Sunday, March 7, 2021

March Madness Top Players and NBA Potential by Conference Tourney

With the March Madness brackets announced next Sunday evening, this blog breaks down the 31 basketball conference tournaments in alphabetical order. Teams are ranked both by the overall Value Add Rankings of all healthy players, as well as the NBA potential of those players as shown at Teams lose the Value Add of any injured players who are expecting to miss the tournament based on Don's Best Injury Report.

Search for any conference name for that summary.

You can pull up any time you are watching a game or conference tournament and pull up any conference or team. That will display each player and where they rank nationally in Value Add (points above replacement player), their height and jersey number to spot them on the court, their potential to make the NBA (80+ NBA rating is a serious prospect), and then a "notes field" on their position and if they have been injured and are either "gone" for the season, "back" after an injury or their status is "indefinite." We break down the team tallies below in each conference summary.

Iowa's Luka Garza is easily the top offensive player this season with a personal Adjusted Offense (AdjO) of +9.70, Duke's Matthew Hurt is second at +8.46. Utah State's 7-footer Neemias Queta has the best Adjusted Defense rating (AdjO) of -3.70 as the top Value Add defensive player by erasing almost four points a game below what a replacement player would allow (many players have positive AdjD's meaning they allow more points than a replacement player.

Garza's over Value Add (+9.70 AdjO and -1.29 AdjD gives a total Value Add of 10.99), to top USC's Evan Mobley (6.75 AdjO and third best -3.24 for total 10.04).

The biggest shake up of a tournament occurred in the Big East where overall Villanova ranks 13 points better than UConn, partly due to games missed by James Bouknight. However, with Bouknight healthy and dominating, the season ending injury to Collin Gillespie leaves Nova only three points better than UConn and with less NBA talent than Providence and about the same as Marquette. 

A deeper analysis of the Big East will appear on this CBS Sports/247 Site, and breakdowns of the other 30 conference tournaments appear below (tables and details being populated):

AAC, Fort Worth, Texas, March 11-14, March 14, 3:15 p.m., ESPN

The best NBA prospect Quentin Grimes led Houston to dominate the conference and even challenge for 1-seed consideration. However, the next two sure NBA shots behind him are Memphis duo of Landers Nolley and Boogie Ellis, and Moussa Cisse, Damion Baugh and DJ Jeffries give a chance that this Memphis team could feature FIVE future NBA players. SMU's Kendric Davis' currently ranks as the third most valuable player in the country, making him deserving of 1st Team All-American honors.

And with all that power, the Wichita State shockers topped them all for another regular season title, so plenty of teams to take a shot at heavily favored Houston as they await their 1st opponent Friday.

AmerHealthy Value AddAmerNBA Potential
SMU28.61South Florida89
Wichita St.25.95UCF82
UCF22.24Wichita St.73
Temple18.33East Carolina12
South Florida15.64Temple11
East Carolina15.57Tulane10

ACC, Greensboro, N.C., March 9-13, March 13, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Despite their struggles culminating in the blowout loss to UNC, Duke still features the most NBA potential in a loaded conference starting with an underperforming Jalen Johnson and exceptional Matthew Hurt. With the second most NBA potential, UNC hit stride not only with the blowout of Duke, but a 45-point win over Louisville and stunner over Florida State to help UVa win the title. While Florida State has the best NBA-level player in Scottie Barnes and best NBA-level duo when you add MJ Walker, Georgia Tech's duo of Jose Alvarado and Moses Wright rank as the best two players in the conference and 10th and 11th best players in the country according to It does appear Virginia Tech will get a big boost with Tyrece Radford healthy, as he ranks as second team All-ACC based on his Value Add in the games in which he has been able to play. Even in a "down year," you can't get much more loaded than the ACC.

ACCHealthy Value AddACCNBA Potential
Florida St.36.13North Carolina328
Georgia Tech32.39Virginia258
North Carolina31.73Florida St.249
Virginia Tech31.00Louisville187
Clemson30.59Miami FL122
Duke29.69Georgia Tech108
Syracuse28.83Notre Dame53
Notre Dame26.96Pittsburgh13
N.C. State26.54Virginia Tech12
Pittsburgh23.83Wake Forest12
Miami FL19.21Syracuse11
Boston College17.67N.C. State11
Wake Forest16.88Boston College10

America East, Campus sites, Feb. 27-28, March 6,13, March 13, 11 a.m., ESPN2

Value Add calculates that Obadiah Noel was by far the top player in the conference, ranking in the top 3% of all players when on the court. After missing much of February, he returned to dominate for UMass Lowell in the last three games including almost upsetting second place UMBC. A possible dark horse, though as usual Vermont leads the conference with their top four duo of Ryan Davis and Ben Shungu.

