Photo Credit: Kentucky Kernel
As conference tournament season is in full force, here are my picks to win the major conference tournaments this week:
Assuming Zion Williamson is healthy, I expect Duke to come back from this shaky stretch of play with a vengeance and to take home the ACC. Though the Blue Devils look quite vulnerable without the preemptive number one pick, when the team is fully healthy they have been historically dominant. Look for that dominance to return this week.
Big 12: Kansas
Kansas’ 14-year regular season conference champion streak came to a halt this season as the Jayhawks finished behind both Kansas State and Texas Tech. However, since getting destroyed by Texas Tech, Kansas has ripped off four straight victories and look primed for March. Look for the Jayhawks to continue their hot stretch into the conference tournament.
This is kind of predictable at this point. The Blue Bloods have made up the first three choices for a reason. These teams always play their best basketball when it’s needed most. Kentucky looks dangerous and well rounded. They’re long, athletic and can shoot. Look for Herro and Washington to take this team not just to the SEC Tournament Championship, but to make a deep run in NCAA Tournament.
PAC 12: Arizona State
Give me Bobby Hurley and Remy Martin over any other player/coach combination in the PAC 12. These guys will be tough take down this week, especially coming off an impressive win over rival Arizona.
Big East: Marquette
Betting against Villanova this late in the season is really difficult to do, considering their successes in March the last few years. However, Marquette matches up well against the Wildcats and Markus Howard is as good of a guard as you’ll find across the country. I expect Howard to turn it on and bring the Golden Eagles a conference tournament championship.
Big 10: Indiana
Indiana has been playing exceptionally well as of late. With victories over Michigan State and Wisconsin over the curse of their four-game win streak, the Hoosiers look poised to make a run in the Big Ten. Romeo Langford and Juwan Morgan have finally been getting solid help from starters Justin Smith and Rob Phinisee. Don’t be surprised when the Hoosiers leave no doubt about a tournament bid.
Though they ended the season on a sour note with a home defeat to Houston, Cincinnati is a solid all-around team led by star player Jarron Cumberland. Mick Cronin always has his guys ready to play hard and defend for 40 minutes. Expect the Bearcats to surprise some people and take down Houston on their way to a conference tournament title.