College Hoop Hysteria: Conference Tourney Week is upon us

Indiana enters the Big 10 Tournament as the top seed.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Truly one of the best weeks on the athletic calendar is almost here with College Basketball’s Championship Week beginning Saturday. You can simply sit on the couch and watch the Ohio Valley crown their champion on Saturday and then see the Atlantic Sun, Big South and Missouri Valley allow one member from their respective leagues punch their ticket to the Big Dance the next afternoon.

Here’s an overview of the championship phenomena within the next week:

American Athletic Conference
Site: Orlando, FL
Dates: March 10-13
Top Seeds (As of March 2)
#1 Temple (12-4)
#2 Cincinnati (11-5)
#3 Houston (11-6)
…In its’ third year of existence, the AAC is visiting the Amway Center for the first time as the site of the conference tournament. Louisville (2014) and SMU (2015) have won the first two titles by defeating Connecticut in each season finale.

Atlantic Coast Conference
Site: Washington, D.C.
Dates: March 8-12
Top Seeds (As of March 2)
#1 Miami (13-4)
#2 North Carolina (13-4)
#3 Virginia (12-5)
…Since 1954, the ACC has played their conference tournament in the state of North Carolina all but eleven years (6 times in Georgia, 3 in Maryland, 1 in Washington D.C. and 1 in Florida). This year, they’ll make the trip north to D.C. again to play at the Verizon Center (where Georgetown plays). The next two seasons, the ACC will play their tournament at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. North Carolina has appeared in the championship game in four of the last five years (0-4). Five different teams have won the tournament in as many years (Duke 2011, Florida State 2012, Miami 2013, Virginia 2014, Notre Dame 2015).Duke has won 19 titles while the Tar Heels have claimed 17.

America East
Site: TBD
Dates: March 2-12
Top Seeds (As of March 2)
#1 Stony Brook (14-2)
#3 Vermont (11-5)
#4 New Hampshire (11-5)
…In 1980, Holy Cross beat Boston 81-75 in the league’s first conference tournament. Albany has been crowned the champion the last three seasons. Former members Northeastern (7) and Boston (6) have won the most championships followed by current members Albany and Vermont, who’ve won 5 apiece.

Atlantic 10
Site: Brooklyn, NY
Dates: March 9-13
Top Seeds (As of March 2)
#1 VCU (14-3)
#2 St. Joseph’s (13-4)
#3 Dayton (13-4)
#4 St. Bonaventure (13-4)
…The Barclays Center, who has played host to the A-10 tournament for the previous three years in a row, will see the league leave for two years (2017: Pittsburgh; 2018: Washington, D.C.) before returning in 2019. VCU has played in the championship game in each of the last three years (1-2). Temple, which is now a member of the AAC, has won the most championships with 9. Massachusetts has won the second most with 5 (last coming in 1996 with John Calipari as their coach).

Atlantic Sun
Site: TBD
Dates: March 1-6
Top Seeds (As of March 2)
#1 North Florida (10-4)
#4 Florida Gulf Coast (8-6)
#6 Lipscomb (7-7)
…Within the last four years – four different teams have claimed the championship (Belmont 2012, Florida Gulf Coast 2013, Mercer 2014, North Florida 2015).

Big East
Site: New York, NY
Dates: March 9-12
Top Seeds (as of March 2)
#1 Villanova (15-2)
#2 Xavier (13-4)
#3 Seton Hall (11-6)
…Since 1983 – MSG has housed such Big East legends as Patrick Ewing (Georgetown), Chris Mullin (St. John’s), Pearl Washington (Syracuse), Alonzo Mourning (Georgetown), Ray Allen (Connecticut), Allen Iverson (Georgetown), Carmelo Anthony (Syracuse), Kemba Walker (Connecticut), and Greg McDermott (Creighton). There aren’t many leagues which can offer the competitive balance that the Big East has this season with Villanova, Xavier, and Seton Hall atop the standings but with sleepers such as Butler and Providence lingering. Georgetown and former member Connecticut have won the tournament 7 times.

Big Sky
Site: Reno, NV
Dates: March 7-12
Top Seeds (As of March 2)
#1 Weber State (14-2)
#2 Montana (13-3)
#3 Idaho (10-6)
…Montana and Weber State have both won the Big Sky tournament 9 times. The Girzzlies of Montana have appeared in the championship matchup in five of the last six years (3-2).

Big South
Site: Buies Creek, NC
Dates: March 3-6
Top Seeds (As of March 2)
#1 High Point (13-5)
#2 Winthrop (13-5)
#3 Coastal Carolina (12-6)
…Coastal Carolina has won the last two championships by defeating Winthrop in each tournament Final. The tournament was held in Conway, South Carolina for the last three years. Winthrop has won the most with 10.