AEHealthy Value Add
UMass Lowell13.08
New Hampshire10.07
Stony Brook8.58

Atlantic 10, Richmond,/Dayton, March 3-6, 14, March 14, 1 p.m., CBS

Value Add calculates virtual co-Players of the Year as St. Bonaventure's Osun Osunniyi dominates inside and VCU's Nah'Shon Hyland outside. While St. Bonaventure has had a slight edge this year, VCU features the likely future NBA players wtih Hyland as well as Hason Ward, who matching Osun Osunniyi at 6-foot-9 certainly gives VCU the athletic edge for the potential tournament title. Richmond drew the early headlines with the upset of Kentucky, but as Kentucky continued to struggle, the Spiders also lost ground throughout the season.

A10Healthy Value AddA10NBA Potential
St. Bonaventure34.05VCU126
Saint Louis30.18Davidson69
Davidson28.01Saint Louis22
Dayton24.34George Washington13
Rhode Island21.47George Mason12
Massachusetts20.84Saint Joseph's12
George Mason19.72La Salle12
Saint Joseph's14.14Fordham11
George Washington12.62St. Bonaventure10
La Salle12.33Richmond10
Fordham7.17Rhode Island10

ASUN, Jacksonville, Fla., March 3-7, Champ/Auto Bid: Liberty (23-5)

No surprise that this scary good Liberty team already won the conference tournament to make it 12 straight wins heading into March Madness with their automatic bye. The Flames beat both SEC opponents, Mississippi State and South Carolina, by double digits and based on Value Add three of the ASun's top five players are from Liberty lead by 5-foot-9 point guard Darius McGhee, who can get the ball inside to big men Blake Preston and Kyle Rode. Give North Alabama credit for a surprise run to the conference title game where they ended Liberty's streak of eight straight double digit wins behind Payton Youngblood's four steals and six defensive rebounds before failing to steal a bid, 75-79.

ASunHealthy Value Add
North Florida7.25
Florida Gulf Coast7.01
North Alabama5.32
Kennesaw St.4.41

Big East, New York, March 10-13, March 13, TBA, FOX/FS1

As noted at the beginning of this post, check out the story on CBS Sports/247 Site for the breakdown of the most dramatically changed conference tournament due to injuries leaving Villanova vulnerable and UConn red hot and healthy to challenge the top two in their first year back in the conference.

BEHealthy Value AddBENBA Potential
Seton Hall28.84DePaul125
Xavier27.54Seton Hall123
St. John's27.32Connecticut118
Butler22.61St. John's36

Big Sky, Boise, Idaho, March 10-13, March 13, 8 p.m., ESPNU

The top three teams were virtually even with each other and dominated the rest of the league, and the very slight edge in the Value Add rankings goes to Eastern Washington due to the two highest rated players in the conference - big men Tanner Groves and Kim Aiken. However, Weber State's Isiah Brown and Southern Utah's Maizen Fausett are close behind.

BSkyHealthy Value Add
Eastern Washington20.59
Southern Utah20.43
Weber St.19.82
Montana St.12.90
Sacramento St.11.39
Northern Colorado10.67
Portland St.9.89
Northern Arizona6.63
Idaho St.6.05

Big South, Campus sites, Feb. 27, March 1,4,7, Champ/Auto Bid: Winthrop (23-1)

No surprise that Winthrop rolled through the tournament behind Value Add conference player of the year Chandler Vaudrin. However, the 83-56 average margin of the three tournament games indicates this is a hot team for March Madness. The strength of schedule was light, with 86th ranked Furman their toughest opponent, but they hammered them 87-71, and missed a perfect season with a 57-55 loss to UNC Asheville.

BSthHealthy Value Add
Gardner Webb14.21
UNC Asheville11.37
High Point8.42
USC Upstate4.52
Charleston Southern4.47
UC Davis0.00

Big Ten, Indianapolis, March 10-14, March 14, 3:30 p.m., CBS

With Ayo Dosunmu back after the Illini blew out Michigan even without him, Value Add agrees with virtually everyone else that Illinois now joins Michigan to give the Big Ten two 1-seeds. The two teams have virtually the same level of NBA prospects and top level players to contend for a national title. Luka Garza has held onto the top spot in Value Add for National Player of the Year, and award most expect him to win. The Big Ten does not have the same level of NBA potential as some of the other Power 5 conferences - just great college basketball players and coaches threatening to put a record number of teams in the tournament if only the early season had not been cancelled to give teams like Penn State a winning record.

