3 Things to Watch for in the Bundesliga 2020 Restart

Sport as a whole dominate a large majority of our lives. If you didn’t realize it or believe that before, you cannot argue it now. This COVID-19 pandemic has brought the sporting world to a screeching halt, stopping every major sporting league in the world outside of the Belarus soccer league and Korean Baseball. The typical sports fanatic who fills and plans their entire day with sport is now left craving for any type of sport whether that be a replay of a classic game, a documentary on one of the greatest athletes of all-time, or watching the NFL draft with the same passion as the World Cup. Now, more than ever we can see the importance of sport in our own lives. Now that the first actual league is coming back, here’s your guide to the Bundesliga.

The Bundesliga is the German “major league” soccer league, dominated by Bayern Munich for seemingly ever, this season looks to be the same as years past with Bayern in control of the table with a 4-point lead through 25 matchdays. The 2019-20 season started off with an early surge by RB Leipzig who led for a majority of the first 20 games after a slump by Bayern Munich. The two Borussia clubs were in opposite form as Monchengladbach were surprisingly in the top spot in the league for a period and in the top four spots all seasons. Dortmund, on the other had have recently surged up the table thanks to signing of Norwegian wonderkid Erling Haland. With nine matches remaining, here’s three things to look for in the final nine matchdays.

  1. Bayern Munich’s Eighth Consecutive League Title. 

If you like dynasties than this is your team. Bayern Munich is a combination of Patriots, Warriors and Yankees. Since there is no salary cap in Soccer, Bayern Munich simply just buys the best players of all the other teams in order to stay dominant. They have been doing this for a long time and seemingly haven’t gotten as much hate as they should in my opinion. Dynasties in American sports are heavily frowned upon, but Bayern seemingly gets a free pass. To explain how bad Bayern’s transfer policy is, basically they have one or two KD to the Warriors type moves each season. This year it would be like if the Lakers just bought out Giannis and had him on their team, if the Patriots just signed Pat Mahomes, or if the Capitals signed Connor McDavid. It’s harder to explain but anyone that’s an up and coming talent in the Bundesliga seemingly goes to Bayern and they keep getting off easy. On the other hand, RB Leipzig gets all the hate in Germany as they’re “buying success” as they’ve gone from the third division up to the top of the Bundesliga, but they’ve done so by buying a ton of young players. Now the teenagers they bought a few seasons back are now in their early twenties and are contending on the European stage and recently just beat out Tottenham in the UEFA Champions League. All that being said, barring a miracle, Bayern will cruise to another title this summer.

2. The Ascension of Haland.

With one of the greatest debuts in history, the 19-year-old Norwegian forward has scored nine goals in his first eight matches, in which he’s come on as a sub multiple times, making his goal record even more impressive. Against Augsburg, he came on as a sub in the second half and scored a hat-trick in 23 minutes, something absolutely unheard of. After tearing up the Austrian soccer league and the Europa League with RB Salsburg, Haland found himself as the most coveted player in soccer this January with nearly every big team interested. Haland opted to go Borussia Dortmund, one of the best “talent factories” where they buy low on young players, turn them into world-class players and sell them for top dollar. In the past few years, Mario Gotze, Ousmane Dembele, Alexander Isak, Christian Pulisic, Emre Mor, are just a few of the players that Dortmund has profited heavily off of. Haland looks to be that next player as he’s already linked to a move to the likes of Juventus, PSG, Real Madrid, Manchester United, etc. In the remaining nine games I expect Haland to get in the top 5 of the golden boot race as he’s already 12th with his nine goals in eight games. He could realistically finish third behind Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski and Leipzig’s Timo Werner.

3.Timo Werner’s Last Game for RB Leipzig.

Timo Werner, Leipzig and German National Team striker has been rumored to move clubs in this summer’s transfer window. Linked most heavily with Liverpool due to connections to the club’s German manager Jurgen Klopp, Werner would join the English champions and add to their already lethal attack of Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi. Roberto Firmino’s last club was Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga so he could help the young German’s transition to the Premier League. After 21 goals in 25 games, Timo continues to be one of the most lethal strikers in the world and looks to finally leave Leipzig after years of speculation. After signing another wonderkid in Patrik Schick, Leipzig now have two suitable replacements at the big Danish forward Yussuf Poulsen has been a great substitute for Werner for a couple of seasons now, meaning Werner will likely move to Liverpool this summer, but as I said earlier, watch out for Bayern coming out of nowhere and snapping him up.

