Ain't it funny how the teams from small conferences that always get into the tournament ... always get into the tournament? The South Dakota State Jackrabbits are in the tournament once more despite finishing four games behind conference regular season champ Oral Roberts. South Dakota State beat Oakland in the Summit League championship last night 61-54.
But maybe the perception that power teams from small conferences always get into the tournament ... is merely a perception. UC Santa Barbara has gone to the NCAA tournament for 11 out of the last 14 years. The Gauchos came into the Big West tournament as the top seed. In tournaments past, the top seed would get a two round bye and would only need to win two games in order to win the tournament, like how the Mountain West Conference and the West Coast Conference do it. This year the Big West tournament went back to a more traditional structure where the winner would need three wins regardless of seeding. Unfortunately for UC Santa Barbara, they would not even get one win, as the 8th-seeded Pacific Tigers took the Gauchos out of the tournament early.
And in other conference tournaments, Connecticut was able to wrap up the top #1 seed in the NCAA tournament by beating Notre Dame last night in the Big East tournament championship.
Now in: South Dakota State
Now out: Oakland
Conferences with multiple bids:
Big East: 10
Big 12: 7
Big Ten: 5
Atlantic 10: 2
Mountain West: 2