B10Healthy Value AddB10NBA Potential
Iowa42.28Michigan St.227
Ohio St.38.56Iowa141
Penn St.31.44Purdue88
Michigan St.27.50Wisconsin64
Minnesota26.69Ohio St.37
Northwestern25.90Penn St.11

Big 12, Kansas City, March 10-13, March 13, 6 p.m., ESPN

If you compare the two top conferences, the Big 12 includes more than twice as many serious NBA prospects (80+ NBA ratings) as the Big Ten. Perhaps the best indicator is that Kansas had an "off" year despite featuring five of those serious NBA prospects in Jalen Wilson, Ochai Agbaji, Bryce Thompson, Christian Braun and Marcus Garrett. When comparing Value Add, the Jayhawks are virtually even with three other teams with their own serious NBA prospects in Texas Tech (Terrence Shannon, Micah Peavy and Georgetown transfer Mac McClung), West Virginia (Miles McBride) and Texas (Kai Jones and top NBA prospect in the conference in Greg Brown).

Of that group, Value Add Value Add ranks West Virginia's McBride as a 3rd team All-American (8.85 points better than a replacement player. And despite all the NBA talent Big 12 teams need to overcome almost every time on the court - Value Add calculates that Baylor is 10 points better than anyone else in the conference (44.99). As in past years the one vulnerability is if someone can slow Baylor down enough to get the ball inside to big players. The three elite Bears in the top 100 are once again all 6-foot-4 or smaller, with Value Add ranking 6-foot-3 Jared Butler as a 1st team All-American (9.58), while 6-foot-2 Davion Mitchell (8.28 is third best in the conference and in top 1% of all players) and 6-foot-4 MaCio Teague (6.47, 8th in the conference and top 100 of 4,200 D1 players).

B12Healthy Value AddB12NBA Potential
Texas Tech34.60Texas Tech360
West Virginia34.52Baylor272
Texas34.07Oklahoma St.182
Oklahoma31.53West Virginia176
Oklahoma St.31.17TCU137
Iowa St.16.19Iowa St.71
Kansas St.15.90Kansas St.13

Big West, Anaheim, March 9, 11-13, March 13, 11:30 p.m., ESPN2

While Cal St. Fullerton finished with a losing record and must play an opening round game as the 7th seed, Josh Hall may be the conference player with the best chance at playing in the NBA. However, the other player with a decent shot at the NBA is the regular season champion UC Santa Barbara's Amadou Sow, who has had the better year. He teams up with the second best player in the league this year, JaQuori McLaughlin, who was in the top 2% of all players in the nation with a 7.00 Value Add. They could need to overcome the Value Add top player in the country Collin Welp (7.44) and regular season runner-up UC Irvine.

BWHealthy Value AddBWNBA Potential
UC Santa Barbara26.18Cal St. Fullerton44
UC Irvine23.11UC Santa Barbara32
UC Riverside21.77Long Beach St.23
Cal St. Bakersfield17.50UC Irvine10
UC Davis13.92Cal St. Northridge10
Hawaii13.14UC San Diego10
Cal St. Northridge12.06Cal St. Bakersfield10
Cal St. Fullerton11.54UC Davis10
UC San Diego11.31Cal Poly10
Long Beach St.7.90UC Riverside10
Cal Poly2.92Hawaii10

Colonial, Washington D.C., March 6-9, March 9, 7 p.m., CBS Sports Network Update: Drexel

Both 6-seed Drexel and 8-seed Elon won early  upsets to make Monday's semi-finals, but neither were surprises based on their Value Add ratings which calculated the four teams in the semis were the best four teams  and better than 2-seed JMU or 3-seed Charleston.

Northeastern's Tyson Walker (improves team 6.47 above replacement player) borders on the top 100 of all players and give them a very slight edge against the other three teams still alive. Drexel has the best duo of the Final 4, including the only big man on the Value Add All-Conference team in 6-foot-8 James Butler to go along with Camren Wynter, however this looks like the most balanced Conference Final 4 in all of basketball.

CAAHealthy Value Add
James Madison14.87
UNC Wilmington11.90
William & Mary11.72

Conference USA, Frisco, Texas, March 9-13, March 13, TBA, CBS Sports Network 

The top NBA prospects do not always have the best college seasons, but in Conference USA the two future legit NBA stars have also dominated conference play. It remains to be seen if Western Kentucky's Charles Bassey (conference best 7.72 Value Add in top 1% of all players and are sky high 96 NBA potential rating) will face Marshall's Taevion Kinsey (6.95 and identical 96) in the Western Division. While Western's Josh Anderson has not been as dominant, he gives them a second potential NBA player.

