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