Odds to Win American East and MEAC Tournaments
The 135-1 straight up trend referenced in the title of this college basketball piece was the bait. You, the reader, bit. It took 136 games, but the only undefeated seed trend in College Basketball’s National Championship tournament finally fell a year ago this month. A No. 16 seed defeated a No. 1 in the NCAA Big Dance. It is easy to speak to last year’s Maryland-Baltimore County 74-54 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers as being unexpected. It is even easier to thing “I didn’t see this coming”. But when would any veteran college basketball fanatic see a “16” taking down a “One” and doing so by a 20-point margin? Odds to Win American East and MEAC Tournaments: 135-1 Trend.
Just over a year ago on a Friday night in the South Regional UMBC coach Ryan Odom and his team created a memory never to be forgotten. At least not by the UMBC faithful. Nor by the coaches and the players. Virginia was fresh off an ACC regular and conference postseason championship. Tony Bennett’s troupe was 31-2 overall on the season. To rinse and repeat the age ol’ adage “it’s why they play the game” the 188th ranked hoops squad in Division I (according to Ken Pomeroy efficiency ratings) ousted the best basketball team from the top college basketball conference.
Just to rub salt in the wound of coach Bennett and the team; the best of the best in campus hoops isn’t suppose to lose to a squad that was defeated by Stony Brook and lost by 44 points to Albany in the middle of its American East Conference regular season.
American East Tournament Overview
There is no league and level in all of sports that is as unpredictable as college basketball. It is, bottom-line, what makes March Madness and the Big Dance so alluring and addictive. The Baltimore-County collective is once again rounding into March form. This as the conference readies for their postseason tourney. College basketball Saturday find the opening round of the AEC conference pre-Dance event.
Vermont tops the Westgate American East postseason tournament futures chart. The Catamounts check in at 1-3 odds to win the March 16th championship game. In summary it won’t be even a mild surprise to find Stony Brook, Hartford or UMBC cutting down the championship game* nets a week from tomorrow.
* All American East Conference Tournament games are played on campus sites (higher seeds host with re-seeding)
MEAC Tournament Overview
How important is it for MEAC teams to win the postseason conference tournament? Big Dance mission critical. The MEAC enters March Madness with the lowest average NET rankings in the country. Also by all respected measures, rankings from creditable college basketball portals, the MEAC is the only conference that has a qualifying spot in the national championship event without a top-250 representative.
With the NCAA using a proprietary team power ranking system this season (NET) and abandoning the RPI the fact that not one of the league teams is rests in the Top-250 makes the MEAC a one-school representative when the committee meets for Selection Sunday.
Breaking News: The Finn Factor isn’t always correct in his prognostications.
North Carolina Central (2014, 2017) and now-Big South member Hampton (2016) are the only No. 1 seeds to win the championship in the past eight years.
The past three times the top seed entering the postseason didn’t win their league tournament the regular season champs were at-large champs No. 6 (twice) and a No. 7 seeds.
Furthermore this year’s top seed, Norfolk State (6-5 odds to win), enters the final week of the regular season with just one conference loss and receives postseason tournament favor with the event being played in Norfolk.
In conclusion the World’s Largest Race and Sportsbook Odds to Win American East and MEAC Conference Tournaments.