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 Mark Vital Baylor Bears (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
NCAA Basketball Mark Vital Baylor Bears (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /

Atlantic Sun

Champion: Liberty Flames

Rinse and Repeat with Liberty right?  They were the preseason favorite to win this conference and while they are likely not going to win the regular season for the first time in the last few seasons, they will be the number one seed in the conference tournament due to the conference leader the Bellarmine Knights not being eligible for the postseason due to their transition to Division 1.

The Flames are loaded again for head coach Richie McKay. Darius McGhee and Chris Parker lead the offense which is not nearly as potent as it has been in years past. Liberty has the third-best scoring defense in the entire country and makes life really hard for their opponents when trying to score. Defense travels and it is going to take a tremendous shooting night to beat Liberty in the tournament. The Flames should qualify for their third straight NCAA tournament.

Sleeper: North Florida Osprey

It is hard to pick a sleeper in the conference because every team has some noticeable flaws other than the top two teams. North Florida is that team though that has the shooting and the athletes to overcome their flaws. Carter Hendrickson and Jose Placer are the go-to guys on offense.

Hendrickson would likely be in the running for the conference player of the year award, but he has battled injury all year and North Florida has had a worse year than they were expecting because of it. If North Florida were to win this tournament, they are going to have to make a ton of threes and shore up the defense quickly. It likely isn’t going to happen but they have the players to knock off Liberty.

Big 12

Champion: Baylor Bears

Stop me if you have heard this before. Baylor is likely going to play in the National Title game and likely is not going to lose a game they play this year until the National Title game. This is written with the assumption that Baylor still participates in the Big 12 tournament. If they do the rest is elementary honestly, they are loaded everywhere.

They have a player of the year frontrunner in Jared Butler, protect the rim like crazy with Flo Thamba and Mark Vital and Davion Mitchell and MaCio Teague can shoot the lights out. Baylor won’t struggle and will dominate like they have all year.

Sleeper: Oklahoma State Cowboys

The Cowboys are going to be that team that no one wants to play because they have some pieces that are a legitimate matchup nightmare for every team other than Baylor in this league. Cade Cunningham is likely going to be one of the top players taken in the draft and he is as advertised and can carry Oklahoma State to the heights they are trying to go. The other player is point guard Isaac Likekele.

Likekele is one of the holdovers at Oklahoma State who has gone through it all and this year is the icing for him as they are going to make the NCAA tournament and likely are going to improve their seeding a great deal in the conference tournament. Cunningham is going to be your favorite player if you watch him.