However, despite finishing third in the West, Value Add calculates Marshall is dangerous with three of the top six players in the conference, with Andrew Taylor and Jerrod West joining Kinsey for a dangerous trio. Louisiana Tech (Isaiah Crawford 4.59) nudged out UAB (Tavin Lovin 4.16) to win the Eastern Division.

CUSAHealthy Value AddCUSANBA Potential
Marshall24.72Western Kentucky156
Louisiana Tech24.54Marshall107
North Texas24.26UTSA11
Western Kentucky21.78Louisiana Tech11
UTEP18.49North Texas11
Old Dominion17.33Charlotte11
Southern Miss8.94Southern Miss11
FIU8.15Old Dominion11
Florida Atlantic6.69Middle Tennessee11
Middle Tennessee3.89Florida Atlantic11

Horizon League, Indianapolis, Feb. 25, March 2, 8-9, March 9, 7 p.m., ESPN Update: Cleveland State

The wide-open Horizon League features Monday semifinals between Oakland and Northern Kentucky, as well as Cleveland against the Milwaukee team coming off an overtime shocker to eliminate Wright State, which featured the top three Value Add players in the league. Northern Kentucky had home court advantage for a 1-point upset of Detroit, which featured the top NBA prospect in the conference in Antoine Davis. Despite the dominant trio from Wright State, Cleveland State was able to tie them for the regular season title with a very balanced team with no superstars.

HorzHealthy Value AddHorzNBA Potential
Wright St.26.11Detroit58
Detroit16.94Cleveland St.14
Cleveland St.15.29Youngstown St.14
Youngstown St.14.46Oakland13
Oakland13.33Northern Kentucky13
Northern Kentucky13.24IUPUI13
Milwaukee12.67Wright St.12
IUPUI11.83Green Bay12
Green Bay10.74Illinois Chicago12
Purdue Fort Wayne9.89Milwaukee11
Robert Morris9.80Purdue Fort Wayne11
Illinois Chicago6.38Robert Morris11

MAAC, Atlantic City, N.J., March 9-13, March 13, 4 p.m., ESPNU

The Canisius vs. Rider winner will face Saint Peter's and the one potential NBA-level player in the conference, Fousseyni Dame, who has not been a big factor this season. If he can get going he would provide a tough duo with KC Ndefo. However, so far Value Add calculates that the top player, Isaiah Ross, has makes Iona a slightly better team than the top two from the regular season, Siena and Monmouth.

Canisius is the only Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference team with two 1st team all-conference players that could dominate inside in 6-foot-7 Malek Green and 6-10 Jacco Fritz. The join Ross as well as Monmouth's George Papas and Quinnipiac's Seth Pinkney.

MAACHealthy Value AddMAACNBA Potential
Iona18.00Saint Peter's59
Saint Peter's9.88Niagara10

MAC, Cleveland, Ohio, March 11-13, March 13, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2

No conference is more dangerous then the MAC because of four teams benefitting from players whose ratings were held down by injured stars who are back and healthy for the tournament. The one big NBA prospect Jason Preston is back with Ohio. Value Add calculates Kent State's Michael Nuga might have been the best player in the conference during the 12 games he played (7.12 per game would have been in the top 2% of all players). In addition Toledo has JT Shumate and Ball State has KJ Walton.

With all those dangerous teams a full strength for the tournament, Toledo goes in with a target on their back and trying to ride the 14th best offense in the country and Value Add MVP Marreon Jackson (7.13 ranked him 58th in the country of 4,201 players and just ahead of Nuga's value when healthy. Spencer Littleson ranked as the third best player in the conference to help Toledo nudge out Buffalo. However, Buffalo features its own dangerous duo in two Value Add all-conference players in Josh Mballa and the second best NBA prospect in the conference, Jeenathan Williams.

MACHealthy Value AddMACNBA Potential
Ohio23.59Western Michigan15
Kent St.22.35Ball St.13
Akron21.06Miami OH13
Bowling Green18.73Northern Illinois13
Ball St.17.01Central Michigan12
Miami OH16.59Toledo11
Eastern Michigan10.57Kent St.11
Central Michigan10.32Akron11
Western Michigan8.65Bowling Green11
Northern Illinois5.63Eastern Michigan11

MEAC, Norfolk, Va., March 11-13, March 13, 1 p.m., ESPN2

The one potential NBA prospect Makur Maker and an early front runner for player of the year Khalil Robinson and their Howard teammates were shut down by Covid-19 concerns after an incredible 9 assist, 11 of 15 free throw game from Robinson

With both of them gone, Morgan State featured the top three players in De'Torrion Ware, Troy Baxter and Malik Miller. However, Value Add cumultives can be a bit deceiving in low majors where teams have cumulatives below 20.0, and in fact Norfolk State and Coppin State nudged out Morgan State for the Northern Division North Carolina A&T ran away with the Southern Divisino.