NFL Mock Draft 1.0 Part 5

Sorry I couldn’t go in depth on these, schoolwork and all that, hope you can appreciate that. Draft grades coming soon.

#21 Philadelphia Eagles- Justin Jefferson WR, LSU

#22 Minnesota Vikings- Denzel Mims WR, Baylor

#23 New England Patriots- Yetur Gross-Matos DE, Penn State

#24 New Orleans Saints- Kenneth Murray LB, Oklahoma

#25 Minnesota Vikings- Jeff Gladney CB, TCU

#26 Miami Dolphins- D’Andre Swift RB, Georgia

#27 Seattle Seahawks- A.J. Epenesa DE, Iowa

#28 Baltimore Ravens- Patrick Queen LB, LSU

#29 Tennessee Titans- Josh Jones OT, Houston

#30 Green Bay Packers- Tee Higgins WR, Clemson

#31 San Francisco 49ers- Noah Igbinoghene CB, Auburn

#32 Kansas City Chiefs- Ceasar Ruiz OL, Michigan

NFL Mock Draft 1.0 Part 4

#16 Atlanta Falcons- Jedrick Wills OT, Alabama

Although there are a lot of rumors that the Falcons will be trading up, I have them drafting offensive lineman Jedrick Wills who fell a bit in this mock. He’s a very good run blocker so helping Todd Gurley run the ball with his god-awful knees would and should be a priority for the Falcons. He’s one of the top tackles and the draft’s top right tackle but can play either tackle position. One of the only possible negatives would be that he’s standing at 6’ 3” compared to Mekhi Becton’s 6’ 7” frame. Watch for the Falcons to pick earlier than this.

#17 Dallas Cowboys- C.J. Henderson CB, Florida

The Cowboys need to replace Byron Jones and C.J. Henderson is the natural fix. I’m a lot higher on Henderson and think the gap between him and Jeffery Okudah is a lot smaller than others. Henderson is a rapid corner that can be a #1 corner on any team if given the opportunity. Although he had no interceptions all season, he had a lot of deflections and played well in every game except LSU, but who wasn’t torched by Burrow? Cowboys will save a lot of money by drafting Henderson and they can spend that money on Dak Prescott’s new deal.

#18 Miami Dolphins- Javon Kinlaw DL, South Carolina

After selecting a quarterback with their first pick, Kinlaw is the best available and he is an absolute monster as shown in his workout video squatting one TON, 2,000 pounds!  Brian Flores and the Dolphins opened up the bank and spent millions of dollars on the defensive side of the ball and Kinlaw would be a stellar addition. With the stockpile of draft picks, the Dolphins are setting themselves up for success as they could add five studs in the first two rounds. The Dolphins will be one of the hardest teams to predict as they can go in any direction due to their many holes and many picks to fill those holes.

#19 Las Vegas Raiders- Kristian Fulton CB, LSU

One of the Khalil Mack picks, the Raiders should look too sure up their defensive holes after picking with an offensive mind with their own selection. Fulton starts off the rest of the corners where the likes of Kristian Fulton, Noah Igbinoghene, and Jeff Gladney, are all around the same skill level for me. I like Fulton’s ability to show up in big games and for his tackling ability. His high in tackles came against Clemson in the title game so he’s not afraid of the spotlight. With a lot of these LSU players, the scheme could be a major reason for their successes, so you always have to be careful, but in this spot, I think Fulton’s a corner with a very high ceiling but has bust potential. 

#20 Jacksonville Jaguars- Antoine Winfield Jr. S/CB, Minnesota

The Jaguars have glaring holes all over the field, so I have the Jags selecting the best available in my opinion, Antoine Winfield Jr. A lot of things will change for the Jags as the inevitable trade of Yannick Ngakoue for some draft capital. I have no idea what the market will be, so I have the Jags selecting a player that fills two needs, safety and corner. Antoine can play slot corner as well as safety and his positional flexibility will be what makes him go over Alabama’s Xavier McKinney in my opinion. The Jags are another team that could quite possibly select any position outside of long snapper, punter, and kicker with their two first round picks, hopefully they can get something with this pick they got from L.A. after trading away Pro-Bowl corner Jalen Ramsey.

