Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Conference Tournaments

March 3, 2002 Columns No Comments

Start the Madness

by Tracy Granzyk

Start the Madness
Tournament time always triggers two things in my mind. The first is that spring is around the corner, with summer soon to follow. You would think that living in the mountains of Colorado, I would be holding out for one more good dump of the fluffy white stuff. However, having grown up in the Chicagoland area, I am wired to pray for the return of the sun, and its warmth, as soon as it goes under-cloud sometime in October. Having spent my formative years in the Midwest, there is still always the doubt the sun will ever return.

The second, and maybe more important fact, is that the start of tournament time means we have an entire month of basketball ahead. And not just any old basketball – great basketball. Loose-ball-diving, score-table-crashing, three-point-shooting, hard-rebounding fights-to-the-finish, played with every ounce of post-season passion. It’s a time where champions are called to the carpet, and either back up their season long rankings, or fall to a team that musters more heart on some given night. With my love for the underdog, I take pleasure in a good upset and March Madness affords almost any solid team a shot for glory. This is true democracy in my mind. Work hard, and succeed. No politics, just performance. Wins speak louder than hype.

So here we go, returning to the familiar, early spring ritual of March Madness. Where the tournament remains the same, but the day-to-day games are sure to supply more than one surprise.

Conference Tournament Roundup

Big 12
While No. 3 Oklahoma has had the Big 12 No. 1 seed sewn up for awhile, the Nos. 2-7 seeds for the conference tournament were up for grabs down to the wire, as those seven teams also remain in the Top 25 AP rankings. No. 9 Baylor’s 95-91, come from behind victory versus No. 11 Iowa State last week put them in sole position of the No. 2 seed. No. 11 Colorado moved closer to their ultimate No. 3 seed when they triumphed over No. 12 Kansas State 79-58 in Boulder last weekend. KState earned a bye as the No. 4 seed, and will play the winner of the Kansas/Texas game on March 5th. No. 11 Iowa State ended up as the No. 6 seed, which just hammers home once again how competitive a conference the Big 12 remains. The Cyclones face Nebraska on March 5th as well, and barring natural disaster or multiple injuries, will most likely square off against Colorado for the third time this season in the quarterfinals. The series has both teams with a win versus one another, and their third meeting should make for an exciting tie break. My pick: No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 2 Colorado.

The SEC conference tournament is well underway, and No. 4 Tennessee is still the team to beat. With the season series versus No. 6 Vanderbilt split, and a determined No. 7 LSU team still in their future, the Lady Vols will not roll through without being challenged.

In one of the early upset of 2002 post season play, No. 10 South Carolina was handled by unranked Arkansas, the No. 7 conference seed, 79-61. The Razorbacks will have to take the same ardor into their semifinal match versus a tough No. 6 Vanderbilt team, intent on going all the way. My pick: No. 1 Tennessee, No. 2 Vanderbilt.

Big East
No. 1 UConn, still undefeated on the season, will have to keep their focus sharp and refuse to fall back on their record, as they go into the conference tournament as the No. 1 seed. No. 21 Boston College, No. 22 Notre Dame or No. 24 Virginia Tech have upset abilities and will provide some competition for the Huskies before it’s all over. My pick: No. 1 UConn, No. 2 Notre Dame.

Big 10
Currently unranked Wisconsin, who has gone up and down in the Top 25 this season, defeated a strong No. 14 Minnesota team, 74-64 in the conference quarterfinal contest. They will face Penn State, the No. 2 seed in the semifinals.

No. 8 Purdue, came close to becoming a second Big 10 upset victim, as they escaped in overtime, 74-67 versus No. 9 seed Michigan. With Wisconsin showing they can put it together at crunch time, my pick pits the Badgers vs. the Boilermakers in the March 4th Championship in Indianapolis. Victor: Boilermakers.


Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Coaching Changes

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – March 17, 2018

March 17, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, there is one main story to focus on: history being made in Charlotte and its aftermath. But we also talk about tough times for the Pac-12 and a key member school, plus an added challenge ahead at Pittsburgh.

College Basketball Tonight – March 11, 2018

March 12, 2018 by

College Basketball Tonight returns with a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament bracket, and in the second segment Mount St. Mary’s head coach Jamion Christian joins us.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – March 10, 2018

March 10, 2018 by

As Championship Week nears its climax on the big Saturday, we look at a pair of semifinals and a lot of bubble teams that may be sweating it out on Sunday.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – March 8, 2018

March 8, 2018 by

As Championship Week heats up, we talk about bubble teams who may or may not want to earn their way into the NCAA Tournament, as well as a couple of mid-majors whose conference championship game was played earlier in the week.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 22, 2018

February 22, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we start with floor issues in the Big East and an important NCAA ruling that was upheld. Then we go on to the Big 12, where Wednesday night had a new twist, as well as the ACC and how it shapes up along with no team going undefeated in conference play this year.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.