Nostrafetchus: Reviewing My Conference Champion Predictions

Earlier this year as a part of the 50 in 50 I made predictions as to who would win every conference in America. After months of conference play, the results are in and it's time to see how I did:

America East - Boston U

How they did - 3rd

The champ - Stony Brook (who finished 5th last year and somehow won the league. What a crock.)

Atlantic 10 - Xavier

How they did - Xavier finished 3rd in the league at 10-6 after the fight they had with Cincinnati seemingly derailed their season. Stupid fight.

The Champ - Temple, whom I now feel dumb for not picking.

ACC - North Carolina

How they did - Champs, after a convincing win at Duke on Senior Night. Impressive stuff.

Atlantic Sun - Belmont

How they did - Champs! Belmont also won the Atlantic Sun conference tournament, and I pity the 3 seed who has to face them in the first round.

Big 12 - Kansas

How they did - Champs! 8str8

Big East - Syracuse

How they did - Champs! Syracuse lost just one Big East conference game, at Notre Dame, and will be a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Despite having just one loss on the year they haven't really been getting talked about as a potential national champion much.

Big South - Coastal Carolina

How they did - Coastal finished second in the league, 4 games back of the champion. Whoopsie. They also lost in the first round of the conference tournament.

The Champ - UNC Asheville, who went 16-2 and is in the Big South title game against VMI.

Big Sky - Montana

How they did - Champs! Montana won the league on the last day of the season by beating Weber State. For their efforts they get to host the conference tournament.

Big 10 - Wisconsin

How they did - Wisconsin finished in 4th in the league, a game back of the three teams who tied for the title.

The Champ(s) - I clearly picked the wrong darkhorse in this one as Michigan ended up being the surprise team up there. The Wolverines tied with Michigan State and Ohio State.

Big West - Long Beach

How they did - Champs! Long Beach destroyed the field, going 17-1 in the league. If they suffer a loss in the conference tournament I don't expect them to get into the NCAA tournament but they should.

CAA - George Mason

How they did - Mason finished third behind VCU and Drexel.

The Champ - Drexel, who came out of nowhere (5th in the league last year) to win the CAA regular season title and set up possibly another "should they or shouldn't they" get into the NCAA tournament argument. So just write them into your final four now.

Conference USA - Memphis

How they did - Champs!

Great West - North Dakota

How they did - 2nd, and they gave champ Utah Valley their lone loss of the Great West season via a buzzer beater from Patrick Mitchell

The champ - Utah Valley

Horizon - Butler

How they did - 3rd, finishing 3 games back of the champs. They lost a lot from last year's team but I am firmly entrenched on Brad Stevens's bandwagon so I figured they could overcome.

The champ - Valpo, who won the league by two games

Ivy - Harvard

How they did - Champs! Kinda! Maybe! (to explain: Harvard finished 12-2 in league play. If Penn beats Princeton on Tuesday they'll also be 12-2 and force a playoff, where the winner will receive the autobid to the NCAA tournament. However, they'll both be co-champs regardless. I think).

MAAC - Iona

How they did - Champs! Iona, who has the 14th ranked offense in the whole country according to KenPom, will be a trendy sleeper pick for a first round upset because of that offense and the play of PG Scott Machado, who might be a first team All American. (edit: they sure won't be a trendy sleeper because they blew it in their conference tournament, losing to Fairfield)

MAC - Kent State

How they did - Kent State finished 4th in the East division (and 4th overall)

The champ - Akron, who won the conference tournament last year despite finishing 9-7 in league play.

MEAC - Hampton

How they did - Definitely my worst call, Hampton finished 9th in the league at 6-10 in the league, and 10-20 overall

The champ - Savannah State, who won the league by a game over Norfolk State.

Missouri Valley - Creighton

How they did - a three game losing streak in early February doomed Creighton to finishing second in the league, but they're still very comfortably in the field of 65

The champ - Wichita State, who is a trendy Final Four sleeper, though I don't love them as much as most people seem to.

Mountain West - New Mexico

How they did - Co Champs! With San Diego State. Though SDSU is the top seed, they each won on each other's home floor, and deciding a conference champion by tiebreaks is dumb anyways (and they didn't) so this is a win for Nostrafetchmus.

NEC - Long Island

How they did - Champs! The Blackbirds had the second fastest tempo in the country this year and if they make the tournament again should be a fun first round game to watch.

Ohio Valley - Austin Peay

How they did - Another bad call, Austin Peay tied for 6th in the league at 8-8.

The champs - Murray State, who has been beaten just once on the year.

Pac 12 - UCLA

How they did - UCLA came on a bit at the end of the year, but finished 5th in the league and after reading the SI expose on them it's not hard to see why.

The Champs -

Patriot - Bucknell

How they did - Champs! If they make it through the Patriot League tournament I am about 99% sure they will be matched up with Kansas in the first round, because the committee can't resist things like that even though they insist they don't look at it.

SEC - Kentucky

How they did - Champs. One of the easier ones to call, Kentucky is probably going to be the #1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament.

SoCon - Davidson

How they did - Champs! Davidson went 16-2 in the league to win the SoCon by 4 games despite going just 10-8 in league play last year.

Southland - UT San Antonio

How they did - San Antonio finished 3rd in the West division

Champs - UT Arlington, whom I'll claim I wanted to pick but I just got them and San Antionio mixed up.

SWAC - Alabama A&M

How they did - Another bad call, A&M finished 8th in the league. Yikes.

Champs - Mississippi Valley State, who went 17-1 in league play.

Sun Belt - Florida Atlantic

How they did - 7th in the league, 3rd in their division.

Champs - Middle Tennessee, who went 14-2 in league play and will be another trendy first round sleeper. (edit: nope! like Iona they blew it in their conference tournament, losing to the 8th seed)

Summit - Oral Roberts

How they did - Champs! Oral Roberts lost just once in league play, but we all should cheer for South Dakota State in the Summit tournament so we can see Nate Wolters in the NCAA tournament.

WCC - Gonzaga

How they did - Gonzaga finished second by a game, ending their 11 year WCC title streak.

The champ - St. Mary's, who has the third best Pomeroy rating in the league and robbed me of another victory in this little prediction contest with myself.

WAC - Utah State

How they did - 4th. It was one of my toughest calls because every good team in the WAC lost a lot, and I thought that picking Utah State to win the WAC was a smart move. It wasn't.

The Champ - Nevada, who lost just 1 league game.

Final tally: 15 correct out of 33 (45.4%)

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