Conference Tournaments Heat Up This Weekend – March 8

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Ten of the 32 college basketball conferences have already started their end-of-season conference tournaments. Five more conference tournaments will start this weekend. For the rest of the country’s conferences, it’s the final week of the regular season. No. 3 Purdue and No. 12 Illinois will end the regular season on Sunday. The Big Ten tournament starts next Wednesday, March 13. 

It is one of the most exciting times of year on the sports calendar. Fans and bettors can find conference tournaments being played every day and night of the week all the way up until Selection Sunday. The NCAA Selection Committee will sort through all of the conference tournaments and assign automatic bids to the tournament. Then, they will determine the other 36 teams to make up the 68-team tournament field.

Conference Tournaments in Action

With all of the conference tournaments in action this week, it won’t be long before we have our first NCAA tournament automatic qualifiers. The 32 conference tournaments each crown a champion and each of those winners is automatically invited to the NCAA’s Big Dance. 

The very first of those automatic bids will come from the Ohio Valley Conference. The semifinals of the OVC tournament are tonight. Western Illinois plays Little Rock at 8 p.m. ET and Morehead State plays UT-Martin with tip-off time at 10:30 p.m. ET. Both games are at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana. One of those four teams will participate in this year’s NCAA tournament. 

Conference Tournaments Heat Up This Weekend - March 8
The Ohio Valley Conference will have the NCAA tournament’s first automatic bid.

Three more conference tournaments will crown champions on Sunday. The Atlantic Sun, the Big South, and the Missouri Valley conferences will all hold championship games on Sunday. On Monday, the Southern Conference and the Sun Belt will determine their automatic qualifiers and on Tuesday, it’s the Summit League and West Coast Confernence championship games.

The Power conferences like the Big Ten and SEC will begin play next week. All conference tournaments must be completed by Sunday, March 17. That date should ring a bell. At 6 p.m. ET, on March 17, all of the brackets for the upcoming NCAA tournament will be announced. 

Imagine Conference Tournaments for Our Cappers

If there were conference tournaments for Sports Hub handicappers, the competition would be fierce…like last night. SWJ Sports would have won its conference tournament by nailing 14 of 22 picks. Jhon Walsh, who hasn’t been among the daily top-5 in a while, would have been an upset winner with his 5-0 day. 

Conference Tournaments Heat Up This Weekend - March 8
Scott at SWJ Sports was on fire yesterday!

A few other Sports Hub exclusive cappers went 3-0 and would have advanced in their conference tournaments with wins yesterday. Who would win, I wonder? Well, the bottom line is that our members that follow these cappers would win. And who doesn’t like more sports betting wins?

Let’s take a look at how our guys did yesterday.

  • Scotty do: Scott at SWJ Sports is a regular contributor here at Sports Hub. He is also one of our top exclusive handicappers. Last night, he poured it on with a 14-8 mark on 22 picks that resulted in $715 in winnings. Scott is now up $1191 over the last 30 days. If you like MMA, check out Scott’s picks this weekend. SWJ Sports is our top MMA capper over the last 90 days, winning 55 percent of its picks.
  • The H is silent: Jhon Walsh went 5-0 yesterday, his best day in a while, and won $500. Over the last two days, Jhon is 7-2, mostly on NCAAB and NHL picks. He’s got two more predictions in the system for tonight already. You might want to check him out while he’s hot.
  • Another Scotty: Scott’s Picks checked in yesterday with a solid 7-3 record. Scott added another $380 to the bankroll. Over the last 14 days, Scott has been working it. He’s hit over 56 percent of his picks – 69-54 – and is up $856.
Conference Tournaments Heat Up This Weekend - March 8
Top Jimmy has been hot as of late
  • Three amigos: Randall Dickelman, Mike Kelly, and Jimmy Liu each went 3-0 and won $300 yesterday. Jimmy has had a great week – 12-7, $506. He’s No. 1 on our 14-day leaderboard with $988 earned over the last two weeks. That puts him up $1283 for the month and that ranks No. 4 among all of our handicappers.

More NBA Injuries, NHL Trade Deadline Today

Yesterday, I brought you news about Karl-Anthony Towns and his meniscus. Well, that injury is pretty serious and Towns is listed as out indefinitely. That’s a pretty big blow to Minnesota, though they did go to Indiana last night and win 113-111. Anthony Edwards picked up the slack with 44 points.

