TheLines Lookahead: College Basketball Conference Championship Week, Countdown To Selection Sunday

Posted By Brett Gibbons on March 8, 2021 - Last Updated on March 10, 2021

It’s March, so of course college basketball is the main course this week. There is a buffet of basketball action on tap this week with NCAA conference championship tournaments running Monday through Sunday.

Here are the top events we’ll be monitoring.

College Basketball: Conference Championship week

While some conferences have wrapped up their tournaments and have secured auto-bids into the NCAA Tournament, the brunt of conference tournaments are taking place this week. Notable races to watch includes the Big 12 – with two teams featured in the top 10 and seven ranked teams duking it out. The Big 12 has arguably been the best conference all season long, highlighted by Baylor, and it should shape out to have one of the most competitive tournaments this week. The Big Ten also three top-10 teams while the SEC features some breakout teams like Alabama and Arkansas.

ALSO READ: Betting previews for conference championship games

NBA Season Second Half Begins: Wednesday

With All-Star Weekend in the rearview mirror, teams are shifting their focus to a second-half of the season playoff push. The playoffs don’t begin until late May, but years past have shown that the stretch immediately following the All-Star break is critical to a team’s season. As the league stands currently, the Lakers (+280 at FanDuel Sportsbook) are the favorites to repeat as champions. The Nets (+300) are the favorite in the East, followed by the Bucks (+750) and 76ers (+1200). The Clippers (+550) and Jazz (+850) are the two West favorites outside of the Lakers.

ALSO READ: The latest NBA Championship odds

THE PLAYERS Championship: Thursday – Sunday

THE PLAYERS offers the second-biggest purse on the PGA Tour. With such a large earning potential, golf’s biggest stars are suiting up, including the top 19 players and all but one of the top-50 ranked golfers in the world. The 2020 PLAYERS was canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving 2019 PLAYERS winner Rory McIlroy the defending champion. McIlroy and Dustin Johnson are at the top of odds tables (fluctuating around +1100). McIlroy was the favorite in each of the last two PLAYERS tournaments.

March Madness Selection Sunday

The conference tournaments should prove to be an entertaining watch, but it all culminates on Selection Sunday. This year’s selection show holds particular weight since the 2020 NCAA Tournament did not happen amid the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. With billions of dollars lost and the biggest sporting tournament in the country wiped out a year ago, fans are clamoring to see this year’s field. March Madness officially starts March 18 with the First Four, but this year’s Selection Sunday should be one of – if not the most – watched in the show’s history.

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Brett Gibbons

Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s covered college sports for Fansided, Stadium Journey, and several independent outlets over the past three years. A graduate of BGSU, Brett currently works on-site at Google as a shift lead for content curation products.

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