NFL Mock Draft 1.0 Part 3

#11 New York Jets- CeeDee Lamb WR, Oklahoma

The New York football Jets have been lacking a stud wide receiver for some time, and with an absolutely loaded WR class in this draft, the Jets will (likely) have their pick of the lot at #11. CeeDee Lamb is a great route runner and with his great hands, elite speed, and big play potential, Lamb has the best chance to be not just a Pro-Bowl wide receiver, but a Hall of Famer. He had over 1,000 yards his last two seasons and he looked like he couldn’t be tackled all season. Averaging 21.4 yards per catch is an absolutely insane statistic and going from catching balls from Jalen Hurts to Sam Darnold, he could flourish in the Big Apple.

#12 Las Vegas Raiders- Jordan Love QB, Utah State

The RAIDAAAAAS are on the clock now and it might be time for “Spider 2 Y Banana” Coach Gruden to have his way. Jordan Love, a pretty unknown quarterback that under preformed last year, would be the next quarterback in a series of quarterbacks that John Gruden was in love with for absolutely no reason. Some of these players like Jimmy Clausen, Brock Osweiler and many more were pegged to be Pro-Bowlers and turned out to be horrendous in the league. We all know the NFL is a quarterback dominated league but is Love good enough to pass up on people like Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III? Probably not.

#13 San Francisco 49ers- K’Lavon Chaisson DE, LSU

After trading away DeForest Buckner to the Colts, the NFC champions have the 13th pick, an absolute luxury for a title contender. After losing Emmanuel Sanders, the 49ers could be looking for his replacement, but I have them selecting the second-best defensive player in my mind, K’Lavon Chaisson. An absolute animal on the defensive line, Chaisson has the speed and athleticism to play multiple positions in the defense. With the best defense in the league, giving them another weapon in Chaisson would, and should worry the rest of the NFL.

#14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Jerry Jeudy WR, Alabama

Now listen, I know that TOMpa Bay should select an offensive lineman to protect Tom but here’s my (probably flawed) logic against that. Jerry Jeudy along with CeeDee Lamb is the most electric player in this draft. He’s absolutely rapid and seemingly cannot be stopped. He will be the third receiver behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and with TE O.J. Howard, RBs Ronald Jones II and Dare Ogunbowale, and of course the GOAT Tom Brady under center, the Bucs offense will be unstoppable. I fully expect the rest of the draft to be defensive picks as that Bucs defense needs a ton of help. 

#15 Denver Broncos- Henry Ruggs III WR, Alabama

After Burrow to the Bengals, and Young to the Redskins, Ruggs III to the Broncos seems to be the next unanimous pick. After one of the best and most underrated offseasons, the Broncos are primed to make some noise this season. Courtland Sutton emerged as a Pro-bowl wide receiver and Drew Lock looks to have Locked his position as the team’s franchise quarterback, last year so giving both of them help in Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III, the Broncos might just give the Chiefs a run for their money in the AFC West. Ruggs III doesn’t have the stats that Jeudy and Lamb have however, he’s an elite deep threat due to his scorching 4.27 40-yard dash time. Watch out for the Broncos this year.

NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Part 2)

#6 Detroit Lions- Jeffery Okudah CB, Ohio State

Ahh, my beloved Detroit Lions did one of the two things we hoped they’d do. The two things all Lions fans are hoping to see is either select one of Tua/Young/Burrow, or trade down (at least once) and select one of the defensive prospects. Jeff Okudah has been mocked to the Lions for seemingly the entire draft season but picking him at pick three seems way too high. Watching him lockdown the Michigan offense in front of me at the Big House this fall, I was impressed with his play. It seems very SOL (same old lions) to trade away Pro-bowl corner Darius Slay and then draft a corner with the third overall pick. I think the Lions should draft Tua and move on from Matthew Stafford, but c’mon guys, it’s the freaking Lions.

#7 Carolina Panthers- Isaiah Simmons LB/S, Clemson

The Panthers had a complete and total overhaul this offseason bringing in new franchise QB Teddy Bridgewater, head coach Matt Rhule, and offensive coordinator Joe Brady. A notable departure that hasn’t been replaced, sorry Cam, is Luke Kuechly, and since Matt Rhule is a college coach, I have them drafting Isaiah Simmons, the perfect college do-it-all defensive weapon. Being a Michigan fan, Isaiah Simmons is exactly what Jabrill Peppers was supposed to be, so it stings to see how good he was at Clemson and I personally think the Lions are being SOL by passing him up.

