College Basketball Insider

What-to-know tourney previews: Big West

BIG WEST CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT BRACKET

1. Long Beach State is the top seed again?

Yes, which means Dan Monson is doing a terrific job while proving -- like Tommy Amaker is proving at Harvard -- that there can be life after termination in college basketball. His first year at LBSU was rough; the 49ers finished eighth out of nine schools that season. But Monson led Long Beach State to a second-place finish in 2009, a third-place finish in 2010 and first-place finishes in 2011, 2012 and 2013. That's strong stuff.

2. But didn't the 49ers lose everybody from last season?

Not everybody, exactly. But they did lose four starters who accounted for 52.5 points per game, among them Big West Player of the Year Casper Ware. Still, Monson figured out a way to keep LBSU operating at the top of Big West, and it hardly mattered that two of his starters -- Tony Freeland (transfer from DePaul) and Keala King (transfer from Arizona State) -- both missed the first 11 games and weren't eligible until Dec. 29.

3. So Long Beach State is the clear pick here?

I wouldn't say clear pick, and for two reasons: 1) The 49ers did lose four league games this season to four different teams. 2) KenPom.com actually has two Big West teams ranked ahead of the 49ers, specifically Pacific and UC Irvine. And Cal Poly -- Yes, the same Cal Poly that beat UCLA in November -- is just slightly behind them. So this event is very much up for grabs. It's reasonable to suggest any of the top four seeds could earn the league's automatic bid to the Field of 68.


Schedule: All games at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. March 14 (quarterfinals); March 15 (semiifinals); March 16 (title game).

Title game: Saturday, March 16, at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

THREE BEST PLAYERS

Conference RPI: 21
KenPom.com rating:
16
Sagarin rating:
17

CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre

Latest Video

July 31, 2015
Big 12 Summer School (1:34)
July 30, 2015
Gary Parrish on the Ball brothers from California
(1:22)
July 29, 2015
Big East Hoops Summer School
(2:47)
July 28, 2015
Prospect Profile: Harry Giles
(1:49)

Latest

Most Popular

CBSSports.com Shop

Men's Nike Charcoal Denver Broncos Training Camp Performance T-Shirt

NFL Training Camp Gear
Get your favorite team
Shop Now

2015 NCAA Tournament
Final Four