NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Purdue

It is less than a week before Selection Sunday and that also means college basketball's top conferences are gearing-up for their tournaments. The days ahead are going to be filled with all-day action featuring teams fighting for their spots in the NCAA Tournament and bragging rights after the grind of regular-season play.

A year ago, this week brought us surprises, such as No. 7 seed Virginia Tech winning the ACC Tournament and No. 5 seed Iowa winning the Big Ten Tournament. It also brought some heartbreak as No. 8 seed Texas A&M won three games in three days to reach the SEC Tournament final, only to lose in the title game and narrowly miss out on an at-large NCAA Tournament bid.

Some teams will exit early from their conference tournaments, put it behind them and regroup for the NCAA Tournament. But others don't have that luxury and will be playing for their lives. From an NCAA Tournament bubble standpoint every major conference except the Big East has at least one team on the bubble in Jerry Palm's Bracketology, and some conferences have multiple bubble squads. So what's in store for the action?

Our experts have combed through the conference tournament brackets of the sport's top leagues and have come up with championship predictions and sleeper picks from each bracket. Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook

American Athletic Conference Tournament

Breakdown: No. 1 seed Houston is the team to beat in the AAC as the Cougars gear up for their final league tournament before joining the Big 12 next season. The only other AAC squad with an at-large case for the NCAA Tournament is No. 2 seed Memphis, but there is a solid, upset-minded chase pack behind those two. Watch out for No. 3 seed Tulane, which beat Memphis twice, and don't sleep on No. 5 seed Temple, which beat Houston on the road. Ultimately, the Cougars are the clear favorite as they try and win a third straight AAC Tournament on their way out of the league.

AAC Tournament schedule, pairings

Odds to win American Athletic Conference Tournament

Houston Cougars-330
Memphis Tigers+475
Cincinnati Bearcats+1300
Tulane Green Wave+2500
Wichita State Shockers+3000
UCF Knights+3000
Temple Owls+5000
South Florida Bulls+15000
SMU Mustangs+20000
Tulsa Golden Hurricane+25000
East Carolina Pirates+25000

ACC Tournament

Breakdown: The ACC has been the target of criticism for its overall struggles this season, but the league's regular season title race was the most dramatic of any power conference. Now comes the five-day melee to decide a tournament champion. If there is one thing the ACC has on other leagues this season, it's parity, and the number of viable candidates to cut down nets on Saturday is vast. Squads like No. 3 seed Clemson and No. 7 seed North Carolina are also fighting to build their NCAA Tournament resumes, which adds another layer of intrigue. Though it's been a down year for the likes of Duke, North Carolina, Louisville and Syracuse by their historical standards, the wide-open nature of the ACC should make for a great tournament.

ACC Tournament schedule, pairings

Odds to win ACC Tournament

Duke Blue Devils+270
Miami Hurricanes+350
Virginia Cavaliers+350
Clemson Tigers+600
North Carolina Tar Heels+750
NC State Wolfpack+1200
Pittsburgh Panthers+1600
Wake Forest Demon Deacons+2200
Virginia Tech Hokies+3500
Syracuse Orange+10000
Florida State Seminoles+20000
Boston College Eagles+30000
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets+30000
Notre Dame Fighting Irish+50000
Louisville Cardinals+50000

Big East Tournament

Breakdown: There is a clear delineation among Big East teams as the top-five seeds — all of whom get byes — are the league's clear-cut NCAA Tournament teams. After that group, the best chance for a surprise run could be No. 6 seed Villanova as the Wildcats look to continue a late-season surge under first-year coach Kyle Neptune. No. 1 seed Marquette won the regular season title after being picked to finish eighth, marking the third time the program has claimed a Big East title. But the Golden Eagles have never won the Big East Tournament since joining the league for the 2005-06 season. If they get it done, it would just add more solidification to coach Shaka Smart's national coach of the year case..

Big East Tournament schedule, pairings

Odds to win Big East Tournament

Big EastOdds
UConn Huskies+220
Creighton Bluejays+250
Marquette Golden Eagles+350
Xavier Musketeers+500
Villanova Wildcats+1000
Providence Friars+1800
Seton Hall Pirates+3500
St. John's Red Storm+4000
Butler Bulldogs+15000
DePaul Blue Demons+20000
Georgetown Hoyas+20000

Big Ten Tournament

Breakdown: The Big Ten Tournament will likely have a greater impact on deciding what the NCAA Tournament field looks like than any other league tournament. Entering the week, CBS Sports Bracketology Expert Jerry Palm had four teams from the conference considered as bubble squads. Among them are Penn State and Michigan, who are slotted among the "Last Four In" while Wisconsin is among the "First Four Out." Rutgers will also need to make some noise after losing six of its final eight regular season games. Though No. 1 seed Purdue won the league by three games, the Boilermakers have looked shaky in recent weeks and will be fending off a huge chase pack in what may be the sport's deepest league.  

