Once dominated year-in and year-out by Gregg Marshall’s Winthrop program, the Big South has been represented in March by six different teams in the past seven years. While I’ll personally be rooting for Chris Clemons and the Camels to finally get a ticket punched to the dance, this field is once again wide open. As previously mentioned, USC Upstate is new to the conference after leaving the ASun, with Liberty exiting the Big South and taking their spot.
When and Where: March 5th-10th at the various higher-seeded teams’ campuses. Campbell’s John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center in beautiful downtown Buies Creek, North Carolina will be hosting the Quarter- and Semi-finals.
Defending Champ: Radford Highlanders
Who’s Good: Campbell, Radford, Winthrop
Who’s Sneaky: Gardner-Webb, Hampton, Presbyterian
Who Stinks Out Loud: USC Upstate and UNC Asheville get to share the distinction with a combined 10-51 record (3-29 conf.)
Coolest Team Nickname: Tough call but, since I already used Highlanders for the ASun, I have to go with the Fighting Camels of Campbell.
Seeding and Rules: Everyone’s in! First round match-ups are at the campus of the higher seed, quarter- and semi-finals are at the campus of the regular season champion (in this case, Campbell). The final is hosted by the top remaining seed
Multi-Bid League: Very much a one-bid league with the champion likely getting a #15 seed in the Big Dance.
Breakdown: Without getting too deep into results, everyone has beaten someone. All the contenders have at least 4 conference losses. Campbell gets a big boost by winning the regular season title and getting to host but, I don’t think that Radford suffers too much as a #2 seed with their draw. I don’t think we’ll get any upsets occurring in the three 1st round games, but definitely can see a top seed (or two) falling in the quarterfinals.
My Pick(s): Going strictly off of my stats, I’m a very big fan of Campbell’s price. I also have very high metrics on Hampton, Presbyterian, and Radford. I am fading Winthrop at the their current price and can’t quite justify Gradner-Webb at anything less than 8/1. As for the individual games, I may be looking at Charleston Southern as a very live underdog in the quarterfinals vs. Winthrop. I will of course be tweeting out anything I play in the games individually as we go along.