five major conferences, but they still have plenty of talent out west.
Tournament MVP: Derrick Williams
Team you don't want to play in this tournament: Washington
You would think after Duke and North Carolina, there would be a big drop off in the ACC standings. Actually, Florida State is just two games behind both the Blue Devils and the Tar Heels. It looks like Florida State and Virginia Tech will make the tournament, but they won't want to let the committee think it over this year.
They are both ready to make a statement in this tournament, and I would bet one of them will be able to take out North Carolina along the way, but in the end, it will be hard for one of them to beat both UNC and Duke in the same tournament. I hope I am wrong on this.
Tournament MVP: Nolan Smith
Team you don't want to play: Florida State
After the beat down the Gators gave Alabama earlier this week, I think it's safe to say there are three teams ready to battle for this tournament trophy. Obviously Florida and Kentucky are the two big ones, but don't forget about Vanderbilt, Tennessee, and even Mississippi State.
The reason I would go with Florida here over Kentucky is that Kentucky has lost more road games this year than anyone can remember. That does not bode well for them, as this tournament will not take place in Rupp. Florida has also had a knack for winning close games all year. They will find a way to win this tournament, but don't be surprised if Vanderbilt or Tennessee makes a big run.
Tournament MVP: Chandler Parsons
Team you don't want to play: Vanderbilt
The Big 12 has been quite impressive this year, and they have had high expectations since the season began. Kansas and Texas have been outstanding all year, and Kansas State has been putting it together the past couple of weeks. Jacob Pullen really gives them a great chance to win if he is healthy. Don't forget about Texas A&M and Missouri as contenders as well. Both teams have played well both in and out of conference and could really challenge the top two teams for the title.
In the end, there is too much talent in Kansas, but don't be surprised if Texas gets it this year.
Tournament MVP: Marcus Morris
Team you don't want to play: Kansas State
No team is as hot as Purdue is right now. JaJuan Johnson has made a case for conference player of the year, and E'Twaun Moore has also been playing lights out. If someone else can take out Ohio State or Wisconsin, look for Purdue to make it to the big game. They know if they win the conference tournament, they will almost be guaranteed a number one seed for the NCAA Tournament. Ohio State could be beatable if Diebler isn't hitting ten three pointers per game, and Wisconsin could give teams major problems if they keep playing at the slow pace that they do.
Any of these three teams has a great chance of winning it all, and this should be an outstanding conference tournament.
Tournament MVP: E'Twaun Moore
Team you don't want to play: Michigan
Let's be honest: This is the most exciting and interesting conference tournament that there is in college basketball. I look forward to this one every year, just like the Big Ten Tournament. This conference tourney is almost like the Daytona 500, in that it is really anybody's guess as to who is going to win.
Basically, you have 10 teams that could easily be considered the favorite to win the tournament. Just thinking about teams like Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Louisville, Georgetown, St. John's, Villanova, Marquette, Cincinnati, and West Virginia gives me goosebumps. I wish it started tonight!
In the end, I am going to go with the team that is leading the conference during the regular season. They had a tough loss against a great St. John's team and have had to do without their best player for a number of games. St. John's will be playing with the crowd on their side for virtually every game, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them in the championship game. You can honestly make a case for any of the teams I listed here, and I am sure this will be another great one to watch.
Tournament MVP: Ashton Gibbs
Team you don't want to play: St. John's (any of them really)