Like early tourneys?
Try Missouri Valley

Feb 27, 2007 1:20 AM

Thursday is March 1, which means the Madness begins with the start of conference tourneys.

League champs and NCAA tourney bids will be decided this week in the Horizon, Ohio Valley, Southern, Missouri Valley, Sun Belt, Colonial Athletic, West Coast and Metro Atlantic.

The most intriguing of those is the Missouri Valley with six teams rated among the top 76. So. Illinois and Missouri State figure to be NCAA bound, placing teams like Creighton, Wichita State and Northern Iowa on the bubble.

Of course, conferences like the Ivy do not have an end of season tourney, so the NCAA bid goes to the likely regular season champ Penn. Now, for our weekly picks with estimated lines.

TUESDAY (1)

Minn +15 at Purdue: Boilers 4-1 ATS in last 5. PURDUE.

WEDNESDAY (2)

Maryland +4 at Duke: Terps on high headed to tourney. MD.

Baylor +8 at Tex Tech. Bears have covered last four. BAYLOR.

THURSDAY (1)

VT +4 at UVa: Major revenge after losing to Hokies by 27. UVA.

FRIDAY (1)

Brown +3 at Princeton: Paper Tiger (1-10 ATS) last 11. BROWN

SATURDAY (5)

Texas +15 at Kansas: Big 12 statement game. KANSAS.

Syracuse +8½ at Villanova: Nova should rock at home. NOVA.

Okla +5½ at K-State: State storms court on ABC. K-STATE

Cincy +12½ at W. Virginia: No prisoners taken here. W.VA.

S.Carolina +6 at LSU: The LSU that upset Florida last week is back to normal. CAROLINA.

Indiana at Mich St: Hoosiers awful on road. MICH ST.