MEACHealthy Value AddMEACNBA Potential
Morgan St.16.34Howard43
Norfolk St.10.47Morgan St.12
Howard9.74South Carolina St.12
Florida A&M7.43Norfolk St.12
Coppin St.7.05North CarolinCentral12
North Carolina A&T5.83Florida A&M12
North CarolinCentral5.40North Carolina A&T12
South Carolina St.2.06Delaware St.12
Delaware St.1.73Coppin St.12

Missouri Valley, St. Louis, March 4-7, Champ/Auto Bid: Loyola Chicago (24-4)

No surprise in the best defense in the country, Loyola-Chicago, cruising to the title in the very tough Missouri Valley with a 75-65 win against a very talented Drake team. The conference featured an incredible three players in the top 1% of all players in the country in Loyola's Cameron Krutwig, Indiana State's Tyreke Key and Missouri State's Gaige Prim. Garrett Sturtz lead a balanced Drake team and led the Value Add 2nd Team All-Conference team with three more Loyola players - Lucas Williamson, Aher Uguak and Marquise Kennedy.

While a second Final Four run for Krutwig would be a stunner, a Sweet 16 run certainly looks quite possible.

MVCHealthy Value Add
Loyola Chicago38.29
Missouri St.24.89
Indiana St.20.52
Northern Iowa16.63
Southern Illinois15.32
Illinois St.14.79

Mountain West, Las Vegas, March 10-13, March 13, 6 p.m., CBS

The Mountain West features three stars among the top 1% of all players, as well as plenty of NBA talent. While San Diego State's players have played the best and have the most NBA potential, they barely beat out Utah State, Colorado State and Boise State for the regular season title.

The top 1% players start with Utah State's 7-footer Neemias Queta, which Value Add calculates is the top defensive player in the country (-3.70 defensive rating), and is the highest ranked overall player (8.49) at 22nd in the country, followed closely by San Diego State's Jordan Schakel and Colroado State's David Roddy, with Nevada's Grant Sherfield just outside the top 1%. Matt Mitchell is back and would have given San Diego State a second player in the top 2% if he had not missed games with injury.

Boise State boasts serious NBA prospect and Value Add 2nd team all-conference star Derrick Alston, and three Value Add 3rd team players in Mladen Armus, Abu Kigab and Marcus Shaver. Fresno State's Orlando Robinson gives the conference a third serious NBA prospect along with Alston and Queta in what looks to be a loaded tournament.

MWCHealthy Value AddMWCNBA Potential
San Diego St.35.73San Diego St.153
Utah St.29.98Boise St.126
Boise St.27.86Fresno St.89
Colorado St.27.25Utah St.87
Nevada23.38San Jose St.14
Fresno St.16.63New Mexico13
Wyoming13.80Air Force12
San Jose St.5.08Wyoming11
Air Force5.05UNLV10
New Mexico4.33Colorado St.9
Cal St. Bakersfield0.20Cal St. Bakersfield1

Northeast, Campus sites, March 6 & 9, March 9, 7 p.m., ESPN2 Update Mount St. Mary's

Mount St. Mary's upset of regular season champ Wagner gives them a shot at the title against regular season runner-up Bryant Tuesday. Even before Wagner lost, Bryant looked strong with three of the top six Value Add players in the game in Peter Kiss, Charles Pride and Hall Elisias.

NECHealthy Value Add
St. Francis NY11.18
Mount St. Mary's10.40
Fairleigh Dickinson9.40
Sacred Heart9.04
St. Francis PA7.35
Central Connecticut2.01

Ohio Valley, Evansville, Ind., March 3-6, Champ/Auto Bid: Morehead State (23-7)

The best NBA prospect in the conference and the 7th best offensive rebounder in the country Terry Taylor finished his Austin Peay career by grabbing 16 rebounds and scoring 19 points in a valent effort in the opening round. However, his effort fell just short in a 67-70 loss to the third fastest paced team in the country, Eastern Kentucky. 

Morehead then slowed down EKU in a 67-64 win, and won a surprisingly easy 86-71 title game over Belmont to head to the NCAA tournament. The hero was Johni Broom, the Value Add Conference Player of the Year Runner-up to Belmont's Grayson Murphy, who hit 12 of 19 shots and grabbed 12 rebounds in the title game. Ja Morant's old teammates at Murray State, Tevin Brown and KJ Williams, finished ranked as Value Add 1st Team All-Conference and have one year left.

