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TONDO: JeromeXXII Picks - Week 2

Coming in with the second round of Jerome Picks are in! We have the remainder of the mid-majors plus all of the power five and big time conferences.

Here is who have winning their respective tournaments and putting on their dancing shoes in a few weeks.

American - Houston

The best team in the country, so it makes sense to have them winning their own conference. Nobody else in the American is ranked, and this Houston squad is loaded with talent. Easy pick, no need to overthink.

ACC - Miami

People are bullish on Duke, and rightfully so, but the ACC has been bleeding orange all season. Their offense is scary, and they should lock this tournament down.

Atlantic 10 - VCU

The VCU Rams were crowned the Atlantic 10 regular season champions, finishing with a 15-3 record. They have made nine of the last eleven NCAA tournaments and are most known for their Final Four run in 2011. The A10 is a tough conference, but they have the slight advantage in my eyes.

Big East - Villanova

UConn, Marquette, and Xavier are all eying for this title. Providence is on a skid, but are obviously at play too. All of these teams will get bids to the tournament. Villanova needs it the most. They slumped all season long, but have strung together some late season wins in the conference to give them some momentum. I've said this for weeks now, don't let the Wildcats get hot in March...

Big Ten - Purdue

When you have one of the best players in all of the country in Zach Edey, then you have no choice but to pick the Boilermakers. Purdue has already had some pretty big wins this season. Duke, Gonzaga, and Marquette, plus countless Big10 wins. The talent is their and this is a no brainer pick.

Big 12 - Kansas

It's the reigning champions conference to lose. This team has the juice to be repeat National Champs, which would be the first since Florida did it back in 06-07. The Big 12 has been a gauntlet this year. Kansas hasn't been perfect, but they are pack on track. They obviously don't need to this win to change their trajectory, but heading into the tournament with some momentum would be great for Bill Self and Co.

Big West - UC Santa Barbara

The Big West will come down to the battle of the UC's, and I'll ride with Santa Barbara. They are a talented bunch, especially due to their trio of tremendous transfers in Miles Norris, Andre Kelly and Josh Pierre-Louis.

Conference USA - Florida Atlantic

Ranked for a majority of the season and they are a fun team to watch. Well balanced, well coached, defense is stout, and they don't turn the ball over a lot. This is my lock for Week 2.

Ivy - Yale

With only four teams playing for the Ivy Championship, it can be anybody's ball game. However, this Yale team is something else. They boast a 19-7 record and ranked in the top 100 by KenPom. Yale swept Princeton and split the season series with Penn. This is a safe pick.

MAAC - Iona

Rick Pitino. A 2x MAAC regular season champ, and tournament champion in 2021, Iona is the gold standard for the conference with Pitino at the helm. They currently sit atop the conference at 24-7, and are riding an 11 game win streak. Three players (Nelly Junior Joseph, Danish Jenkins, and Walter Clayton Jr.) are all averaging at least 15 points per game. This is a no brainer.

Mid American - Kent State

Kent State is a dominant defensive team, allowing just a mere 64.2 points per game. I am hoping for a Toledo vs. Kent State, because that'll be the matchup of the mid-majors.

MEAC - Norfolk State

Eying for their third consecutive NCAA tournament bid, the Spartans have one of the best offenses in the MEAC, with players averaging double-digits in scoring. This is a team that should win this conference, and they could be in play for making a first round upset on the big stage.

Mountain West - San Diego State

Shoutout to Chris Thedinga, he has made me an Aztec believer. They won the regular season title, and they are a well rounded bunch.

Pac 12 - UCLA

The Bruins are the favorites because of a tremendous defense—and despite an offense that does so little on the perimeter. They are riding a 9 game win streak, and this team has the potential to get back in the final four.

SEC - Alabama

Despite all the issues off the court, and falling in the AP Poll, Alabama is still a top tier team in the country. The Tide have wins over No. 1 Houston, No. 23 Kentucky and No. 25 Missouri. I still believe Nate Oats can guide this team through its troubles and claim the SEC.

Southland - Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

The Islanders won the conference tournament last year, then fell in the first four. They have the tools to repeat, and if it comes down to the wire, don't be surprised if this team wins on free throws. Corpus Christi shoots 80 percent from the foul line as a team, which ranks No. 2 in America.

SWAC - Grambling

Head coach Donte Jackson led the team to a 20 win season for only the second time ever, and the first time since 1980. This team has never made the NCAA tournament, but they should this year thanks to potential SWAC POY, Cameron Christon.

WAC - Sam Houston

After winning 24 games this season, this Sam Houston team is due for their first tournament appearance under head coach Jason Wooten. They rank in the top-20 in efficiency and are tenacious on defense. Qua Grant is an incredible floor general, and should be able to capture the WAC with his play.

BONUS - Tie Breakers

  • Tie Breaker #1: Total number of conference tournament victories for Alabama, Florida State, Kansas State, Nevada - 8

  • Tie Breaker #2: Total number of conference tournament victories for Iowa, Marquette, Temple, UCLA - 7

  • Tie Breaker #3: Total points scored in the Ivy League championship game - 154

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