Champ Week Betting Preview: WCC, MWC, NEC

 

March is here and the madness has begun. Champ Week is already underway. Before we lose any more time, let's take a look at some of the early conference tournaments. If you haven't already, check out our article with the full champ week schedule.

Let's take a look at three conference tournaments beginning March 4th and 5th.

West Coast Conference (WCC)
1. Las Vegas (Orleans Arena)

  1. First Round - Thursday, March 5
  2. Second Round - Friday, March 6
  3. Quarterfinals - Saturday, March 7
  4. Semifinals - Monday, March 9
  5. Championship - Tuesday, March 10
  6. Top seed: Gonzaga

The WCC is home to two top-15 teams in the nation. #2 Gonzaga is the top-seeded team in the WCC tournament. The Bulldogs finished their regular season with a 29-2 overall record. They went 15-1 in conference play.

#15 BYU also had a very good season. They finished 24-7 with a 13-3 conference record. BYU rattled off nine straight wins to end their season.

Saint Mary's tied BYU's overall record, but they won just 11 of 16 conference games.

San Diego will face Loyola Maymount in the first round as will Santa Clara and Portland.

Santa Clara will hand Portland their 15th straight loss and advance to the second round. Where they'll lose to Pepperdine for the third time this season.

The Semifinals will come down to Saint Mary's vs. BYU and Gonzaga vs. Pacific. Saint Mary's is always a live dog, but I don't expect an upset here. Gonzaga and BYU will advance to the final where the Bulldogs will win it.

Mountain West Conference (MWC)
1. Las Vegas (Thomas & Mack Center)

  1. First Round - Wednesday, March 4
  2. Quarterfinals - Thursday, March 5
  3. Semifinals - Friday, March 6
  4. Championship - Saturday, March 7
  5. Top seed: San Diego State

The MWC championship tips off on March 4th. #5 San Diego State are an overwhelming favorite to win the championship. They're the only ranked team in the group. The Aztecs finished 28-1 overall and 17-1 against conference opponents.

San Diego State, led by Malachi Flynn and Yanni Wetzell were consistent all season. Their only defeat of the season was a 66-63 loss against UNLV on February 22nd. Should UNLV get past Boise State in the second round, they'll take on the Aztecs again. I expect that game to end very differently.

The Aztecs will win the conference. Keep an eye on Nevada or Colorado State to join them in the championship game.

Northeast Conference (NEC)
1. All games at higher seed

  1. Quarterfinals - Wednesday, March 4
  2. Semifinals - Saturday, March 7
  3. Championship - Tuesday, March 10
  4. Top seed: Robert Morris

Robert Morris is considered the #1 seed in the NEC, but they didn't finish with the best record. That distinction goes to Merrimack. The Warriors finished 20-11 this season, a record for the most wins by a first-year D-I team. Yet, due to NCAA rules, Merrimack won't be eligible to play in the postseason until 2024.

Robert Morris' win over St. Francis (PA) in their final game of the season earned them the top seed in the conference. They should meet their conference foe again in the semifinals where I expect the Red Flash to get their revenge.

Look for a possible St. Francis (PA) vs. FDU/LIU final with the Red Flash taking it all.

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