March madness officially begins tonight as the Big South conference tournament begins. The format of this tournament has the higher seeds playing at home until they reach the semi-finals. All of the semi-finals and the final will be held at Coastal Carolina since the Chanticleers have the top seed in the tournament via their regular season championship.
There has already been quite a bit of discussion on how the tournament will be hindered playing in arguably the worst arena in the Division-1 hoops. Kimbel Arena, which really should be called a gym because it only seats 1,039 people will bursting at the seams when the gang at ESPN rolls into town to televise the semi-finals and finals this weekend. There is even talk the conference and Coastal Carolina could lose money because of the venue. At the very least though, the Chant’s will have the home court advantage and the inside track to the automatic NCAA tournament bid that will be handed out Saturday.
Tonight Coastal Carolina plays host to VMI at 7:00. Also tonight, Winthrop is at home against Liberty, Charleston Southern is at Radford and High Point travels to UNC-Asheville. You can keep up with all the action here.
The four winners tonight will play in the semi-finals Thursday night at Kimbel gym, err, Arena on Thursday. And the title game is Saturday at 4:00.
You can check the seedings via the tournament bracket page to follow potential matchups. One of these teams will be in your March Madness bracket in a couple of weeks. Who knows, maybe one will help you win your office pool.
Which brings me to my next point: I advise you to monitor all these conference tournaments closely so you can learn as much as you can about these lesser known schools. As we all know they almost always end up springing a few upsets in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament.
The more you know about these smaller schools the easier it is going to be to predict potential matchup issues and upsets. This could give you a huge advantage in your office bracket challenge.
Or you can just pick the higher seeds and your favorite mascots. I’ve heard that works too.
Whatever your strategy, here’s to another exiting March Madness.