This next week, along with the Big Ten, many other smaller conferences will be holding conference tournaments. For most of the teams in these leagues, the pressure is really on.
As opposed to the Power Conferences that will take three to eight bids, with many of these teams possibly only affected by seeding and not reaching the Big Dance, winners of the smaller conferences are guaranteed nothing. That hardly seems fair to current one-loss conference teams like Vermont, Middle Tennessee State, South Dakota State and Louisiana, but nobody ever said life was fair to the little guy.
However, if any of these or others like them have their ticket punched for the NCAA tournament, they could be – Giant Killers – after the First Four games.
Here are teams to keep an eye should they earn their way in.
Some of you might not know who this team actually is as some websites still have the university listed as Louisiana-Lafayette, which was changed to Louisiana a few years ago. No matter, the Ragin’ Cajuns are for real. In the latest RPI ratings, Louisiana is 44th. Their key strength is offensive efficiency and they rank 24th in the category, which is partly why they average 84.8 PPG. This is also a team that shares the ball, ranked 7th nationally in assists per game (18) and they are eighth in offensive rebound production. This team is the real deal!