Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Predicting winners for all 2021 conference tournaments

Ohio State (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
Ohio State (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images) /
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NCAA Basketball Alabama Crimson Tide Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
NCAA Basketball Alabama Crimson Tide Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports /


Champion: Alabama Crimson Tide

Nate Oats should be in consideration for National Coach of the Year for what he has done with this Alabama team. The Crimson Tide were expected to be good, but no one expected them to be this good and currently sitting with one loss in the SEC. Alabama has a ton of senior leadership and those are the players that lead them in almost every category.

John Petty Jr. is one of the best shooters in the country. Alabama averages 30 three-point attempts per game and they make them at a 39% clip in the conference. The Crimson Tide is also one of the best rebounding teams in the country and is extremely efficient inside the three-point arc.

The Crimson Tide are looking at locking up a top 8 seed in the NCAA tournament, so they are a lock to make the tournament and legitimate Final Four contender. If the shots are falling, they are really hard to beat, but if they are missing from deep they are beatable.

Sleeper: Missouri Tigers

Missouri is really hard to figure out. With full disclosure, I didn’t have Missouri doing much and picked them to be a bottom-tier team in the SEC this season. They started out the season as one of the hottest teams in the country and had some huge wins which are going to be the wins that get Missouri into the NCAA tournament.

In conference play, the Tigers have been very Jekyll and Hyde. Their defense is great and they try to keep games low scoring and hope that their offense can pick itself up and lead them to victory. They are a sleeper in the sense that they do have a talented and experienced team that can win grind it out games. They also are a team who can fall flat on their face and lose in the first round of the conference tournament.

Again, Missouri is also going to make the tournament, but they are playing for seeding and confidence heading into the NCAA tournament. Their offense is tough to trust right now.


Champion: UNC Greensboro Spartans

Stop if you have heard this before, head coach Wes Miller has his Spartans in a great position to make the NCAA tournament this season. Greensboro has not shown their usual level of dominance en route to the top of the Southern Conference but they look to be the most complete team in the conference right now and should win this league.

This conference tournament has also been known to have its fair share of upsets and it is crowded at the top with Wofford and Furman both capable teams who can win the conference tournament. What sets the Spartans apart is their ability on the defensive end and most importantly the glass.

They are an elite offensive rebounding team and that leads to second-chance opportunities. It also means fewer possessions for the opponent which is a good thing and could be the difference between winning a losing in this tournament.

Sleeper: VMI Keydets

Just because VMI has never had a good basketball team, does not mean they are not going to be a team to be reckoned with come tournament time. The Keydets are one of the best shooting teams in the entire country and they can light it up from outside. With their shooting, they can score points and overwhelm teams quickly.

They are also one of the best defensive rebounding teams in the country and since they love to get out and run and spread the floor, they can get out in transition. It may have taken head coach Dan Earl awhile to get this going at VMI, but he has a lot to work with this year.

VMI has already beaten both Wofford and Greensboro this year so they won’t be taken lightly in the conference. If the Keydets make a run star Greg Parham is going to become a household name, he is fun to watch.