2023 Champ Week: 5 keys to winning a conference tournament title

  • National Recruiting Director for ESPN.com
  • 18 years of coaching experience at Division I level
  • Former Horizon League coach of the year at Wright State

In my 20 years of coaching, I have been fortunate to be a part of two conference tournament championships — one in the Big East and one in the Big Ten.

Teams that win it all are either desperate to make the postseason, more talented than everyone else, or have everything go right in a short amount of time. Some call it luck.

Championship week tests a team’s toughness. Here is a look at five important factors to win a conference tournament.

Team chemistry, leadership

Regardless of a team’s position, there are two special ingredients that win games and championships: team chemistry and player leadership.

As a coach, you know when you have it and you know when you don’t. Both start to cultivate in the offseason and preseason. Leadership and chemistry are established in practice, in the locker room and by spending time together away from the game.

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