It’s hard to believe March Madness is just around the corner. Teams are vying for the top spots in their conference tournaments and, more importantly, the NCAA Tournament. Getting a #1 seed in the east vs the #3 seed in the west could mean the difference in traveling 2500 miles through three time zones. With seeding so important in the NCAA Tournament, the top teams must perform well in their conference tournaments, which are held in the second week of March. Below are the dates and locations of the “Big Five” conference basketball tournaments for 2015:
- The ACC tournament will be held at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina from March 10-14
- The Big Ten tournament will be held at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois from March 11-15
- The Big 12 tournament will be held at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri from March 11-14
- The PAC-12 tournament will be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada from March 11-14
- SEC tournament will be held at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee from March 11-15
Most experts agree that if the season ended today, Arizona would earn a 2 seed in the West, with Gonzaga earning the 1 seed. Could Arizona change that by winning out? The Wildcats would at least make it a discussion.
Around the country, two of the top four seeds would come out of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Already a basketball powerhouse, the ACC has taken another step forward by adding Pittsburgh, Louisville and Syracuse in the last two years. Although Syracuse is having a down year and has self-imposed a postseason ban this season, the rest of the ACC is stronger than ever. Virginia has been ranked in the top two for most of the season, with their only loss coming to Duke at John Paul Jones Arena. This was a tough loss for the Wahoos as they were up by seven points with less than five minutes to go.
Besides Kentucky, Virginia has the strongest resume in the country, and the Blue Devils have recovered from a 2-2 ACC start to hold one of the top four spots in the nation. It seems likely that Duke and the University of Virginia are on their way to meet in the ACC tournament championship game on March 14th, 2015 in the Greensboro Coliseum.
Other teams that will need to perform well in their conference tournaments are Wisconsin and Kansas. These teams out of the Big Ten and Big 12 respectively, all have a chance to grab a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament if they can finish the season strong and win their conference tournament.
The PAC-12 Conference Tournament is going to be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas this season. This is pretty crazy, as most would not think to bring college athletes to a city in which sports betting is so prominent, and these coaches are going to have their hands full with 18 and 19 year old kids in Sin City.
One of the best features of college basketball tournaments is the “session” ticket. Instead of getting to watch just one game live, fans have the opportunity to buy “session” tickets in which they can watch two or four games in a single day. This is a great chance to bring the kids out and let them experience college basketball at its finest.