Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Predicted Winners of last 17 Conference Tournaments of 2023-24

Championship Week is here that means in 7 days it will be Selection Sunday. There is still some bids to hand out though and who will get those bids?

Kentucky guard Justin Edwards (1) and Kentucky forward Ado Thiero (3) on the court during an NCAA
Kentucky guard Justin Edwards (1) and Kentucky forward Ado Thiero (3) on the court during an NCAA / Caitie McMekin/News Sentinel / USA TODAY
6 of 17

Big Ten

Dates: March 13th-17th
Location: Target Center in Minneapolis, MN
Top Seed: Purdue Boilermakers
Winner: Iowa Hawkeyes

Am I sure about this one? No, Do I think that any of the top 8 seeds could win this tournament yes I do. Iowa has come on strong since the start of February and have built themselves a nice NCAA tournament resume. They are going to win the auto bid and not need to worry about whether they will get in as an at large. Owen Freeman and Ben Krikke have been dominant in the middle of the floor all year and when you add in a very tough and aggressive point guard in Tony Perkins and a do everything guard in Payton Sandfort you have a great top 4 who presents matchup problems for a lot of the league including Purdue.

The most surprising part of this version of Iowa is they do most of their work in the paint, Iowa teams in the past have let it fly from deep, but not this team. They are very efficient inside the arc and with their ball movement will get easy looks inside. They are a hard offense to prepare for on short prep. Head coach Fran McCaffrey typically has his team playing their best basketball towards the end of the year heading into the conference tournament and that is the case this year. Iowa is hot and it would not surprise me at all if they won the league tournament and earned the auto bid for the Big Ten.

Sleeper: Minnesota Golden Gophers

If you would have told me back in November that Minnesota would have a legitimate chance of winning the Big Ten, it likely would have been sent to Freezing Cold Takes. The reality is that is exactly what happened. Head coach Ben Johnson has done an incredible job with this team getting them ready to play. The Gophers have shooting from everywhere, have a point guard who currently leads the Big Ten in assists and have two big men who can dominate in the paint.

Minnesota is playing in their home city, and they are going to have their home fans supporting them. It was already hard to win in Minneapolis because of the fans but now that the Gophers have a good team it is even harder to beat them at home. Cam Christie and Mike Mitchell can really get it going from downtown and if that happens along with their big man Pharrel Payne staying out of foul trouble so he can dominate they become a very tough out.