#8 Arizona Cardinals- Mekhi Becton OT, Louisville

The next three picks are good system fits. Mekhi Becton is an absolute athletic freak and his elite speed will fit Kliff Kingsberry’s screen-heavy offensive scheme. Becton’s rare speed at the offensive-line position will complement the playstyle of Kyler Murry and will be able to let the Cardinals showcase Murray’s mobility while at the same time letting him throw the ball to new receiver DeAndre Hopkins. While not the sexiest of picks, offensive linemen are totally needed. 

#9 Jacksonville Jaguars- Derrick Brown DT, Alabama

The Jacksonville Jaguars are a defense first team so getting Derrick Brown at pick nine is an absolute steal. Jacksonville had the name “Sack-sonville” so bringing in Derrick Brown would be very on brand and fill a need on their defensive line. With the moxie and swagger of new-found starting QB, Gardner Minshew, Brown will complement that swagger because of his now legendary quote that “I just love to hit people and destroy the other dude” when asked what his favorite thing was about football was. Many people have Brown anywhere from pick #3 all the way to pick #12 in their mocks so there’s some great value for Jacksonville here.

#10 Cleveland Browns- Andrew Thomas OT, Georgia

Congrats to the 2020 Super Bowl Champion Browns! Oh wait, you’re telling me the offseason champions and a locker room full of divas and crybabies didn’t win the super bowl? Wait, they didn’t make the playoffs? They had players screaming for the other team to trade for them DURING the game against the Cardinals?! Well, it’s the Browns so what did you really expect. Andrew Thomas is the perfect pick for the Browns and who they’d probably take with the #1 pick so that’s great. He’s the best pick because he’s a traditional right tackle, and free agent signing Jack Conklin is a left tackle so that makes everything all good. The Browns need offensive linemen because of Baker Mayfield’s health and how much they run the ball with stud running back Nick Chubb.

NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Part 1)

The only source of sports for anyone in this trying time will be the NFL Draft coming up shortly. All though not a big fan of the NFL personally as the Lions have sucked that enjoyment out of me, I’m all in on the draft as I’m an avid college football fan. With a stacked WR class and an always good QB position group, this might be the most watched NFL draft ever, but what will Roger Goodell do without his hugs with the league’s new stars? Maybe not being booed into oblivion would be a good replacement. To the picks!

#1 Cincinnati Bengals- Joe Burrow QB, LSU

The other Tiger King, Joe Burrow seems all but a lock to go first overall in this years NFL draft ending the Andy Dalton Era in Cincinnati. Being drafted by his hometown team, in Ohio, first overall, looking to save a dreadful franchise, he mirrors how LeBron James was drafted in 2003. This of course means Burrow will put up great performances, the Bengals won’t do anything to help him, he will alienate his hometown and his jerseys will be burned as he takes his talents to South Beach, wins some Super Bowls only to come back and bring a championship to Cleveland, I mean Cincinnati.

#2 Washington Redskins- Chase Young DE, Ohio State

Chase Young will 100% be the first non-QB off the board barring a Laremy Tunsil-gas mask bong video leaking out just before the draft. This wouldn’t be a crazy shock as he went to Ohio State, a university nearly as famous for its crimes against humanity and NCAA violations as its academic success. Other than hypothetical character issues, Chase Young is an absolute animal and the next in a line of dominant OSU defensive ends, following in the Bosa brother’s successes.

#3 Los Angeles Chargers- Tua Tagovailoa QB, Alabama

In our first mock draft trade, I have the Lions trading down to pick #6 and the Chargers leaping over Miami to get the best player in the draft, Tua Tagovailoa. I’ve been a huge fan of Tua since his coming out party after replacing Jalen Hurts in the National Title Game. While the Chargers say that they are comfortable starting Tyrod Taylor, who are they kidding… they’re going to have to take a QB, and I think that the jump from either 6 to 2 or 3, will be worth the jump from Tua to Herbert. 

