Conference tournaments can mean one of two things for basketball team: improving a seed for the NCAA Tournament or a last shot at a miracle birth into the big dance by winning the whole thing. We’ve taken a look at the tournaments nationwide and found 10 that stick out as ones you don’t want to miss. If you head to one of Las Vegas, New York City or Nashville, you can see multiple conference tournaments. Plenty of basketball all over coming up!
10. WCC - Las Vegas, NV (tickets)
Gonzaga is 29-2 and #1 in the country for the first time in school history, so while they will headline this tournament there are a few other interesting teams that will be looking to knock the Zags off their perch. Saint Mary’s, BYU and Santa Clara are all trying to punch their tickets into the NCAA tournament with a strong tournament showing.
9. Pac 12 – Las Vegas, NV (tickets)
No team has come out and called the Pac 12 championship theirs yet, and we’ll see about five teams that easily have a shot at winning the tournament. Oregon and UCLA find themselves at 12-4 in conference play and you can be sure Ben Howland will have his Bruins ready for every game in Sin City.
8. Missouri Valley – St. Louis, MO (tickets)
Creighton and Wichita State are both going to be popular picks to knock off top teams in the NCAA tournament, and you can catch them and Northern Iowa battle the rest of the Missouri Valley in St. Louis for the title. There’s a ton of talent in this conference and the rest of the country will be seeing it soon enough.
7. SEC – Nashville, TN (tickets)
We could see six SEC teams in the NCAA tournament… or we could only see two. It’ll be up to this tournament to decide who gets up off the bubble and who is left just out. While Florida and Mizzou are definitely going to be dancing come late March, what will happen to Kentucky, Ole Miss, Alabama and Tennessee? Go to Nashville and see dreams come true and hearts break.
6. Atlantic 10 – Brooklyn, NY (tickets)
There are five teams in the Atlantic 10 with over 20 wins with St. Louis and VCU looking like the two favorites going into the tournament. Butler and La Salle are also hoping to break through and win the tournament, so get your tickets to see which cinderella gets to put on her slipper in Brooklyn.
5. ACC – Greenboro, NC (tickets)
Miami has shocked the college basketball world with a 23-5 record and Top-10 ranking, sitting atop the ACC. Of course, Duke and North Carolina will have something to say when they tip off in Greensboro as the Canes try to prove they’re worth a #1 seed and a conference title.
4. Big 12 – Kansas City, MO (tickets)
It’s the state of Kansas in a battle once again in the Big 12, as the Jayhawks and Wildcats are the top two seeds in the conference tournament. Kansas’ neighbor to the south will have something to say about that, as Oklahoma State and Oklahoma try to force their way into the March madness in any way possible.
3. Mountain West – Las Vegas, NV (tickets)
New Mexico could prove to be a very high seed by the time selection Sunday comes around, but it’ll need to prove itself against the likes of UNLV, Colorado State and San Diego State in the conference tournament first. Can the Lobos do the unthinkable and make a run at a national title?
2. Big East – New York, NY (tickets)
In the last time you’ll see the Big East in its current form, the conference tournament will help both settle some seeds and decide who is sneaking into the NCAA tournament. Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette Notre Dame, Pitt and Syracuse look to be locks while UConn and Villanova will be trying to show the selection committee they belong.
1. Big Ten - Chicago, IL (tickets)
In what looks to be the toughest conference in basketball, the Hoosiers have reigned supreme thus far. There have been buzzer-beaters, multiple OTs and just great basketball played in the Big Ten this season and this conference tournament should be no different. This is the best tournament out there and if you’re looking for bang for your buck, it’s right here in Chi-town.