CBB Conference Champs – 3/3/22

Starting to heat up, middle of the action. These conferences are starting their tournaments over the 3rd and 4th. Some fun hot streaks in here, along with some names you’ve been hearing over the last couple years. Per usual, my favorites to win and some value picks otherwise to keep an eye out for over the next week.

Missouri Valley Conference- Loyola +130 (Northern Iowa +490)

Loyola is the most talented team, end of story. We should be thanking Northern Iowa for beating them in their most recent game to give us these odds. Obviously, it’s March, Drake has beaten Loyola twice, Northern Iowa won the regular season title, you can’t count out anyone. However, they are the best team, and have played very good teams and held their own. This is a team that turns it on in this part of the season and does not want to risk missing the Big Dance, they should take this trophy home. Northern Iowa is also great value as a team, who won the conference and is 4-2 against the top 3 teams in it.

Sun Belt- Georgia State +270 (Texas State +430)

Georgia State is the odds on favorite to win the conference tournament despite being 3rd in the conference. They have won 9 of their last 10 including 7 straight and they are a dominant rebounding team which is very valuable this time of year, ranking in the top 50 in offensive rebound percentage. On a neutral site where these dominant home records don’t matter, it’s anyone’s game. Texas State as the regular season champ at +430 is also great value, entering this tournament on a 9 game win streak with about half of them on the road.

West Coast- Gonzaga -390 (Saint Mary’s +500)

Have to include it, if Gonzaga loses, I will be shocked. This is the worst tournament setup in college basketball and gives San Francisco, BYU, and Santa Clara, zero chance to boost their resumes and make the tournament. That being said, if anyone is going to win not named Gonzaga it’s the other team that only has to win two games.

American East- Vermont TBD

This one has a similar taste to Gonzaga, if Vermont does not win this tournament, I will be shocked, they are 24-5 overall and 16-1 in the conference. The rest of the conference isn’t even at the level below Vermont, no one being better than 10-7 in the conference. If the money goes anywhere else and this one is like a hail mary, but Albany has the next best road record, UMBC is a fan favorite as well.

Colonial- Towson +140 (Hofstra +350)

Towson is the hottest team coming into this one. Winning 7 straight and dominating on the road. They are winning in town, and they are winning out of town, finding their stride at the right time. This team hasn’t slipped in awhile with a couple early losses to good teams but not a ton of scary ones, they won the regular season and I’m following them to the end. Hofstra has good value as the #3, winning 8 of their last 9 and just from the eye test, a very efficient offense and a tough one to stop.

Southern- Chattanooga +210

Furman is the odds on favorite to win the conference tournament. I like Chattanooga, they won the regular season crown and have beaten Furman in both battles this season. They score a lot, and, in these leagues, you usually find “that guy” that proves himself as the best player in the conference and throws the team on his back. That guy is Malachi Smith. He averages over 20 per game and leads the team in assists and steals while shooting over 40% from 3. Sounds like someone you’ll hear of in the first round of the NCAA.

Summit- South Dakota State -180 (Oral Roberts +550)

Undefeated in the conference and 18 game win streak entering the conference tournament. Wow. Seems like South Dakota State should walk right in. If not, Oral Roberts has mostly the same team and that should say something when it comes to experience from this time of year. Something to sprinkle.

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