Written for your enjoyment by: Raff
Conference tournament action gets underway tonight in three tourneys. Most likely all will be one-bid conferences so the teams are really playing for their playoff lives in these events. However, Butler would likely get an at-large should it falter in the Horizon.
Coastal Carolina has established itself as a firm favorite and gets underway tonight versus VMI. Winthrop - which has dominated this league in recent years might be the most realistic hope of an upset, but the Chanticleers are the clear favorite. Radford is the #2 seed and will have to get by Winthrop to have a chance at Coastal - but we like the Chanticleers to advance. However, if you're rooting for the NEC to avoid Dayton - or maybe even a #16 seed - you've got to root for anyone but Coastal.
Wright State would have a legit shot in most conference tournaments this size - and did earn the by to the semi-finals - but it is hard to imagine anyone other than Butler winning. Certainly bubble teams everywhere will be rooting for the Bulldogs so this doesn't take up one of the At-large bids. Cleveland State might have enough to get into the Final Four - and Detroit could also surprise - but its all most likely to come down to Wright State and Butler.
This is a very similar situation to the Big South. Murray State is the clear favorite - but the Racers who go as high as a 13 if they get in - won't get in without winning. Morehead State does look to be the clear #2 - and could take out the Racers in the championship game. They play good basketball in the Valley - but it is Murray State's bid to lose.
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