It’s tourney time!

The Ohio State women won their third-straight Big Ten Tournament championship by beating Penn State 84-70 last Sunday. While the string of 6-straight regular season championships ended this year, the Buckeyes seem to be pulling things together at the right time. Tomorrow night at 7 PM the pairings for the women’s NCAA tournament will be announced.

Coincidentally, the Big Ten Men’s Tournament championship game also features Ohio State vs. Penn State. In the quarterfinals, the Buckeyes had yet another close game with Northwestern and had to go to overtime to win.  The Lions will be playing their fourth game in four days. The most interesting (or uninteresting, depending on your perspective) of those was Friday’s quarterfinal 36-33 win over Wisconsin.

The Kentucky women were no match for Tennessee last Sunday in the SEC Tournament championship. The Vols are almost certainly going to be a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

The Kentucky men will play Florida this afternoon for the SEC Men’s Tournament championship. The Cats have looked much better in March, and easily handled Alabama yesterday in a semifinal matchup. But Doron Lamb has a sprained ankle and may not be available today. Neither Kentucky nor Ohio State are deep, and injuries or foul trouble can create problems very quickly.

Another interesting game today will be Duke vs. North Carolina for the ACC Tournament championship. North Carolina seems to be in high gear after being completely off the radar earlier in the season. Kansas had no problem with Texas last night in the Big 12 Tournament championship, and will be one of the favorites in the NCAA.

In general, though, I think all the #1 seeds will be vulnerable this year, making for a wide-open tournament. I would not be surprised if none of the #1 seeds make it to the Final Four. Dark horse teams have an excellent chance to advance.

The Blue Jackets won at Carolina 3-2 last night, ending a streak of 7-straight losses. The win was a bit of a surprise to me, as Carolina is in the hunt for a playoff spot in the East.

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