Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Championship Week is Upon Us!

It's here. The Madness, that is. Oh, what a glorious time of year. Over the next five weeks, hearts will be broken, dreams will be realized, bubbles will be burst, and contenders will be separated from pretenders, culminating in the sweet voice of Luther Vandross's ghost providing the backdrop for a singular moment that is not dull. (By the way, to see all of the One Shining Moments from 1987-2007, click here)

But first things first. Beginning last night with the kickoff of the Big South, Horizon League, and Ohio Valley conference tournaments, we have been thrust the joys and perils of Championship Week, which is a misnomer, since it actually lasts twelve days, which is considered MORE than one week under the Gregorian, Julian, Alexandrian, Hindu, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Tibetan, Vietnamese, French Revolutionary, Icelandic, Norse, Hermetic Lunar Week, and proposed World Calendars. Every Division I conference but one (damn those uppity Ivies and their precious focus on academics) will hold a tournament to see who gets that coveted automatic bid to the Big Dance. To add to the excitement, Bob Knight is joining ESPN's in-studio crew during Championship Week (read: The Twelve Days of Championships). I'm literally and figuratively moist.

Here is a rundown of the dates and location of each tournament and who I think is going to win, because you give a shit:

March 13-16 (Charlotte): Duke (North Carolina)

America East
March 7-9, 15 (Binghamton, NY; championship at higher seed): UMBC

Atlantic 10
March 12-15 (Atlantic City, NJ): Xavier (Temple)

Atlantic Sun
March 5-8 (Nashville): Belmont

March 13-16 (Kansas City): Texas (Kansas)

Big East
March 12-15 (New York City): UConn (Pittsburgh)

Big Sky
March 8, 11-12 (first round at higher seeds; semis in Portland; championship at regular season champion's campus): Portland State

Big South
March 4, 6, 8 (first round at higher seeds; semis in Asheville, NC; championship at higher seed): Winthrop

Big Ten
March 13-16 (Indianapolis): Indiana (Wisconsin)

Big West
March 12-15 (Anaheim): UC Santa Barbara (Cal State Fullerton)

Colonial Athletic Association
March 7-10 (Richmond, VA): UNC-Wilmington (George Mason)

Conference USA
March 12-15 (Memphis): Memphis

March 4, 7-8, 11 (first round at higher seeds; quarters and semis in Indianapolis; championship at higher seed): Butler

March 7-10 (Albany, NY): Niagara (Siena)

March 12-15 (first round at higher seeds; quarters through championship in Cleveland): Kent State

March 11-15 (Raleigh, NC): Morgan State (Coppin State)

Missouri Valley Conference
March 6-9 (St. Louis): Southern Illinois (Drake)

Mountain West Conference
March 12-15 (Las Vegas): BYU (UNLV)

Northeast Conference
March 6, 9, 12 (higher seeds): Robert Morris (Mt. St. Mary's)

Ohio Valley
March 4, 7, 8 (first round at higher seeds; semis and championship in Nashville): Austin Peay

March 12-15 (Los Angeles): Stanford (UCLA)

Patriot League
March 5, 9, 14 (higher seeds): American

March 13-16 (Atlanta): Tennessee (Georgia)

Southern Conference
March 7-10 (North Charleston, SC): Davidson

March 13-14, 16 (Katy, TX): Stephen F. Austin (UT-Arlington)

Southwestern Athletic Conference
March 12-15 (Birmingham, AL): Alabama State (Mississippi Valley State)

Summit League
March 8-11 (Tulsa): Oral Roberts

Sun Belt
March 5, 9-11 (first round at higher seeds; quarters through championship in Mobile, AL): South Alabama (Western Kentucky)

March 11, 13-15 (Las Cruces, NM): New Mexico State (Boise State)

West Coast Conference
March 7-10 (San Diego): Gonzaga (San Diego)


Kyla said...

GMYH, I usually keep out of your sports posts, but I can't let this one go. I can't believe that for the MVC you are picking Southern Illinois!!! First of all, if you had picked Drake, I could be more understanding, I could see how you could forsee them winning on Sunday. BUT you are forgetting one school. Illinois State has had a great season, and has the 2nd seed in the tourney. I would be willing to bet that it will not be Southern. Now that I have said that, I am sure it will be, but nevertheless, GO REDBIRDS! How about some love?

Holt said...

SWAC too tough to call this year?

GMYH said...

Good catch, Holt. I'll go with Alabama State.

Kyla, chill the fuck out. I made my pick, and I'm standing by it. If I thought ISU was going to win, I would have picked ISU to win.

gregerson said...

I love the South Alabama choice. They are a personal favorite as they allowed me to crush Holt in Onroo.