OVCHealthy Value AddOVCNBA Potential
Belmont22.81Austin Peay63
Morehead St.19.52Tennessee Martin12
Murray St.16.26Tennessee Tech12
Eastern Kentucky15.78Eastern Illinois12
Jacksonville St.14.99Belmont12
Austin Peay12.55Eastern Kentucky12
Tennessee Tech9.29SIU Edwardsville12
Eastern Illinois9.10Tennessee St.12
Southeast Missouri St.7.15Morehead St.12
SIU Edwardsville4.62Murray St.12
Tennessee St.3.78Jacksonville St.12
Tennessee Martin3.66Southeast Missouri St.12

Pac-12, Las Vegas, March 10-13, March 13, 10:30 p.m., ESPN

The three most loaded Pac-12 teams all boast a Value Add All American with USC's Evan Mobley (Value Add National Player of the Year Runner-Up and 1st Team All-American), Colorado's McKinley Wright (2nd team All-American) and Oregon's Chris Duarte (3rd team). Stanford's Oscar da Silva also qualified until a let season injury. Tahj Eaddy gives USC a second Value Add all-conference player, and St. John's transfer LJ Figueroa and Eugene Omoruyi give Oregon and additional two 2nd team all-conference players. 

The Pac-12 has had the most injuries to key players of an conference, and Colorado has the toughest loss with Jabari Walker out for the season. However, other teams are benefitting with previously injured players healthy for the tournament to boost the rankings of Stanford (da Silva), UCLA (Johnny Juzang back and hopefully Jalen Hill), Cal (Matt Bradley), Washington State (Aljaz Kunc) and Utah (Mikael Jantunen). In short, the Pac-12 is stronger then their rating because of so many top players missing time this season.

In a conference once again loaded with NBA prospects, Arizona State headed into the season with high hopes pinned on two of the top three NBA prospects in the country. However, both - Josh Christopher and Marcus Bagley, have missed most of the last two months so even if they return the freshman are unlikely to be in great form - leaving only Remy Martin as a future NBA player performing at a high level. The top NBA prospect (100 rating) is USC's Mobley, but the No. 2 prospect Ziaire Williams started strong, missed more than a month with injury, and has not been the same since returning. Therefore despite Arizona State and Stanford having the most NBA potential on their roster, it is not healthy. 

P12Healthy Value AddP12NBA Potential
Colorado36.43Arizona St.376
Stanford24.05Oregon St.133
Washington St.22.66Utah71
Oregon St.22.17Colorado68
Arizona St.20.15Washington37
California16.31Washington St.13

Patriot, Campus sites, March 3, 6, 10 & 14, March 14, Noon, CBS Sports Network

Despite Navy pulling out the regular season that included on out of conference games for most teams, Value Add rating Colgate as the much more loaded team that could pull an upset in March Madness. With Navy upset in the opening round of the tournament, Colgate is a heavy favorite against Bucknell in the semifinal Wednesday and will would be favored against the Army vs. Loyola Maryland winner.

Value Add calculates Colgate's Jack Ferguson finished second to American's Jamir Harris as the conference player of the year, though Loyola's 6-foot-11 Santi Aldama is the best big man left in the tournament. However, Colgate boast two solid players his size in Keegan Records and Jeff Woodward who both rank in the top 20% of all players.

While Colgate seems the clear favorite to take the tournament, it is almost impossible to know their prospects if they make March Madness to play their first non-Patriot League foe.

PatHealthy Value Add
Boston University13.12
Loyola MD11.11
Holy Cross9.53

SEC, Nashville, Tenn., March 10-14, March 14, 1 p.m., ESPN

Ironically, two of the most NBA-loaded SEC teams are going nowhere. Auburn boasts two of the conferences three almost sure fire NBA stars, but Sharife Cooper joined the team late and then was injured, and Allen Flanigan missed the last couple of months after a bad concussion, and Auburn is skipping even the SEC tournament. While Kentucky has the most NBA level talent outside of Gonzaga and Kansas, 7-footer Olivier Sarr and Keion Brooks are the only prospect to have a good season meaning the 9-15 team would need to beat Mississippi State Thursday at 11 a.m. Central and then beat  the dominant Alabama team the next day and then a semifinal and title game to go to March Madness as a 13-15 team.

