Ranking best, worst conference names
by Chris Chase, USA TODAY Sports
With conference tournaments in full swing and news about the Big East, Catholic 7 and America 12 making headlines, we thought it a perfect time to rank NCAA basketball conferences based on their names. Our criteria was simple: The names that sound the best and make the most sense go at the top. If your name shows an inability to count or a disdain for all geographic conventions, it goes at the bottom.
32. Big 12 – We all know someone who says they’re 29 when they’re actually 31 or claims to be six-feet tall when they stand 5’10″. The 10-team Big 12 is that someone.
31. Atlantic 10 — On the other side of the spectrum, there are 16 teams in the A10. Six of them are on the Atlantic.
30. Big Ten — It’s totally obnoxious that they make you spell out the word “ten.”
29. Ohio Valley Conference — There are no schools from Ohio in the OVC.
28. Southland Conference – What, the Rizzoli and Isles Conference name was already taken?
27. Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference – Brings to mind a conflicted geographic region, not a sports conference.
26. America East Conference – Sounds like a channel on which British people watch Friends reruns.
25. Great West – It’s a cool name — sounds like something Doc Brown might say — but there’s a reason you’re thinking you’ve never heard of it: It’s only five years old, doesn’t have an automatic bid and features teams from Houston, New Jersey, Chicago and Utah.
24. Northeast Conference — Most boring.
23. Southern Conference — More boring.
22. Southwestern Athletic Conference — Boring.
21. Big South — Least cool.
20. Big West — Less cool.
19. Big East – Only sounds cool because it was cool. (Like Sammy Davis Jr.)
18. West Coast Conference — Wins the coastal naming wars because: Death Row > Bad Boy.
17. Western Athletic Conference – It’s WAC, yo.
16. Mid American Conference — Fitting for the midpoint of our list.
15. Metro Athletic American Conference – It’s like the MAC, only you pronounce it like a sheep would.
14. Missouri Valley Conference — At least the MVC has one … [For more on NCAA conference names: Ranking the best and worst, click here.]