Conference Schedules

Huge Conference Schedules On Horizon To Determine Regular Season Titles

March is looming, which means the Madness isn’t that far away, but there are some key February matchups in conference schedules that will go a long way to determining regular-season titles and seeding for the conference tournament and Big Dance. This is the first part of a two-part series and will take a look at the key matchups in the AAC, Atlantic-10, ACC, and Big 10. We will take a look at the Big 12, Big East, Pac-12, and SEC in the second part of this series next week.

One caveat to these important games left in the conference schedules is how each conference decides to make up missed games within each conference. None of these decisions are as important than in the Big 10 and Michigan and the Atlantic 10 involving St. Louis. 

Michigan has lost five games due to their mandated two-week pause. Meanwhile, in St. Louis, the Billikens have only played 10 total games due to a long Covid-19 pause that lasted more than a month. Their first two games back were conference losses to Dayton and St. Bonaventure. They have a lot of games to make up in a short period of time starting with a huge game against A10 leader St. Bonaventure tomorrow (February 6).

Let’s take a closer look at the AAC, ACC, Atlantic 10, and Big 10 conference schedules down the stretch of the season.

American Athletic Conference Runs Through Houston

Standings (as of February 4, 2021)

  1. Houston 10-2
  2. Wichita State 6-2
  3. Memphis 7-3
  4. SMU 6-4

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Houston has control even though they fell at East Carolina earlier this week. Even though they are tied in the loss column with Wichita State, Houston has won four more games and owns a regular-season win over the Shockers. Houston still does have two games against third-place Memphis on its slate, as well as a road trip to second-place Wichita State, so the Cougars will need to keep winning to capture the regular-season title and secure possibly a two-seed in the NCAA Tournament. Valentine’s Day is a big one for the conference schedule and potential separation in the AAC as the top four teams play each other.

Important Games:

Houston – February 14 vs Memphis; February 25 at Wichita State; March 7 at Memphis;
Wichita State – February 14 at SMU; February 18 vs Memphis; February 25 vs Houston;
Memphis – February 14 at Houston; February 18 at Wichita State; March 7 vs Houston;
SMU – February 14 vs Wichita State; February 28 at Wichita State.

AAC Conference Tournament
The AAC postseason tournament will be held March 11-14 at Dickies Arena in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Conference Schedule Favors St. Bonaventure in Atlantic 10

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Standings (as of February 4, 2021)

  1. St. Bonaventura 7-1
  2. VCU 6-2
  3. Davidson 6-2
  4. UMass 5-2
  5. Richmond 5-2

Five teams sit right behind leader St. Bonaventure with two losses, including preseason favorite St. Louis, who has lost its only two conference games after a long Covid-19 pause. The Billikens have had six games postponed, including four against the upper echelon in the conference. The Bonnies’ remaining conference schedule is not that daunting, but watch out for Davidson as they have only two games left in their conference schedule against the top tier.

Important Games:

St. Bonaventure – February 6 at St. Louis; February 14 at UMass; (2 makeups);
VCU – February 10 vs Davidson; February 12/17 vs Richmond; February 23 vs St. Louis
Davidson – February 10 at VCU; February 27 vs VCU; 2 makeups);
UMass – February 14 vs St. Louis; March 3 vs Richmond (4 makeups);
Richmond – February 12/17 vs VCU; February 26 at St. Louis; March 3 vs UMass (4 makeups);
St. Louis – February 6 vs St. Bonaventure; February 23 @ VCU; February 26 vs Richmond (6 makeups).

Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament
The A10 Conference Tournament will be held March 10-14 and co-hosted by Richmond and VCU.

Conference Schedule Favors No One In Wide Open ACC

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Standings (as of February 4, 2021)

  1. Virginia 8-1
  2. FSU 6-2
  3. Virginia Tech 7-3
  4. Louisville 6-3
  5. UNC, Duke, and Pittsburgh all have 4 losses

Virginia and FSU have yet to meet as the ACC conference schedule did not pit them against each other until Valentine’s Day. Also, the FSU/Virginia Tech tilt was postponed, and will be interesting to see if it is played. The top four all match up with each other, while UNC, Duke, and Pitt will all play a role down the stretch of the season. No game will be bigger than the Bim Monday Virginia at FSU matchup on February 15.

Important Games:

Virginia – February 15 @ FSU; February 20 @Duke; March 6 @ Louisville;
FSU – February 15 vs Virginia; February 20 vs VT; February 27 @UNC;
VT – February 13 vs Louisville; February 16 @ UNC; February 20 @ FSU;
Louisville – February 13 @ VT; February 20 @ UNC; February 27 @ Duke; March 6 vs Virginia.

ACC Conference Tournament
The ACC Tournament will be played March 9-13 in Greensboro, NC.

Talent Rich Big 10 Will Be Bloodbath Down Stretch of Conference Schedule

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Standings (as of February 4, 2021)

  1. Michigan 8-1
  2. Illinois 8-3
  3. Ohio State 9-4
  4. Wisconsin 8-4
  5. Iowa 7-4
  6. Purdue 7-5

The Big 10 will send the most teams to the NCAA Tournament after their conference schedule is played out. However, league leader Michigan is in the middle of a two-week pause that will cost them five games. Ironically, their first game back happens to be against second-place Illinois on February 11. Purdue may be sixth in the standings, but their remaining conference schedule slate only has one game left against the teams above them in the standings so a move up may be in order. Don’t sleep on Ohio State as their three toughest games are all at home (Michigan, Iowa, and Illinois). Lastly, the conference schedule did Wisconsin no favors down the home stretch as the Badgers senior-laden team face 7 upper-echelon teams, including two games each against Iowa and Illinois.

Important Games:

Michigan – February 11 vs Illinois; February 14 @ Wisconsin; February 21 @ OSU; March 4 vs Iowa (5 makeups);
Illinois – February 6 Wisconsin; February 11 @ Michigan; February 27 @ Wisconsin; March 6 @ OSU;
OSU – February 21 vs Michigan; February 28 vs Iowa; March 6 vs Illinois;
Wisconsin – February 6 at Illinois; February 14 vs Michigan; February 18 vs Iowa; February 27 vs Illinois; March 2 at Purdue; March 7 at Iowa;
Iowa – February 18 at Wisconsin; February 28 at Ohio State; March 4 at Michigan; March 7 vs Wisconsin.

Big 10 Conference Tournament
The Big 10 Conference Tournament will be held March 10-14 in Chicago, Illinois.

There you have it, the remaining important games for the AAC, ACC, Atlantic 10, and Big 10. Mark your calendar for these top five games from each of these conference schedules.

Mark Your Calendar Games To Remember

  1. February 11, 2021 – Big 10 – Illinois at Michigan
  2. February 15, 2021 – ACC – Virginia at FSU
  3. February 6, 2021 – Atlantic 10 – St. Bonaventure at St. Louis
  4. February 21, 2021 – Big 10 – Michigan at Ohio State
  5. February 26, 2021 – ACC – VT at FSU

By skirck2

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