While Alabama dominated the regular season, Arkansas is lead by the top NBA prospect in the conference and Value Add Player of the Year Moses Moody, LSU is lead by one of the top five prospects Cameron Thomas of LSU was the Value Add Conference Runner-Up and performed in the top 1% of all players in the country this year. Florida's Value Add all-conference player Tre Mann gives the Gators a chance, and perhaps most exciting Vanderbilt's Scotty Pippen missed first team by one spot. Missouri's Dru Smith is the only senior on the top team. Tennessee is the most balanced team, finishing 4th in the regular season despite not having a single player on the Value Add 1st, 2nd or 3rd all-conference team.

However, with all that talent, Alabama not only goes in as the favorite after a 16-2 season, their best since 1987, but they are actually even stronger now since Jordan Bruner missed some of the season but is back. Brooks also did miss some games for Kentucky, but if Bama rolls past Brooks, Sarr and Kentucky's stars then Bama could roll into March Madness whether they win the SEC tournament title or not.

SECHealthy Value AddSECNBA Potential
Kentucky28.69Mississippi St.135
Mississippi St.25.98Georgia107
Auburn25.01South Carolina92
Vanderbilt22.11Texas A&M61
Texas A&M19.90Missouri30
South Carolina19.06Vanderbilt23

Southland, Katy, Texas, March 9-13, March 13, 9:30 p.m., ESPN2

While Nicholls State edged out the regular season title, both Abileen Christian (7-footer Kolten Kohl and Reggie Miller) and Stephen F. Austin (Gavin Kensmil and David Kachelries) boast two Value Add 1st team All-Conference players. Nicholls State has three of the top 12 players, and Sam Houston State boasts the Value Add Player of the Year in Demarkus Lampley, who ranks in the top 3% of all players. Those four separate themselves from the rest of the pack, but Abilene looks like a solid top team that could be the biggest threat to pull an upset if they win the conference tournament and go to March Madness.

SlndHealthy Value Add
Abilene Christian24.63
Stephen F. Austin17.99
Nicholls St.15.63
Sam Houston St.15.21
New Orleans7.68
Central Arkansas7.30
McNeese St.6.74
Northwestern St.6.07
Southeastern Louisiana5.83
Texas A&M Corpus Chris4.22
Incarnate Word4.15
Houston Baptist3.51

Summit, Sioux Falls, S.D., March 6-9, March 9, 9 p.m., ESPN2 Update Oral Roberts

No upsets in the Summit League so far, as the top four teams enter Monday night's semifinals with regular season champ South Dakota State playing Oral Roberts and North Dakota State playing South Dakota to try advance to Tuesday's title game.

No high seed in March Madness wants to see Value Add Summit Player of the Year Max Abmas, who ranks as one of the top 25 of 4,201 college basketball players. Abmas played all 40 minutes in 12 of 16 conference games, and in the last five regular season games averaged making 5.4 of 9.2 three-point shots. Lest you believe that was against weaker competition, he went 17 of 30 on three-point shots in competitive losses at Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and American Conference Champion Wichita State early in the season. Value Add ranks his 6-foot-8 teammate Kevin Obanor as the third best player in the conference.

While Oral Roberts clearly has the top player and the top duo, South Dakota State and North Dakota State rank as slightly better teams overall, and South Dakota is virtually tied with Oral Roberts in team Value Add. All three have a Value Add 1st team All-Conference player with South Dakota State's Baylor Scheierman ranking as MVP Runner-up and in the top 2% of all players, North Dakota State's Rockey Kreuser and South Dakota's AJ Plitzuweit rounding out the 1st team.

SumHealthy Value Add
South Dakota St.20.78
North Dakota St.17.54
Oral Roberts15.47
South Dakota15.42
Western Illinois10.65
North Dakota7.43
Nebraska Omaha7.20

Sun Belt, Pensacola, Fla., March 5-8, March 8, 7 p.m., ESPN2 Update App State

All Season Coastal Carolina's DeVante' Jones ranked as one of the top 25 players in the country, but Appalachian State managed to bounce him from the tournament in overtime. Meanwhile the one potential NBA player in the conference, Value Add 1st team All-Conference South Alabama star Michael Flowers, put on an incredible 34 point performance to open the tournament against Louisiana Monroe. The next day South Alabama dominated most of the game to threaten a big upset of  Louisiana on tired legs the next day (Louisiana was much more rested, having not played in a week).

With the top two players in the conference gone, Georgia State and Appalachian State made it to Monday night's title game. Neither team boasts a superstar, but Value Add places both Georgia State's Eliel Nsoseme and Appalachian States Donovan Gregory as 2nd Team All-Conference.