#4 New York Giants- Tristian Wirfs OT, Iowa

Going to school there are a lot of Giants fans that I get to commiserate with as both of our teams are losing seemingly every Sunday. Last year I was legitimately rolling on the floor laughing as the Giants seemingly reached for Danny Dimes at pick #6, but that turned out to be a great pick. So, now that Eli’s heir-apparent has been found, you must protect him, and Wirfs is a great offensive lineman to protect Jones and give Saquon Barkley a chance running the ball this season. 

#5 Miami Dolphins- Justin Herbert QB, Oregon

After slamming their coffee tables and screaming over their team zoom meeting, the Miami Dolphins will go for Justin Herbert. I really think they should wait for next year’s prized possession in Trevor Lawrence and go another year with Rosen/Fitzpatrick, but I think they will go for Herbert. Justin was a victim of a rare occurrence, the draft stock regression by returning to Oregon last year. I don’t have much positive to say about Herbert, but he looked to be a good running QB the 2020 Rose Bowl vs. Wisconsin, but apparently that was one of the only times he ran so go figure. With a completely retooled roster, the Dolphins could make some real noise next season in a weakened AFC East.

March Madness 2020 (What Could Have Been) Midwest Region: First Round (Part 2)

As I’m writing this on a Friday night, it’s finally settling in that sports are going to be gone for a long time. I really hope that the BIG3 reality thing actually works and could give me the basketball and sports I desperately need as there’s no way that I should be getting ready for College Football in mid-March.

#6 Iowa vs. #11 East Tennessee State

Finally, Blake picks an upset! Yes, this might be a huge sucker pick, but I’m in love with the Buccaneers, no not Tom Brady’s Bucs, East Tennessee State’s Bucs. ETSU is the best mid-major teams and they fully deserve their #11 seed as they’re one of four teams to win 30 games, #1 Gonzaga, #2 SDSU, and #12 Liberty. I know I just tore apart Liberty, but that’s because of their poor non-conference schedule, ETSU had one of the most impressive non-conference resumes. The Bucs beat Winthrop, Appalachian State, Arkansas Little Rock, and LSU. Their two losses were to North Dakota State by ten on the road, not a great loss but they’re a tournament team who won the Summit League, and they lost by 12 points at #1 Kansas, obviously a pretty acceptable and good loss. 

Iowa is led by Luke Garza, one of the best players to ever play in the Big 10 based on his insane stat line this season. They lost their last two games and really started to fall off towards the end of the season. Outside of Garza, Iowa really doesn’t have much which is why I believe in the Buccaneers to upset the Hawkeyes in a close game.

#3 Duke vs. #14 Belmont

As a huge Duke hater, every bone in my body wants to pick Belmont here as Duke STINKS this year, and are complete frauds, but I just can’t do it…. this round. Duke along with the biggest fraud of a coach, Coach K, are only ranked this high due to their name and jerseys. Recently, or in any close game, Duke has opted to go for an offense that is Tre Jones-hero ball, something that doesn’t work, at all. This reminds me of last year’s R.J. Barrett hero ball where Zion sat in the corner. Similarly, Tre Jones isn’t the best player on the team, Vernon Carey Jr. is. While he does have a foul problem, he isn’t playing nearly the minutes he should be, and the offense should be through him not Jones. 

Belmont is a team that’s been a dominant force in the Ohio Valley Conference for some time now along with Murray State. After having a poor record against any good non-conference teams, it’s hard to see Belmont giving Duke a good test. I would have expected that Duke would be in a close game at halftime, but then would pull away and win by double-digits in the end.

#7 Providence vs. #10 Arizona State

One of the more underrated coaches, Ed Cooley, has the Providence Friars playing their best ball in March yet again. Becoming one of the nations’ longest win streaks, 6 games, including wins against three ranked opponents. After finishing fourth in the Big East regular season, many predictions had Providence making a run deep in the Big East tournament, so I see no reason why they wouldn’t beat an up and down Arizona State team.

The Sun Devils are similar to Providence as they ended up finishing third in the Pac-12 standings. They had a seven-game win streak in February, and that catapulted them up into the AP Top 25 at a point. With two up and down team who knows, but I’m opting to go with a better coach and a more experienced tournament team, the Providence Friars in what will be a really close game.

