March Madness: Championship Week Begins
Five conference champions have already been crowned and 27 more automatic bids will be handed out over the next seven days. Championship Week is here after the final games of the regular season concluded yesterday. These headlines were some of the biggest stories during the final week of college basketball’s regular season.
Big Blue Bubble Team - It seems like Kentucky has been on the bubble for the entire season. Their status is just as unclear heading in to the SEC Tournament; after losing to Georgia on the road Thursday night and beating Florida at home on Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats have a first round bye in the SEC tourney and should find themselves in the field of 68, if they at least make it to the title game in Nashville.
Devilish Sweep – Duke wins both of their regular season meetings against North Carolina for the 10th time in the Krzyzewski era. These Tobacco Road rivals could make it twice in a week and three times in a season, with a potential matchup looming in the ACC Tournament semifinals on Saturday.
Hoosier Champion – Indiana finishes the regular season with their first outright Big Ten title in 20 years. Cody Zeller’s layup in the closing seconds of the Hoosiers 72-71 road win over the Wolverines denied Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State a share of the conference crown. The Hoosiers will likely be the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament if they win the Big Ten Tournament in Chicago this weekend.
Rock Chalk Wildcat – Kansas has now won or shared the Big 12 regular season crown for a ninth consecutive year. The Jayhawks are sharing that honor in 2013 with their in-state rivals from Manhattan, who can claim their first conference title in the regular season since 1977.
End Of An Era - The days of the current Big East are coming to a close, with its final regular season games taking place over the weekend and last tournament beginning at Madison Square Garden tomorrow. Georgetown, Louisville, and Marquette can each claim the regular season crown ; and will be joined by Pittsburgh as the top seeds in the conference tournament.
20 – Winning that many games usually gives a school a good chance to win their conference or get an large bid. Losing that many games usually keeps a school out of the NCAA, NIT, and CBI tournaments, but not for Liberty University. The Flames won the Big South Conference Tournament and will receive an at large bid with a 15-20 record. Liberty’s .429 winning percentage is the lowest for an NCAA Tournament since Oakland (Michigan) went 12-18 with a .400 winning percentage in 2005.