Recapping the NCAA Men’s Basketball Conference Tournaments

Story posted March 16, 2022 in Sports, CommRadio by Aidan Torok

Conference tournament week is the appetizer to the main dish that is the NCAA Tournament. Conference tournaments are the last opportunity for teams to make a lasting impression. Teams on the bubble can solidify their spot in the Big Dance or bubble teams can have their title hopes popped. This one week can make or break seasons.

Nobody did more to raise their stock than Indiana. Most analysts had Indiana as a team in the first four out category coming into the week.

Indiana started its Big Ten run by making a huge comeback against Michigan, a team that was also on the bubble. The Wolverines blew a 17 point lead with 13 minutes to play.

Sophomore forward Trayce Jackson Davis and junior guard Xavier Johnson propelled the Hoosiers to a remarkable run. They were able to upset the likes of Michigan and Illinois before coming up short against Iowa because of a game-winning 3-pointer in the final seconds by sixth-year senior Jordan Bohannon.

Indiana was able to get itself into the Big Dance and beat Wyoming in the play-in game.

Texas A&M is another team that found itself squarely on the bubble and made a deep run in its conference tournament. The Aggies went all the way to the SEC championship game after beating Florida, Auburn and Arkansas. Texas A&M eventually fell to Tennessee in the championship game.

However, its seven game winning streak, dating back to the regular season, wasn’t good enough to earn a ticket to the tournament. The Aggies are now playing in the NIT instead of playing in the first four.

Virginia Tech took matters into its own hands and didn’t worry about an at-large bid. The Hokies, similar to the Aggies and the Hoosiers, were on the outside looking in heading into their conference tournament.

Virginia Tech decided to play its best basketball at the right time, though, and won the ACC Tournament by defeating Coach K in his final ACC game.

This college basketball season has been defined by upsets and parity. Nobody has separated themselves from the rest of the pack, allowing most of the No. 1 seeds to be up for grabs heading into the final week of the season.

Gonzaga, Kansas and Arizona seized the opportunity and won their respective conference tournaments to claim three of the four No. 1 seeds.

Baylor was able to secure the other one seed despite falling to Oklahoma in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament, which demonstrates how little impact conference tournaments have on the NCAA Tournament.

Success in conference tournaments doesn’t always correlate to success in the Big Dance. Rather, it can be more difficult to go on a long run after winning your conference, since playing that many games in that short of a time frame can be draining.

Conference tournaments are more for the bubble teams and for the one-bid conferences that have their whole season depending on this one week. However, for the blue bloods and the high echelon of teams, this last week acts more as a tune up.

Aidan Torok is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

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Aidan Torok

Sophmore / Broadcast Journalism

Aidan Torok is a sophmore from West Caldwell, New Jersey majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. He produces content and does play-by-play announcing and beat writing for the CommRadio sports department. If you’d like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).