#2 Kentucky vs. #15 North Dakota State

One of my favorite teams year after year, Kentucky is a top team yet again. The Evansville loss dominated the headlines and the team’s narrative even though they were beating very good opponents. This game will be a blow out and Kentucky would have been a major problem. Guard Ashton Hagans stepping away from the team scares me, but I am assuming he will be coming back to the team in this hypothetical scenario. Kentucky by a thousand in this one.

March Madness 2020 (What Could Have Been) Midwest Region: First Round (Part 1)

While COVID-19 has taken away not only sports, but my sanity as well, I can still make predictions on what would have happened in the NCAA March Madness. The past five years, I’ve correctly picked three out of four of the Final Four, each year, so I know what I’m doing here. Ok, here we go!

#1 Kansas vs. #16 Siena

Kansas would absolutely crush Siena and will be able to coast throughout this game. Kansas fully convinced me that they’re a real and that they really could have won the title this season. Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike would carry the Jayhawks to an easy victory in the first round. Kansas wins big.

#8 Houston vs. #9 Marquette

One team is red hot and the other is ice cold. Houston, one of my favorite teams is absolutely on fire after putting away Memphis in their regular season finale and were looking prepared to destroy the rest of the AAC in the tournament. Guards Caleb Mills and Quentin Grimes form one of the better and more explosive backcourts in all of basketball and they will have their hands full against Markus Howard and Marquette.

Marquette SUCKED down the stretch going 1-6 to end their regular season. They will be at the will of Markus Howard’s scoring but seeing that he scored over thirty points in their last five games and went 1-4, I think that the Golden Eagles will lose in the first round yet again. Houston is a legit threat in this tournament but their draw as an #8 seed and having to face Kansas is unfortunate. Houston wins comfortably but by single digits.

#5 Auburn vs. #12 Liberty

In the famous #5-#12 matchups where upsets are statistically high, I will not be taking this bait. This game is a sucker game where the sexy pick is to go with the Flames upsetting the Tigers. While this could have easily been similar to #5 Marquette vs. #12 Murray State game of last year where the world was on Murray State and Ja Morant and they won, but as I said, I’m not a sucker. 

Liberty is one of the highest seeded mid-major teams this season after winning the Atlantic Sun regular season and winning their conference tournament (as I predicted) they were awarded a #12 seed, but they really didn’t deserve it in my opinion. I’m not nearly as high on Liberty as many are and that’s why I think that Auburn will win this game in close fashion, something they seemingly did every game this year. Auburn, like a lot of teams, got hot at the right time and finished the season with a statement win at Tennessee where Vegas had them as a 2-point underdog. Samir Doughty would have gone off for Auburn and they would have won in a close, high scoring affair.

#4 Wisconsin vs. #13 North Texas

Somehow, seemingly out of nowhere Wisconsin won (a share of) the Big Ten. I’m not a believer in the North Texas Mean Green at all, so I have to back the Badgers here. One of the essentials in life, Life, Death, Taxes, and Wisconsin having many tall shooters, stays true this season. Wisconsin won their last eight games in an absolute gauntlet of a Big 10 schedule. I’ve found myself watching some Wisconsin highlights and games after their elite performance against the Wolverines. After that game I was asking myself, “is Wisconsin for real?” Yes, they are. Wisconsin wins by double digits. 

The “Must Watch” Conference Tournament Previews and Predictions:

As corona virus hysteria has reached an all-time high, I’m seriously worried about the possibility of March Madness happening. That is what inspired me to group two of my favorite conferences together to let you stay inside and healthy while watching Dayton and Houston dominate the A-10 and the AAC conferences respectively. Stay healthy everyone!

The Atlantic 10 Tournament: March 11-15

With the first of the two conferences you have to watch, is the Atlantic 10 Tournament. There are teams at each end of the spectrum in the A10, you have pure basketball goodness in Dayton who is going to be a one seed (barring a collapse in the tournament), and you have horrendous basketball coming from the once mighty St. Joes. As I’m writing this, George Mason leads St. Joes at the half. Later tonight is the George Washington Fordham game, where the winner takes on Duquesne. With teams like Rhode Island and Richmond on the border, upsetting Dayton would be their only chance making the tournament so those games could be a bit more competitive than the regular season where Dayton went 18-0 in conference play.

