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 Winthrop Eagles forward Chandler Vaudrin Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
NCAA Basketball Winthrop Eagles forward Chandler Vaudrin Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports /

Big South

Champion: Winthrop Eagles

Any basketball fan is going to hope Winthrop wins the Big South tournament because a team that has been as good as they have been this season deserves to play in the tournament. Winthrop has one loss and it was in conference play. Due to that loss and the lack of a great quality win this year the Eagles are going to need to win the tournament to qualify for the NCAA tournament.

Winthrop dominates their competition most nights as they have a potent offense that averages about 80 points per game and they have a good defense that has a few holes but it’s good enough as they allow under 70 points per game. The Eagles have the nation’s triple-double leader in Chandler Vaudrin who has seven total in his career. Vaudrin also leads the country in assists and all of that from not being a natural point guard.

The Eagles should have no trouble getting the conference crown, but this tournament has seen some crazy things happen in the conference tournament, but Winthrop is to good. It would be a tremendous surprise if they lost in the tournament.

Sleeper: UNC Asheville Bulldogs

As was mentioned the confidence level in Winthrop to win the league is about a 95% right now, but if there were to be a team to rise up and win the league Asheville would be that team. They are the only team to beat Winthrop this season and they have the scorers and overall roster to make a run in the tournament. Radford is very good too, but sleeper means someone outside of the top two seeds.

The Bulldogs are the best shooting team in the Big South and are a very capable team when they get their star Taijon Jones going. They have underachieved a little bit this year and are going to want to prove themselves in the conference tournament.

Big Ten

Champion: Ohio State Buckeyes

This league has been a gauntlet all year long and anyone outside of Nebraska, Northwestern, and Penn State could win the tournament. Ohio State is that team that has been playing some of the best basketball in the country. They are extremely well-balanced well-coached, and they have some good wins. If Ohio State continues this upward trend and can win the league tournament, they are likely looking at a top 8 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Ohio State never seems to have a ton of size, but they have a ton of athleticism and everyone on the floor can shoot threes. Duane Washington and EJ Liddell are all conference-type players. Ohio State doesn’t have many flaws they are a very good team.

Sleeper: Michigan State Spartans

Don’t think for one second that Michigan State is not going to have a say in the automatic bid from the Big Ten. Tom Izzo has a talented roster that has underachieved, and he has struggled to find the right lineup to put on the floor some nights. He does still have Joshua Langford and Aaron Henry and those two are as good as any other duo in the Big Ten. Michigan State isn’t done yet and don’t be surprised when they come and win this tournament.

The first order of business for them would be to get out of the bottom four to give them one less game. That is the only thing honestly that may keep the Spartans from winning the tournament.