Ebs’ Hot Takes: Championship Week, Kansas, Mid-majors, Vanderbilt


WILKES-BARRE, PA – Championship week. The best time of the year.

Dozens of Division I college basketball conferences are holding their conference tournaments this week with one goal: Filling out the field of 68.

This is when Cinderella stories start, top seeds go down, bubbles get burst and those teams still on the bubble pad their resumes.

I love it.

Just look no further than the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Siena, who got above .500 for the first time since their season opener, took down top-seeded Monmouth in the semifinals on Sunday. It was awesome.

Here are the latest Ebs’ Hot Takes, based on what should happen between now and next Monday.


Kansas will take the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA tournament. While I believe that Kansas is a bit overrated this year (the best teams are in the Pac-12), it sits at the top of the AP poll and is the clear favorite to win the Big 12.

Baylor and West Virginia could have the Jayhawks some trouble, but Kansas is far superior and should cruise into the tourney.

You’re probably going to be upset with the field. If you’re one of those people that thinks a one- or two-conference loss mid-major deserves an at-large bid over an 18-win Wake Forest or an 18-win Iowa, prepare to be disappointed Sunday.

Teams like Illinois State, who’s 17-1 in Missouri Valley play this year, aren’t getting in. These teams non-conference schedules don’t make up for the fact that a 23-win USC sees Oregon, UCLA and Arizona twice a year.

I know, it’s unfair, but you’re going to have to deal with it. If a 28-win Monmouth couldn’t get in last year after beating No. 17 Norte Dame, UCLA, USC and Georgetown, there’s not much hope things will be different this year.

Remember the name Vanderbilt. You know how I just said a Power 5 team with a “meh” record, but a lot of quality wins would get in over an impressive mid-major. Yeah, meet Vanderbilt.

With two wins over Florida and wins over South Carolina, Iowa State and Arkansas, 17-win Vandy could make some noise if the path is just right cone tourney time.

Come back tomorrow for Ben Whitney and please follow us on Twitter at @ByDJEberle & @MeetTheMatts, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.


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About the Author ()

DJ Eberle: The youngest of our team, DJ is also the largest. Offensive Tackle Large. In fact, this Albany native used OT for Western New England University – until he graduated in May of 2014. Like Junoir Blaber, he’s a regular on Rugby Wrap Up – his dad played rugby with The Matts. His cross to bear, however, is his love for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. As for baseball and basketball, it’s the Yanks and Atlanta Hawks. Follow him on Twitter: @ByDJEberle.

  • Drunk In Joisey

    I like the picks except for UCLA. I think they are overrated

    • Put down the bottle, pal. UCLA can shoot the lights out.

      • DJ Eberle


      • jgclancy

        and then they’ll “put an eye out” and the shooting stops

    • DJ Eberle

      Idk man, Lonzo Ball’s the real deal.

  • We’re picking SUNY Buffalo to win the whole shebang.

  • Buddy Diaz

    This may be a good year for sleepers, I don’t know much about college basketball but I do remember number 1 teams losing left and right.

    • DJ Eberle

      At the end of the day I think two No. 1 seeds make the Final Four. The ACC’s top team (UNC or Louisville), the Pac-12 champ (UCLA, Arizona or Oregon) and the rest are lower seeds. However, they may not award the Pac-12 champ a No. 1 seed. Nova could be there too, and so could Kansas depending on its bracket.

  • AngryWard

    Be excited about hoops, but please refrain from calling this “the best time of year.”

    • jgclancy

      Oh,AW—it is the best time of the year—-the month I came into existence and including St Patrick’s Day isn’t just a coincidence ya know

    • benwhit

      The most wonderful time of the year

  • benwhit

    Nova might repeat

  • Junoir Blaber

    I just hate the way team like Monmouth get shafted but it is always about money. A Monmouth team won’t travel as well as a bigger college side.

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