Rhode Island has 5-1 odds to win the tournament and as expected, Dayton has 1-3 odds, coming in as the biggest favorite in any this season’s conference tournaments. As much as I want to pick against Dayton, you can’t. Obi Toppin and the Flyers are spreading their wings and check every box of a title contender. They are a lethal shooting team being one of the most efficient teams in the country, they can run with you and win a game in the eighties, or they can act like Virginia and win in the low fifties. Obi Toppin and Dayton have risen up the rankings all season and are my favorite to cut down the nets not only in Brooklyn for the A-10 championship, but the nets in Atlanta and be 2020 NCAA National Champions.

The American Athletic Conference Tournament: March 12-15

The American Athletic Conference, better known as the most fun in sports conference or every game is close/goes to overtime conference. The football AAC is known for their high-powered offenses and games all in the forties and fifties. Other than my beloved Big 10, this has to be my favorite conference to watch. Usually on CBSSN and CBS, the American Conference has some pretty famous teams in here and has a dark horse to win the title that I have written about before. All 12 teams make the cut and #1 Cincinnati, #2 Houston, #3 Tulsa, and #4 Wichita State all get byes for the first round. 

Cincinnati, Houston, and Tulsa all tied for first with a 13-5 conference record, but Houston is pegged as the favorite with 1.8-1 odds, followed by Cincinnati with 3.3-1 and Wichita State at 4-1 odds to win the tournament. Personally, I am a huge believer in the Houston Cougars, and I believe that they will make a seriously deep run in March Madness and defeat the Wichita State Shockers in the AAC title game. As fun as it would be for UConn (11-1) and Coach Hurley to win the AAC as a last f-you to the conference that they hate more than anything, I don’t see them getting past the Shockers. Go Cougars.

The “Lesser” Conference Tournament Predictions and Previews (Part 5):

In part five of six of the Lesser Conference Tournament Predictions and Previews, we have the Big Sky, C-USA, and the Southland Conferences. With March Madness becoming less and less likely, the NBA suspended, man this is getting scary. Wash your hands, try and not touch your face, and pray we find a cure not just for sports, but for people worldwide. Seven more days…?

The Big Sky Conference Tournament: March 11-14

As a Midwesterner who lives in New York, I would know nothing of the Big Sky if it wasn’t for Michigan drawing Montana in back-to-back March Madness’s. This time around it will be harder to make it three in a row, with Eastern Washington looking to win it this year after losing to Montana both times in 2018 and 2019.

While Eastern Washington is the #1 seed entering the tournament, they have the second-best odds (2.5-1) to win. The #2 Northern Colorado Bears are pegged at 1.7-1 favorites to win the Big Sky after finishing only one game back of the Eagles, even though they lost both games against them. For that reason and that the Eagles have championship game experience, I predict Eastern Washington to win it. Watch out for the #3 Montana Grizzlies who went 2-0 against EWU and are given 3.5-1 odds at a three-peat. Go Eagles.

The Southland Conference Tournament: March 11-14

The Southland Conference or known better as the “conference that gives us Stephen F. Austin as a 11-15 seed every March” was won again by Stephen F. Austin. Only eight of the thirteen teams get in, and the top two games get double byes, meaning the Lumberjacks only have to win two games to secure their berth.

The pick is Stephen F. Austin and if you’re picking against them, you’re crazy. After going 28-3 overall and beating freaking Duke on the road, they were a lock to win the Southland. Their three losses come at the hands of Rutgers, Alabama, and in conference foe, Texas A&M-CC. After that loss, the Lumberjacks have carried their 15-game win streak into their tournament where they’re likely to face #4 Sam Houston State, then #2 Abilene Christian in the title game where they will cruise to yet another appearance in March Madness. Go Lumberjacks.

The Conference USA Tournament: March 11-14

This year’s Conference USA Tournament is playing out similarly to last year’s where the title game already appears to be set. Last year the C-USA gave us Old Dominion who put up a good fight against Carsen Edwards and Purdue, will they be able to get another 14 seed? Probably.

In a two as opposed to three horse race conference, the C-USA is led by the North Texas Mean Green and the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. They each have 1.75-1 odds to get the C- USA berth to March Madness, and after splitting the season series with the combined score being 132-133 in favor of LA Tech, it will be one closely contested game. I think that Louisiana Tech will be able to get the job done in this third matchup and clinch a March Madness game. Go Bulldogs.