It's Championship Week, and that means two conference tournaments are taking place in the LA area. While most of you are well-aware that the Pac-10 Tournament is taking place at STAPLES Center, the Big West Tournament is also going on at the nearby Anaheim Convention Center. Call us the Grinch, but LAist has never liked conference tournaments. Sure, they're fun. And it does give plenty of underdog schools a chance at the Big Dance. But the overall concept stinks. How many great seasons in mid-major conferences have been ruined by these tournaments? Tons.
For small conferences like the Big West, a tournament usually just opens the door for the conference to represented by one of its lesser teams. Its never easy for any team in any conference to beat a school three times, whether you're in the ACC or MCC. And now the MCC is represented by a 12-win Oakland team instead of more deserving Oral Roberts.
Now, University of the Pacific is probably the best team in the state of California, and will likely get an at-large bid even if they lose in Anaheim. But if the Tigers had suffered a couple of bumps in the road this season, we might not be able to say that so easily.
As for big conferences, like the Pac-10, LAist thinks they just wear schools down on the road to the Big Dance. Playing three games in three days can take a toll, and any team over-exerting itself in LA this weekend is just hurting their chances at making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament--the only tournament that really matters. The Pac-10 should be smart, like the Ivy League, and go back to the days when it had no conference tournament.
Still, if you want to watch a lot of basketball, and catch a glimpse of local schools like Cal State Northridge, Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, UC Irvine, and UC Santa Barbara, we recommend heading over to the OC for the fun. And there may be a fun time to be had at STAPLES Center too if you can't get enough Pac-10 Hoops. We just don't think all the fun is worth it.