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NCAA Basketball March Madness

25 Storylines to Follow During NCAA Basketball Conference Tournaments

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Storylines to Follow During NCAA Basketball Conference Tournaments

Storylines to Follow During Conference Tournaments
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Brackets. Pizza. Using “sick” days for work. Busted Brackets. Empty pizza boxes. Screaming. Shouting. More pizza. NCAA tournament. Sound familiar? This is what everyone has been waiting for. Well, the people who love college basketball that is. It is finally March and we are one step closer to Selection Sunday. However, let’s live in the moment for a bit and enjoy all of the NCAA basketball conference tournaments. While you enjoy all of these tournaments, make sure to follow these 25 storylines.

Although 25 may seem like a lot, there are so many angles we could go with here. I mean there are around 30 different conferences. Heck, we could easily come up with 25 different storylines for each conference.

Regardless, this time of the year centers around bubble teams and seeds. Which bubble teams are going to make it into the field of 68 and which bubble teams are going to have their bubbles bursted. Then, there are those seeds. There are 68 of them that range from No. 1 to No. 16.

This year could be the craziest tournament yet. Sure, we say that every year, but there is no clear cut favorite to win the title and there are plenty of very good basketball teams. Upsets tend to happen from time to time in this sport as well.

However, before we can get to the Big Dance, we have to watch conference foes battling it out for a conference title. So, while you enjoy the overload of college basketball the month of March has to offer, make sure to follow these 25 storylines.

Trevor Lowry is a Senior Writer and Copy Editor at RantSports.com. If you’re a tweeter feel free to follow him @TheTrevorLowry or add him to your network on Google.

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Can Wichita State Stay Undefeated?

Wichita State Shockers
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Wichita State capped off a perfect 31-0 record. The Shockers are the overwhelming favorites to win the MVC tournament, but they will be going up against a bunch of teams they already played twice. Beating a team -- teams in this case -- three times in one season is very tough.

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Who Will Earn the No. 1 Seeds?

2014 NCAA tournament No. 1 seeds
Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Florida, Kansas, Arizona, Wichita State, Duke, Syracuse and others all have a chance to earn a No. 1 seed in the dance. Who will the tournament committee award the top seeds in the dance to?

The conference tournaments will play a major role in this.

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Will Florida Finish Perfect in the SEC?

Florida Gators
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Florida still has a couple of games remaining in the college basketball season. However, let’s say the Gators finish perfect in conference play during the regular season. Can they keep that perfect record going through the SEC tournament?

Anthony Davis and the rest of the Kentucky Wildcats couldn’t even achieve that feat.

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Will Anyone Beat Kansas in Big 12?

Kansas Basketball
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas rules the Big 12. You really didn’t need me to tell you that, though. Can anyone beat the Jayhawks in the Big 12 tournament? If not, they could earn a No. 1 seed.

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How Far Can Marcus Smart Take the Cowboys?

Oklahoma State Basketball
Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Smart is back and the Oklahoma State Cowboys are relevant once again -- won four games in a row. How far can Smart lead Ok State in the Big 12 tourney? A conference tournament championship is certainly not out of the question.

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Which Bubble Teams Will Make Best Case for NCAA Tourney Bid?

Bubble Watch
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

There are so many bubble teams. That is the case every single year. Which ones will make a run in their conference tournament? It certainly cannot be all of them.

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Who Will Win the Big Ten?

Big Ten Tournament
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan. Michigan State. Wisconsin. Iowa. Ohio State. And, I am done listing teams in the Big Ten because I will end up listing all of them. All five of those teams -- among others -- are capable of winning the Big Ten title. Who will, though?

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Who Will Win the Big 12?

Big 12 Basketball Tournament
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

We kind of already touched on this a few slides back, but Iowa State, Baylor, Kansas State, Texas, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Oklahoma and just about everyone else in the Big 12 is capable of winning the title. Well, besides TCU -- has yet to win a conference game.

Which one will come out on top? The Big 12 could receive the most bids this year.

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Can Syracuse Get Back on Track?

Syracuse Basketball
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

For a good majority of the season, the Syracuse Orange looked like the best team in college hoops. Then, they lost three out of four.

No team ever wants to enter the tournament on a down note and it will be interesting to see if Tyler Ennis, C.J. Fair and the rest of Syracuse can get back on track.

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Can Someone Knock off Saint Louis For Atlantic 10 Title?

Saint Louis Basketball
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Saint Louis has a very similar story to Syracuse's. Well, kind of. The Billikens had not lost a game since Dec. 1. Now, they are on a two-game losing streak. Still, this is a very talented team and should enter the Atlantic 10 tourney as the favorites.