Big Ten
Site: Indianapolis, IN
Dates: March 9-13
Top Seeds (As of March 2)
#1 Indiana (14-3)
#2 Michigan State (12-5)
#3 Maryland (12-5)
#4 Wisconsin (12-5)
…The Big 10 tournament is entering its’ 19th year. Just like two years ago, the conference will hold its’ tourney from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Next year, it’ll be in Washington D.C. followed by Madison Square Garden (the week before the Big East) in 2018. You have to go way back to 2001 to find a team lower than the 3 seed to win the Big 10 tournament (Iowa was the 6th seed). Michigan State and Ohio State hold the distinction as the two schools which have won the most Big 10 title with 4. The Buckeyes vacated the 2002 championship otherwise you could count OSU as having one more. One of the more elite schools in the country which has not won a Big 10 championship is Indiana.

Big 12
Site: Kansas City, MO
Dates: March 9-12
Top Seeds (As of March 2)
#1 Kansas (14-3)
#2 West Virginia (12-5)
#3 Oklahoma (11-6)
…The Big 12 tournament has emanated from the Sprint Center in Kansas City each year since 2010. Iowa State is the back-to-back defending champions of the tournament. Kansas has won 9 championships since 1997.

Big West
Site: Anaheim, CA
Dates: March 10-12
Top Seeds (As of March 2)
#1 UC Irvine (11-3)
#2 Long Beach State (10-4)
#3 UC Santa Barbara (9-5)
…The Big West has been hosting their tournament since 1976. Former members UNLV (7), Utah State (6) and Pacific (5) have won the most tournaments. Long Beach State has also won 5. Anaheim has played host to the tourney each year since 2001.

Colonial Athletic Association
Site: Baltimore, MD
Dates: March 4-7
Top Seeds (As of March 2)
#1 Hofstra (14-4)
#2 UNC Wilmington (14-4)
#3 Towson (11-7)
…Since leaving Richmond’s Coliseum, which housed the tournament from 1990-2013, the CAA has found a home in Baltimore – where they’ve been for now three years. Next year, they’ll make the trek to North Charleston, South Carolina. Northeastern won their first CAA tournament a year ago.

Conference USA
Site: Birmingham, AL
Dates: March 8-12
Top Seeds (As of March 2)
#1 UAB (14-2)
#2 Louisiana Tech (11-5)
#3 Middle Tennessee (11-5)
#4 Marshall (11-5)
…UAB won last season’s tournament 73-60 over Middle Tennessee. The event returns to Legacy Arena in Birmingham for the third straight year.

Horizon League
Site: Detroit, MI
Dates: March 5-8
Top Seeds (As of March 2)
#1 Valparaiso (16-2)
#2 Oakland (13-5)
#3 Wright State (13-5)
…Youngstown State will play Detroit on Saturday night at 7:30 pm to cap off a day full of basketball at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Valpo has won two of the last three championships sandwiched by a Milwaukee title run as the 5th seed in 2014. Current Big East member Butler holds the distinction of having the most tournament championships (7) followed by fellow Big East titan Xavier with 6 and Milwaukee’s 4.

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
Site: Albany, NY
Dates: March 3-7
Top Seeds (As of March 2)
#1 Manhattan (17-3)
#2 Iona (16-4)
#3 Siena (13-7)
…Manhattan and Iona have squared off in each of the last three conference championship matchups. The Jaspers have come away victorious in the last two. Iona has won 8 conference championships while Siena and Manhattan have both won 5.

Mid-American Conference
Site: Cleveland, OH
Dates: March 7-12
Top Seeds (As of March 2)
#1 Akron (12-5)
#2 Ball State (10-7)
…Cleveland, Ohio has been the hub for Mid-American basketball in March since 2000. The state of Ohio has played the host to the MAC championship since 1993 (Columbus 1993-94, Toledo 1995-99). Buffalo won last year’s championship over Central Michigan (89-84). Ball State has won the most (7) while Ohio has won 6 league tournaments. Kent State last won the crown in 2008 (5 total) while Akron has won three of the last seven (3 in all).

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
Site: Norfolk, VA
Dates: March 7-12
Top Seeds (As of March 2)
#1 Hampton (13-2)
#2 South Carolina State (11-4)
#3 Norfolk State (11-4)
…There has been a new tournament champion in each of the last four years (Norfolk State 2012, NC A&T 2013, NC Central 2014, Hampton 2015). The Norfolk Scope has been the site of the last three seasonal tournaments. North Carolina A&T has won the tournament 16 times.

Missouri Valley
Site: St. Louis, MO
Dates: March 3-6
Top Seeds
#1 Wichita State (16-2)
#2 Evansville (12-6)
#3 Illinois State (12-6)
…From 1977 to 2013, Creighton won 12 tournament championships. The Blue Jays left for the Big East in 2013. Since then, Wichita State (2014) and Northern Iowa (2015) have won league crowns. The Missouri Valley has been playing their tournament in St. Louis since 1991.

Mountain West
Site: Las Vega, NV
Dates: March 9-12
Top Seeds (as of March 2)
#1 San Diego State (15-2)
#2 Fresno State (12-5)
#3 Boise State (11-6)
…San Diego State has not won the tournament since 2011 but has competed in the Final in three of their last four years (2012, 2014, 2015). The Aztecs and New Mexico both have won the Mountain West tourney four times.

