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Previewing Saturday's Conference Tournament Games

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Going to be doing this daily since we’re now in March and it’s just a cleaner look. We’ll take a look at conference tournament games going on each day and put conference championship games in their own blog. This will have updated brackets, what’s going on, etc.  I’ll be talking about the games all day @barstoolreags, so join me there and let’s get right into it.

Ivy League – Philadelphia
Quarterfinals
Ivy

We have the second edition of the Ivy League tournament and it’s a different setup obviously. We have just four teams advancing to the Ivy League Tournament, all playing at The Palsestra. Now, the Ivy League was supposed to be an awesome mid major conference this year. Some thought we could possibly see two bids in the preseason. However, this ended up being the worst year for the conference since 2010 per KenPom. Keep an eye on Harvard, who ended the season with 8 of 9 wins, with the one loss coming to Penn.

American Athletic Conference – Orlando
Semifinals
Ivy

A little bit of craziness in the AAC simply by having Memphis in the semifinals. They got there with a buzzer-beating three over Tulsa, which resembled the Chris Chiozza game winner over Wisconsin in the Sweet 16. Throw in the whole Tubby and Penny fight and Memphis is just a delight right now. Today’s second game should be the interesting one. Houston can really score with Rob Gray and Wichita State’s defense hasn’t exactly been the best this year. Cincinnati struggled with SMU’s zone yesterday, but a team like that should bounce back in a big way against Memphis today.

Atlantic-10 – Washington, DC
Semifinals
Ivy

Yes, I know, I forgot the A-10 yesterday. Apologies to all A-10 fans who were not happy. That’s on me. I took Emeka Okafor and Caron Butler. But, here we are with the top-4 seeds in the semifinals and a rematch of a couple of games from last week. Davidson/St. Bonaventure went to 3OT while St. Joe’s beat URI by 30 at URI. I think you see URI really come out pissed off today and try to make a statement to revenge that loss. Davidson is one of the hottest teams in the country right now and St. Bonaventure ended up having to play a tight game last night due to blowing a 17-point lead, letting Richmond cut it to two at one point. I think you see Payton Aldridge have a big game tonight for Davidson and beat St. Bonaventure to play URI in the title game.

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SEC Tournament – St. Louis
Semifinals
Ivy

Well, hello Collin Sexton. There may not be a guy having a better conference tournament week than Sexton who hit the game-winner against A&M to get Alabama into the NCAA Tournament and then did just about everything in the second half against Auburn to get to the semifinals. You have him vs Kentucky – they played just once this year and Sexton struggled that game. Kentucky is still without Jarred Vanderbilt, which takes away the small ball lineup they prefer. That game is loaded with pro talent with guys like Herb Jones, Sexton, John Petty, Gilgeous-Alexander, Knox and more. Then in the bottom half  you have Tennessee and SEC Player of the Year Grant Williams against an Arkansas team that got an impressive win over Florida. Tennessee is going to have to keep Daniel Gafford off the offensive glass and not let him get position on the low block, because Barford/Macon do an excellent job of getting the ball up to him on a lob. I think Tennessee is able to win that game though and look for Williams to get into that mid range post that he likes and use a mismatch there.

Sun Belt
Semifinals
Ivy

The Fun Belt isn’t just for football, folks. This league has sent teams to the tournament and have gotten wins in the NCAA Tournament. Little Rock beat Purdue. Georgia State beat Baylor. Louisiana can absolutely win a game in the NCAA Tournament this year. UT-Arlington has a guy in Kevin Hervey who can play for any team in the country. Georgia Southern has Tookie Brown, an absolute dynamic point guard.