Teams that could make the tourney out of the A 10: Saint Joseph’s, VCU, Saint Louis, Massachusetts, George Washington, Dayton and Richmond. All of those teams are very capable of winning the conference tournament.

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Watch out for the Upsets

College Basketball Upsets
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Believe it or not, upsets happen in college basketball. A lot. Upsets make the month of March the best month in college hoops.

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Who Wins the AAC?

AAC Basketball
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The top five teams in the AAC -- Louisville, Cincinnati, SMU, Connecticut and Memphis -- are more than capable of winning the AAC title. The Cardinals were expected to win the conference coming in. They still might win the regular season title, but the conference tournament should be one of the most exciting tourneys in this sport.

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Doug McDermott

Doug McDermott
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like Creighton Bluejays’ Doug McDermott breaks a record every single time he steps foot on the court. For those of you who don’t know who McDermott is, you should probably get to know him real quick.

He has averaged 20+ points per game since his sophomore year --averaging 26 PPG this year -- and he should win the Naismith.

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Villanova or Creighton in the Big East?

Big East Basketball
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Villanova and Creighton are the only teams ranked in the Big East. The Wildcats have beaten every team not named Creighton and the Bluejays have a Doug McDermott. Will Creighton or Villanova win the conference tourney? Perhaps the field will win.

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Can Michigan State Be a National Title Threat Once Again?

Michigan State Basketball
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State has the experience and the talent, but it hasn't had the health. As of right now, the Spartans are not national title contenders. However, maybe they can get it going in the Big Ten tourney. After all, this is one of the best teams in the country when at full strength.

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San Diego State, New Mexico or the Field?

San Diego State Basketball
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego State dominated the headlines for most of the season, but New Mexico managed to knock off the Aztecs not too long ago. These are more than likely the only two teams that are going to make the dance out of the Mountain West Conference.

Will one of them capture that automatic bid or will another team (the field) steal a bid?

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Who Will Win the ACC?

ACC Basketball
Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia won the ACC regular season title, but Duke, Syracuse and North Carolina are more than capable of taking home the conference tournament title.

Duke is ranked No. 4, Virginia No. 5, Syracuse No. 7 and North Carolina No. 14. There are also some bubble teams fighting for their NCAA tournament lives in this conference.

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Are There Any Bid Stealers Out There?

College Basketball
Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

It happens every year. A team that is not supposed to win its conference, wins its conference. As a result, a bubble team is knocked out of the field of 68 and has to settle for an NIT appearance. Which team(s) will do it this year?

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Who is the Best Team in College Hoops?

College Hoops
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Florida looks like the best team, but Wichita State has the best record. Unlike the last two seasons, there is no clear cut favorite to win the dance, but who will enter the 2014 NCAA tournament as the best team in college basketball?

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Can Kentucky Gain Any Momentum?

Kentucky Basketball
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky brought in arguably the most talented recruiting class of all time this year. That recruiting class was supposed to lead the Wildcats to a 40-0 record.

They entered the season with the No. 1 ranking and now have an overall record of 21-8. Kentucky has lost two games in a row. One of those games was against South Carolina (11-18, 4-12 SEC).

The Wildcats are cold, but can they gain some momentum in the SEC tourney?

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Conference USA is Wide Open

Conference USA Basketball
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Memphis leaving the Conference USA opened the door for a lot of teams. There are currently four teams tied at the top of the conference standings and UTEP is only one game back.

This could be the most competitive conference in college basketball, but gets no love. That should make for an awesome tourney, though.

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The Freshmen

College Basketball Freshmen
Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Freshmen have dominated college basketball this season. Tyler Ennis, Andrew Wiggins, Aaron Gordon, Joel Embiid, Julius Randle and Jabari Parker have been getting the most love. There are many other talented freshmen out there as well.

It will be interesting to see how these freshmen play when the stakes are raised even higher.

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Is Virginia a National Title Contender?

Virginia Basketball
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Cavaliers are 25-5 overall and 16-1 in the ACC. They won the regular season title, but there are people out there who still do not think they are national title contenders.

The ACC tournament could answer that question.

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Is North Carolina?

North Carolina Basketball
Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

How about North Carolina? The Tar Heels entered the season with high expectations, but lost to Belmont and UAB right off the bat. With that said, they have beaten Louisville, Michigan State, Kentucky and Duke on the season. Those were the top four teams in the preseason rankings.

North Carolina finally looks like it has put it all together and have won 12 games in a row to prove it.

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Crazy Conference Tournament Season Will Lead to Best Big Dance Ever

2014 NCAA Basketball Conference Tournaments
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Upsets are going to happen, teams are going to emerge, bubbles are going to break, bubble teams are going play their way into the dance and you name it. People can expect a crazy conference tournament season which will lead to the best NCAA tournament ever.