Now, there are a few more NBA injuries to report today. It’s crunch time too. With roughly 20 games remaining in the regular season, a number of teams will make last-ditch efforts to at least earn a shot in the play-in tournament. Others will be working to secure a top-6 spot and avoid the play-in.

There is also a big NHL trade getting ready to go down before today’s NHL trade deadline. All transactions must be complete by 4 p.m. ET today.

Here’s a rundown of what’s trending.

  • KAT: As mentioned already, Towns is out indefinitely. Minnesota is still the first-place team in the Western Conference. With their win last night, the TWolves have a half-game lead over Oklahoma City for the No. 1 seed in the West. Towns will undergo surgery and it has been reported that he would return early in the conference playoffs. 
  • Curry limps off: Golden State star Stephen Curry suffered an ankle injury late in last night’s loss to Chicago. Curry was injured on a drive to the basket with 3:51 left in the game. There has been no indication of how serious the injury might be. Curry is listed as day-to-day on the latest NBA injury report.
  • Nuggets win: In what could have been an NBA Finals preview, Denver beat Boston 115-109 last night to sweep the season’s two-game series. Nikola Jokic recorded another triple-double – 32 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists – for the winners who have won seven of their last eight games.
  • Guentzel to Carolina: The Pittsburgh Penguins are sending wing Jake Guentzel to the Carolina Hurricanes as part of a multi-player deal. Pittsburgh will receive four forwards, Carolina’s conditional first-round pick in the 2024 draft, and a conditional fifth-rounder in this year’s draft. Ty Smith was also shipped to Carolina as part of the deal.

More Conference Tournaments Tonight

Today’s sports schedule is a big one. There are 10 conference tournaments already in action and two more will start today. Typically, Fridays are a slow college basketball day. Not this Friday!

The Arnold Palmer Invitational heads into Day 2 and we can start to look ahead to the weekend. We’ve got a bantamweight main event at UFC 299 and another NASCAR Cup Series event on Sunday. 

Let’s get ready for the weekend!

  1. Arnold Palmer Round 2: The second round of this PGA event is already underway. Shane Lowry shot a first-round best 66. Favorite Scottie Scheffler shot 70 in Round 1. Don’t forget…Sports Hub has the best golf picks for those looking to cash in this weekend.
  2. BNP Paribas Open: Both the men and women are playing in Indian Wells, California. Today brings Round 2 action. On the men’s side, Carlos Alcaraz and Jannick Sinner will both play today. Iga Swiatek is the top seed on the women’s side. She also plays today.
  1. Soccer teaser: Soccer fans and bettors get one match each in La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, and Ligue 1. It’s a teaser before a huge Saturday tomorrow filled with matches in the world’s top leagues.
  2. ESPN doubleheader: After beating Indiana last night, Minnesota is back at it in Cleveland. The TWolves will be without Karl-Anthony Towns, as we have mentioned already. The TWolves-Cavs game starts at 7:30 p.m. ET and is Game 1 of tonight’s ESPN doubleheader. Milwaukee travels to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers in the second game. Tip-off is set for 10:00 p.m. ET.
  3. Friday night on the ice: Similar to world soccer, the NHL gives us a Friday night teaser with four games on the schedule. Over the last two weeks, Randall Dickelman has hit 66.7 percent of his NHL picks. Check him out in the SportsHub members’ area.
  4. Conference tournaments: We already told you about all of the conference tournaments going on right now in college basketball. It is truly March Madness when you can watch a college basketball game at noon on a Friday in early March. There are actually two regular season games featuring ranked teams tonight. No. 25 Dayton hosts VCU in the Atlantic-10 and No. 21 San Diego State is at home against Boise State.
  5. MLB: While college basketball and conference tournaments dominate sports fans’ minds, MLB is quietly chugging along in its exhibition season. There are 16 more games today. There are even a couple night games scheduled.

Enjoy today’s play in the conference tournaments. Watching many of these mid-major conference tournaments is a great way to prepare for the upcoming NCAA tourney. You can also get yourself ready for our 2024 March Madness bracket contest and get primed to win more NCAAB bets checking out our article on How to Bet on Basketball