Dates: March 2-8
Top Seeds (As of March 2)
#1 Wagner (13-5)
#2 Farleigh Dickinson (11-7)
…Robert Morris has competed in the tournament final in five of the last six seasons (3-3). Top seeded Wagner has not won the title since 2003 and Fairleigh Dickinson (2nd seed) has won since 2005.

Ohio Valley
Site: Nashville, TN
Dates: March 2-5
Top Seeds (As of March 2)
#1 Belmont (12-4)
#2 Tennessee State (11-5)
#3 Morehead State (11-5)
…Belmont has taken two of the last three tournaments. Murray State has won 15 while prior-member Western Kentucky had won 10.

Site: Las Vegas, NV
Dates: March 9-12
Top Seeds (as of March 2)
#1 Oregon (13-4)
#2 Utah (12-5)
#3 California (11-5)
…It doesn’t seem like it’s been 16 years since the Pac-12 (then Pac-10) decided to give their conference tournament another try after being shelved since 1990. The league is back at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for the fourth consecutive year. Arizona has been in the championship game in four of the past five years (1-3). A new team has won the title in five straight tournaments (Washington 2011, Colorado 2012, Oregon 2013, UCLA 2014, Arizona 2015). The Wildcats hold the disctintion as winning the most tourney championships with 5 as UCLA is right behind Arizona with 4.

Patriot League
Site: TBD
Dates: March 1-9
Top Seeds (As of March 2)
#1 Bucknell (14-4)
#2 Lehigh (13-5)
#3 Boston (11-7)
…Bucknell is seeking their 5th league tournament title – a feat that only Holy Cross holds currently.

Southeastern Conference
Site: Nashville, TN
Dates: March 9-13
Top Seeds (as of March 2)
#1 Texas A&M (12-5)
#2 Kentucky (12-5)
#3 Vanderbilt (11-6)
#4 LSU (11-6)
…The SEC will crown their champion at the Bridgestone Arena for the 4th time in 7 years next weekend. Kentucky has been a part of the championship matchup in five of the last six years (3-2). The Wildcats have won 28 times followed by Alabama – who’s won 6 times (last coming in 1991).

Site: Asheville, NC
Dates: March 4-7
Top Seeds
#1 Chattanooga (15-3)
#2 East Tennessee State (14-4)
#3 Furman (11-7)
#4 Wofford (11-7)
…Way back in 1922, North Carolina won the first Southern Conference tournament championship. Davidson won the most (12) while West Virginia and Chattanooga both won 10. Wofford won last year’s tournament over Furman (67-64).

Site: Katy, TX
Dates: March 9-12
Top Seeds (as of March 2)
#1 Stephen F. Austin (16-0)
#2 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (13-3)
#3 Sam Houston State (11-5)
…For the 9th straight year, the Southland Conference will crown its’ champion in Katy, Texas at the Leonard E. Merrell Center. Stephen F. Austin has appeared in the championship contest in three years in a row (winning the last two).

Site: Sioux Falls, SD
Dates: March 4-8
Top Seeds
#1 South Dakota State (12-4)
#2 Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne (12-4)
#3 Nebraska-Omaha (10-6)
…the old Mid-Con Conference has seen a school from the Dakotas take each of the last four championships (South Dakota State 2012-13; North Dakota State 2014-15).Valparaiso snagged 8 conference tournament titles.

Sun Belt
Site: New Orleans, LA
Dates: March 10-13
Top Seeds (as of March 2)
#1 Arkansas-Little Rock (17-2)
#2 Louisiana-Monroe (13-5)
#3 Texas-Arlington (11-7)
#4 Louisiana-Lafayette (11-7)
…Western Kentucky has won the most Sun Belt championships (9) before leaving for Conference USA. South Alabama has accumulated the second most with 5. Last year, Georgia State defeated Georgia Southern 38-36 for their opportunity to move onto the field of 68.

Southwestern Athletic Conference
Site: Houston, TX
Dates: March 8-12
Top Seeds (as of March 2)
#1 Texas Southern (15-1)
#2 Jackson State (12-4)
#3 Alcorn State (12-4)
…Texas Southern has been crowned the conference tournament champions in each of the last two seasons. Only Southern (8) and Alcorn State (7) have won more than Texas Southern’s 6 championships.

Western Athletic Conference
Site: Las Vegas, NV
Dates: March 10-12
Top Seeds (as of March 2)
#1 New Mexico State (12-1)
#2 Grand Canyon (10-3)
#3 Cal State Bakersfield (10-3)
…Seeking their fifth consecutive WAC conference tournament title, New Mexico State leads in conference history with 6 championships. UTEP had 5 during their time in the league. This will mark the 6th year in a row that the conference tournament has emanated from the Orleans Arena.

West Coast Conference
Site: Las Vegas, NV
Dates: March 4-8
Top Seeds
#1 Saint Mary’s (15-3)
#2 Gonzaga (15-3)
#3 BYU (13-5)
…For the 8th year in a row, the WCC basketball tournament will be played at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Gonzaga has been involved in the championship contest in each of the last 18 years (13-5). The Zags have won 14 titles followed by Pepperdine and Saint Mary’s who’ve won 3.

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