The college basketball season is coming to a close with regular seasons about to move into conference championship tournament time, which sets up the big dance later in the month. With the college basketball season coming down to the wire, let’s take a look to see if there are any possibilities for a double dip in conference championships in football and basketball this season.Let’s start with the power conferences.
Let’s start with the power conferences.
Football Champion: Clemson
Basketball Champion: Barring a surprise in the ACC tournament, it certainly will not be Clemson
Last Double Dips: 2001-02 (Maryland won the ACC football title and regular-season men’s basketball title); 1980-81 (North Carolina won ACC football title and men’s basketball tournament)
Clemson has never been great at basketball and their chances of winning the ACC tournament appear slim. North Carolina, which claimed the ACC Coastal Division last fall, looks to be the favorite to win the men’s basketball tournament, although Miami, Virginia, Louisville, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh should not be counted out. Even Duke in a down year has a better chance to win the ACC tournament than Clemson.
Football Champion: Oklahoma
Basketball Champion: Kansas is the favorite, but Oklahoma in the conversation
Last Double Dips: 2012-13 (Kansas State won a share of the Big 12 football championships and the regular season men’s basketball championship); 2002-2003 (Oklahoma won the Big 12 football championship and the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament)
Oklahoma is clearly in the running for a Big 12 double dip. The Sooners took home the outright Big 12 football championship last fall on their way to the College Football Playoff. The Sooners have also put together a solid men’s basketball season, although they sit third in the Big 12 standings behind Kansas and West Virginia. Kansas is the favorite here, which is the polar opposite of anything we would say about Kansas when it comes to football, but the Sooners have what it takes to pull it off.
Football Champion: Michigan State
Basketball Champion: Indiana won regular season title, but MSU a strong contender in B1G tournament
Last Double Dips: 2013-14 (Michigan State won the Big Ten football championship and men’s basketball tournament); 2010-11 (Ohio State won a share of the Big Ten football championship and a share of the regular-season basketball championship)
Michigan State’s recent rise in the Big Ten and nationally has helped make the possibility fo a championship double dip all the more likely in the Big Ten. Tom Izzo is not to be messed with in March, and his Spartans appear locked and ready to make a run at the Big Ten’s basketball championship in the tournament, but it will not be easy with Indiana, Maryland, Iowa and Wisconsin all posing as threats.
Football Champion: Stanford
Basketball Champion: It likely will not be Stanford, but the Pac-12 can be funny
Last Double Dips: 2008-09 (USC won the Pac-12 football title and Pac-12 basketball tournament); 2001-02 (Oregon won the Pac-12 football title and a share of the regular-season basketball title)
The Stanford Cardinal have traditionally been a solid basketball school over the course of time, but this year’s team is floating just a few games above .500 and in the middle of the Pac with a record of 8-8 in conference play. The weird thing is, anybody can seem to win the Pac-12 once it opens up the tournament. Arizona won the regular season and tournament championships last season, but it had been seven years since the last time a school won both basketball championships in the Pac-12. Stanford probably doesn’t go the distance, but you just never know.
Football Champion: Alabama
Basketball Champion: Kentucky (or Texas A&M or South Carolina)
Last Double Dip: 2006-07 (Florida won the SEC football championship and the men’s basketball tournament)
Kentucky is always the favorite when it comes to basketball in the SEC, but this year the Wildcats appear to have some worthy challengers in Texas A&M and South Carolina. But the real question here is whether or not Alabama can somehow make a run to its first SEC championship since 1991. The answer to that is “most likely not.”
The last team from the SEC to win both the football and men’s basketball title in the SEC was Florida in the 2006-07 academic season. This is particularly noteworthy because Florida also won the national championship in both sports. Urban Meyer’s Gators demolished Ohio State in the BCS Championship Game and Billy Donovan’s basketball Gators knocked off Ohio State in the NCAA men’s basketball championship game. What are the odds one school beats another in both the football and men’s basketball national championship games again?
Any Group of Five Double Dip Candidates?
There is one school from the Group of Five conferences that looks to have a solid shot at pulling off the double-dip. That would be San Diego State. The Aztecs took out Air Force in the Mountain West Conference championship game last fall and they currently sit on top of the MWC men’s basketball standings as the calendar flips to March with a record of 21-8 (14-2 in MWC). Their biggest threats for a basketball championship may be Fresno State and Boise State, and Nevada could be a hurdle as well. San Diego State has won at least a share of the regular season championship each of the past two seasons and four of the last five, but they have failed to win the conference championship each of the past four years.
Houston may have a shot at capturing the American Athletic Conference men’s basketball title, but they’ll have to go through SMU, Temple and Cincinnati to do so. That is much easier to do in football than it is here. In Conference USA, Western Kentucky is a longshot to pull the double dip at 14-15 in men’s basketball. UAB is sitting on top of the conference standings, and of course they did not play football last fall.
MAC football champion Bowling Green will likely stand alone as well. The falcons are 14-15 this year in basketball while Akron, Ohio, Kent State, Ball State and NIU all have more promising outlooks for the MAC title. In the Sun Belt Conference, there is very little chance Arkansas State can pull off the accomplishment. Aafter winning the football championship last fall, the Red Wolves are a lowly 11-18 this season, which includes a 7-11 mark in conference play. Arkansas-Little Rock is standing atop the conference right now. The Trojans, of course, do not play college football.