Saturday’s Den: Trends for conference tournaments, and other stuff

— Since 2015, there have been seven A-15 tournaments; seven different teams won those seven tournaments. Dayton/Fordham aren’t among those seven schools, so it could be eight teams in eight years after this year’s tournament.

VCU hasn’t won the A-15 tournament since 2015, which is surprising, since their regular season conference record during that time is 99-40. 

— Toledo won the first MAC tournament, in 1980; they haven’t won one since. Rockets are 47-9 in conference games the last three years; this should be the year they end their drought and get back to the NCAA Tournament. Four different teams won last five MAC tourneys.

— Last six years, six different teams have won the CAA tournament; three of those six teams were the #1 seed. Charleston is the #1-seed this year; last time they won the CAA conference tournament was 2018.

— In Conference USA, five different teams won the last five conference tournaments; Florida Atlantic is the #1-seed; they haven’t won any conference tournament since 2002, when they won the Atlantic Sun tourney. #2/#3 seeds this year are North Texas/UAB, who won this event the last two years. 

— In the Summit League, 10 of the last 11 conference tournaments have been won by either North Dakota State or South Dakota State; the event is held in Sioux Falls, SD every year.

This year, Oral Roberts is clearly the best team, going 18-0 in Summit games, five games better than anyone else. ORU won this event as the #3-seed three years ago. #1-seed won the Summit tournament five of the last eight years.

— Iona Gaels won five of the last six MAAC tournaments, actually five of last seven- they lost in the 2020 tournament, which was never finished because of COVID. Iona jogged to another regular season title this year; they’ll be favored to win in Atlantic City next week.

— #1-seed has won the Pac-12 tournament five of the last seven years, with Arizona winning four of those tournaments. UCLA will be the #1-seed this year; they haven’t won the Pac-12 tourney since 2014, USC hasn’t won it since 2009.

— Big Sky tournament has been won by the #1-seed 10 of the last 11 years; Eastern Washington won as the #2-seed two years ago. EWU is also the #1-seed this year; they lost their last two games, after an 18-game winning streak. #2-seed Montana State is clearly the next best team; they won the conference tournament last year. 

— #1-seed has won the last nine Southern Conference tournaments; four different teams won the last four. Wofford in 2014 was the last non-#1-seed (#3-seed) to win the event. Furman/Samford tied for first place in the regular season this year; neither team has won the SoCon tournament in this century.

— In the ACC, four different teams won last four ACC tournaments; Virginia in 2018 was last #1-seed to win it. North Carolina hasn’t won the ACC tourney since 2016; Duke won in 2017, 2019.

— In the Big 14, #1-seed has won only one of last five conference tournaments; four different teams won the last four. Purdue is going to be the #1-seed, despite going 3-4 in their last seven games. Right now, there is a 6-way tie for second place in the Big 14, with one game to go.

— Jay Wright’s Villanova team won five of last seven Big East tournaments; they were the #1-seed in three of those five years, but Wright is working on TV now. Villanova is the #6-seed in the Big East this year, in Kyle Neptune’s first year as coach. 

Marquette will be the #1-seed this year; Shaka Smart has won three conference tournaments in 12 years as a head coach, the last one with Texas two years ago.

— In the Big West, five different teams won the last six conference tournaments, with Cal State-Fullerton winning in 2018, 2022. #1-seed won two of last five tournaments. Irvine and Santa Barbara are tied for first with one game left in the regular season, with three other teams just a game behind those two.

— Loyola, Chicago won three of last five MVC Tournaments, but they’ve moved on to the A-15; Bradley won in 2019/2020- they won their 11th game in a row Friday, are the #1 seed in this year’s edition of Arch Madness. 

— #1-seed won four of last six Mountain West tournaments; San Diego State won it only once in the last four years, despite going 55-15 in conference games those four seasons. Aztecs figure to be the #1-seed again this season.

UNLV hosts this tournament; they haven’t won the Mountain West tournament since 2008, back when BYU/TCU were also in the Mountain West. 

— Colorado State 92, New Mexico 84— Lobos were the last unbeaten team in the country; their first loss was January 3rd, but now they’ve lost 8 of their last 11 games and will need to win the Mountain West tournament to make the NCAA’s.

— BYU 82, Portland 71— Portland led by 13 at halftime, got outscored 52-28 in second half. Cougars advance to play LMU Saturday at Orleans Arena.

— Campbell 81, Longwood 68— #7-seed Camels upset #2-seed Longwood in the Big South quarterfinals. During the season, Longwood beat Campbell twice, by 24-25 points.

— Toledo 87, Ball State 81— Rockets win the MAC regular season title; they won the first MAC tournament in 1980, haven’t won one since— they’ll need to win the tournament to make it to the NCAA’s. 

— Missouri Valley tournament
Drake 74, Murray State 62
Indiana State 94, Belmont 91

Big fish, small pond, that’s the secret to being a winning mid-major program. So many of these teams have success, then the administrators’ eyes get bigger than their stomach, and they move up to a bigger league, trying to join the big boys. It doesn’t work very often. 

Murray State/Belmont were the big fish in the Ohio Valley; now neither one made the semi-final in their new league, a much better league. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.