Big Ten Tournament schedule, pairings

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Gary Parrish
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Matt Norlander
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Kyle Boone
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David Cobb
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Chip Patterson
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Jerry Palm
Pick to win
Sleeper pick

Odds to win Big Ten Tournament

Big TenOdds
Purdue Boilermakers+145
Michigan State Spartans+600
Indiana Hoosiers+600
Maryland Terrapins+700
Northwestern Wildcats+1000
Illinois Fighting Illini+1300
Michigan Wolverines+1800
Iowa Hawkeyes+1800
Penn State Nittany Lions+2500
Rutgers Scarlet Knights+3000
Wisconsin Badgers+5000
Ohio State Buckeyes+7500
Nebraska Cornhuskers+25000
Minnesota Golden Gophers+50000

Big 12 Tournament

Breakdown: The Big 12 features four teams projected as No. 3 seeds or better for the NCAA Tournament in Palm's Bracketology. Seven of the league's 10 teams are in Palm's projected field, and Oklahoma State has a shot at making the field as well. This league is stacked, and the tournament should be wide open. While No. 1 seed Kansas won the league outright, the Jayhawks got smacked at Texas in the regular season finale and could face a semifinal matchup against No. 4 seed Baylor after they split during the regular season. On the bracket's other side, a quarterfinal matchup between No. 3 seed Kansas State and No. 6 seed TCU could be fun after they split in the regular season with each team winning a lopsided game on their home floor.

Big 12 Tournament schedule, pairings

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Gary Parrish
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Matt Norlander
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Kyle Boone
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David Cobb
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Chip Patterson
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Jerry Palm
Pick to win
Sleeper pick

Odds to win Big 12 Tournament

Big 12Odds
Kansas Jayhawks+250
Texas Longhorns+350
Baylor Bears+450
Kansas State Wildcats+700
Iowa State Cyclones+700
TCU Horned Frogs+800
West Virginia Mountaineers+1600
Oklahoma State Cowboys+2500
Oklahoma Sooners+4000
Texas Tech Red Raiders+5000

Pac-12 Tournament

Breakdown: It hasn't been a great season for the Pac-12 as No. 1 seed UCLA and No. 2 seed Arizona are the league's only NCAA Tournament locks entering the week. But No. 3 seed USC is on the right side of Palm's bubble and No. 6 Arizona is among the "First Four Out." Outside of those four, the team to watch is No. 5 seed Washington State. The Cougars have won six in a row since a 5-9 start to league play and could be dangerous. After all, it was just two years ago that Oregon State made a surprise Pac-12 Tournament title run and then progressed all the way to the Elite Eight. This tournament could determine whether just two Pac-12 teams make the Big Dance or if perhaps as many as four can sneak in

Pac-12 Tournament schedule, pairings

Odds to win Pac-12 Tournament

UCLA Bruins+135
Arizona Wildcats+180
USC Trojans+700
Oregon Ducks+900
Arizona State Sun Devils+2000
Washington State Cougars+2200
Utah Utes+3500
Colorado Buffaloes+4500
Stanford Cardinal+10000
Washington Huskies+10000
Oregon State Beavers+25000
California Golden Bears+25000

SEC Tournament

Breakdown: Top-seeded Alabama won the SEC outright, but the Crimson Tide are entering the postseason fresh off a loss at Texas A&M and are grappling with off-court distractions surrounding star freshman Brandon Miller. With the No. 2 seed Aggies hot and No. 3 seed Kentucky rounding into form, this tournament could be wide open. No. 9 seed Mississippi State arguably has the most at stake as the Bulldogs enter as one of Palm's "Last Four in" but No. 7 seed Auburn and No. 6 seed Vanderbilt are technically bubble teams as well. The Commodores face an uphill battle to at-large status following an injury to star center Liam Robbins but could turn some heads with a win over No. 3 seed Kentucky in a potential quarterfinal matchup.

SEC Tournament schedule, pairings

Odds to win SEC Tournament

Alabama Crimson Tide+150
Kentucky Wildcats+350
Tennessee Volunteers+400
Texas A&M Aggies+550
Arkansas Razorbacks+1500
Auburn Tigers+1600
Missouri Tigers+2500
Mississippi State Bulldogs+4500
Vanderbilt Commodores+6000
Florida Gators+10000
LSU Tigers+15000
Ole Miss Rebels+15000
South Carolina Gamecocks+15000
Georgia Bulldogs+15000

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