SBHealthy Value AddSBNBA Potential
Coastal Carolina17.52South Alabama61
Texas St.17.26Coastal Carolina12
Georgia St.16.53UT Arlington12
Louisiana14.97Appalachian St.12
Appalachian St.13.60Texas St.12
Little Rock12.92Little Rock12
UT Arlington12.89Arkansas St.12
South Alabama12.52Georgia Southern12
Arkansas St.11.70Louisiana Monroe12
Georgia Southern7.92Troy12
Louisiana Monroe6.90Georgia St.12

Southern, Asheville, N.C, March 5-8, March 8, 7 p.m., ESPN2 Update UNC Greensboro

Regular season champ UNC Greensboro meets Cinderella Mercer Saturday night for the title and automatic bid.

Greensboro is lead by Isaiah Miller, who was not only a Value Add 1st Team All-Conference player, but also calculates as the one player in the conference who could make good money playing professionally, though probably lacking the size to make the NBA. Mercer has won on three straight nights despite Value Add 3rd Team All-Conference player Ross Cummings being held to only two points in each of the last two wins, so if he can return to form it would give Mercer a shot at another upset.

SCHealthy Value Add
UNC Greensboro21.26
East Tennessee St.19.94
The Citadel15.19
Western Carolina13.92

SWAC, Birmingham, Ala., March 10-13, March 13, 6 p.m., ESPNU

Texas Southern's Michael Weathers was the clear Value Add Conference Player of the Year. However, Prairie View A&M and Jackson State both went undefeated in conference play with Prairie View pulling off  a 77-75 win at Texas Southern. Jackson State has two players Value Add calculates would be strong starters at any level - Jayveous McKinnis (3.39) and Tristan Jarrett (3.00), to join Weathers as well as Prairie View's Jawaun Daniels and Southern's Jayden Saddler as Value Add 1st Team All-Conference.

SWACHealthy Value Add
Texas Southern12.55
Prairie View A&M9.04
Jackson St.8.14
Alcorn St.6.86
Grambling St.4.32
Alabama A&M3.00
Arkansas Pine Bluff2.51
Alabama St.0.45
Mississippi Valley St.0.17

WAC, Las Vegas, March 10-13, March 13, 10 p.m., ESPNU

While Tarleton State will not participate as one of the first year team's in the rebuilt Western Athletic Conference, their star Montre' Gipson rated as the Value Add Conference Player of the Year and one of the top 2% of most valuable players in the country. 

Grand Canyon's Asbjorn Midtgaard gave the conference a second national level star in the top 3% of all players, while at 7-feet tall he provides twin towers with 6-foot-10 Alessandro Lever who ranks as 2nd team All-Conference. Grand Canyon won the regular season by a half a game over Utah Valley, and both will get the first round bye with Grand Canyon getting the winner of Cal Baptist-Seattle while Utah Valley draws the New Mexico State-UT Rio Grande Valley winner.

New Mexico State boasts Value Add 1st Team All-Conference player Johnny McCants and 2nd Team All-Conference Jabari Rice. Cal Baptist has the one other legit big man in 6-foot-11 Gorjok Gak.

WACHealthy Value Add
Grand Canyon19.66
New Mexico St.16.21
Utah Valley13.73
Cal Baptist11.28
Tarleton St.10.86
UT Rio Grande Valley5.36
Dixie St.2.97
Chicago St.0.05

West Coast, Las Vegas, March 4-6 & 8-9, March 9, 9 p.m., ESPN Update Gonzaga

Gonzaga enters Monday's semifinal against Saint Mary's with the most NBA talent in the country and the highest rated team this century. As 18-point favorites, who would then need to defeat the Pepperdine-BYU winner for the title, Gonzaga seeks to be the first team to win the national title without a loss since Bobby Knight's 1976 Indiana team.

Value Add Basketball calculates the top four Zags as strong NBA prospects, with Corey Kispert calculating as 1st Team All-American, Drew Timme as 2nd Team All-American, Joel Ayayi in the top 1% of all players and Jalen Suggs in the top 2% of all players.

The talent is overwhelming, with the only non-Gonzaga player on the Value Add 1st team being BYU's Alex Barcello who is not an NBA prospect but ranks as the 6th best player in the country with a 9.38 Value Add. Three of the top nine players in the country potentially on the court for tomorrow's title game if Gonzaga and BYU advance would be quite a display. That would be a rematch of the Zags closest conference game of the season when they won by 11 at BYU. Prior to Conference play, they beat West Virginia by five and Iowa by 11.

WCCHealthy Value AddWCCNBA Potential
Saint Mary's27.93BYU78
San Francisco21.98Portland14
Loyola Marymount21.30SantClara13
Pacific20.73Saint Mary's12
SantClara18.06San Diego12
San Diego12.33San Francisco11
Portland7.49Loyola Marymount9

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