Busting Brackets
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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
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Big West

Dates: March 13th-16th
Location: Dollar Loan Center in Henderson, NV
Top Seed: UC Irvine Anteaters
Winner: UC Irvine Anteaters

The Anteaters are an interesting team because they score almost 80 points per game, but they do it by sparingly shooting threes and having extremely balanced scoring. UC Irvine is also very good from the free throw line. It is not surprising though given what we know about how coach Russ Turner likes to coach. He loves to fill his team with guys who get downhill and get to the rim and ultimately get to the line. The shot selection for this version of the Anteaters is fantastic. UC Irvine has the most talent in the league and they have the coach to earn the automatic bid into the tournament.

The Big West is loaded with star power, but the Anteaters don’t need it. In addition to their balanced scoring the Anteaters play fantastic defense especially on the perimeter. They will grind you out and contest everything on the defensive end. When it is all on the line there is no one better in the Big West than the Anteaters.

Sleeper: Cal State Northridge Matadors

I do not think there is much in the Big West outside of the top three teams, but Northridge does have some decent wins and a very intriguing team. They have fallen on some hard times in the league, but the Matadors did beat UCLA and started the season 13-4 with a win at UCLA. It was then that the Matadors started to fall on some hard times. Northridge does have some intrigue as a potential sleeper in the Big West.

They play fast and get to the rim at an elite level. Northridge rarely shoots threes and the ones they do take they don’t make many. They play a style exactly like the Anteaters do and they have a star in DeSean Allen-Eikens who can change games when he gets going. It would be a surprise if the Matadors did win the league, but they have the best chance of pulling off the stunner.