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Row12.com - A Community of Sports Writers and Fans!                                               ***Attention Writers***
 
Big Names go Down, and room is made for others!
By Reel Robinson

March Madness is officially among us and it has yet to disappoint. While the rest of the field are playing for a spot in the big dance there were a few teams that came into Saturday looking to push for that No. 1 seed. It is not uncommon that teams play harder and more polished in the conference tournaments due to familiarity of their opponents. It is hard to grade teams against competition they have played two or three times already during the season. With that being said some of those No. 1 seed competitors were taken down narrowing the field from six potential teams down to three or four.

Kansas took a lost today to Iowa State one of their toughest foes during the season. This lost seemed to highlight their deficiencies without freshman big man Joel Embiid. Without Embiid they lacked an inside presence and Iowa State took advantage of them the entire game. Kansas guard Perry Ellis played lights out putting in 30 points but it wasn’t enough to withstand the hungry and talented cyclones. Iowa State will take on Baylor in the Big 12 championship on Sunday. A matchup between a No. 4 seed (Iowa State) and No. 7 seed (Baylor) will showcase the depth of the Big 12 conference this year.

After the country including myself thought Arizona was going to head out to Las Vegas this weekend after dominating the Pac-12 handedly the whole season and do work as normal in the conference tournament. They ran into a buzz saw in UCLA a hungry 26-8 team who gave No. 3 Arizona a fight for the ages and in the end they pulled out the upset sending Arizona back to Tucson to get ready for the NCAA tournament empty handed. UCLA is crowned champions of the Pac-12 tourney with a 75-71 win over Arizona. This will give UCLA much momentum moving into the tournament may even result in a generous seeding. We will see what the committee thinks of this victory on Sunday.

Wisconsin had a chance to snag one of those top spots in the big dance as well but they took an 83-75 loss today to Michigan State potentially knocking them to a two or three seed. Michigan State is a tough team who had to adjust after their guard Brandon Dawson went down for a month after hurting his hand days before the Michigan game. The Spartans seem to be getting their feet under them at the right time after advancing to the finals of the Big Ten tournament a win for them will put them in a solid position to get a very good seeding. Big Ten looks to land three teams with high seeds this year. Michigan is one of the few teams left pursuing one of those final one seeds after beating rivals Ohio State in a thriller 72-69 with another solid performance by sophomore scorer Nick Stauskaus. 

That No. 1 seed is still up for grabs tomorrow with three of the top candidates battling in their respective conference tournaments. Michigan, Duke, Virginia were all winners today propelling themselves to an opportunity to win conference titles. In my opinion if they all come out victorious, Michigan has the best résumé and will most likely take the final No. 1 seed but they all have the chance to take destiny into their own hands. Louisville will also be in the discussion after a SEC championship win today over UCONN.  

Who do you think will win their conference championships? Post a comment and let me know.

Tomorrow's Championship games to watch for:

Big Ten Championship game: Michigan vs. Michigan State 3:30 3/16

ACC Championship game:  Duke vs. Virginia 1:00 3/16

Big 12 Championship game: Baylor vs. Iowa State 9:00 tonight

Big West Championship game: CS Northridge vs. Cal Poly 10:30 tonight

SEC Championship game: Florida vs. Kentucky 3:00 3/16

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