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Following is our annual mid-February look at the major "board" conferences and their chances of sending multiple entries to the NCAA Tournament. We are our own "Bracketologists"and have divided the teams into three categories -- Solid, Looking Good, and Bubble.
Solid is self-explanatory.
Looking Good teams can expect an NCAA invitation as long as they don't slump badly in the next few weeks.
Bubble teams, however, remain at the mercy of the Tourney Committee, and desperately need every win to keep their Big Dance hopes alive.
Keep in mind that nearly every Division I team can qualify for an automatic Big Dance berth by winning its conference tournament. Only the Ivy League remains the lone conference tourney holdout -- and even the Ivy has been tossing around tourney ideas in recent years (really!).
Stay tuned for further developments. In the meantime, as always, the number of upsets in conference tournaments can alter the look of the Big Dance.
Also included below are conference tourney sites and dates; Conference Power Rankings (thru Feb. 19); and last year's postseason participants, including NCAA, NIT, CBI, and CIT action.
As mentioned earlier, we'll be providing similar conference previews for the remainder of the D-I leagues shortly.
Conference Power Rating: 5th
Solid...Duke, North Carolina, Florida State
Bubble...Miami-Florida, NC State
Notes...Tourney March 8-11 at Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA.
NCAA-4 (North Carolina-Elite Eight, Duke-Sweet 16, Florida State-Sweet 16, Clemson)
NIT-3 (Miami-Florida-3rd round, Virginia Tech-2nd round, Boston College-2nd round).
Conference Power Rating: 8th
Solid...Temple, Saint Louis
Bubble...Xavier, St. Joseph's, La Salle, UMass, Dayton
Notes...Tourney first round March 6 at campus sites; quarters, semis, and final March 8-11 at Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ.
NCAA-3 (Richmond-Sweet 16, Temple, Xavier)
CBI-3 (Duque sne-2nd round, Rhode Island-2nd round, St. Bonaventure).
Conference Power Rating: 3rd
Solid...Syracuse, Marquette, Louisville, Georgetown, Notre Dame
Looking Good...Cincinnati, West Virginia
Bubble...Seton Hall, UConn, South Florida
Notes...Tourney March 6-10 at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY.
NCAA-11 (UConn-Champs, Marquette-Sweet 16, Pittsburgh-2nd round, Syracuse-2nd round, Cincinnati-2nd round, Notre Dame-2nd round, West Virginia-2nd round, St. John's, Georgetown, Louisville, Villanova).
Conference Power Rating: 1st
Solid...Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin
Notes...Tourney March 8-11 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN.
NCAA-7 (Wisconsin-Sweet 16, Ohio State-Sweet 16, Purdue-2nd round, Michigan-2nd round, Illinois-2nd round, Michigan State, Penn State)
NIT-1 (Northwestern-3rd round).
Conference Power Rating: 2nd
Solid...Kansas, Missouri, Baylor
Looking Good...Kansas State, Iowa State, Texas
Notes...Tourney March 7-10 at Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO.
NCAA-5 (Kansas-Elite Eight, Kansas State-2nd round, Texas-2nd round, Missouri, Texas A&M)
NIT-3 (Colorado-semifinals, Oklahoma State-2nd round, Nebraska)
Conference Power Rating: 21st
Looking Good...Long Beach State
Notes...Tourney March 8-10 at Honda Center, Anaheim, CA.
NCAA-1 (UC Santa Barbara)
NIT-1 (Long Beach State)
Conference Power Rating: 11th
Bubble...Drexel, George Mason, Virginia Commonwealth
Notes...Tourney March 2-5 at Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, VA
NCAA-3 (Virginia Commonwealth-Final Four, George Mason-2nd round, Old Dominion)
CBI-2 (James Madison, Hofstra).
Conference Power Rating: 10th
Looking Good...Memphis, Southern Miss
Bubble...Marshall, Central Florida.
Notes...Tourney March 7-10 at FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN.
NCAA-2 (Memphis, UAB)
CBI-1 (Central Florida-semifinals)
CIT-3 (SMU-semifinals, Marshall, East Carolina)
Conference Power Rating: 13th
Bubble...Only the conference tourney champ will earn bid.
Notes...Tourney first round February 28 at campus sites; quarters and semis March 2-3 at home of regular-season champion, also the number one seed; Final March 6 at home of highest-remaining seed.
NCAA-1 (Butler-2nd place)
NIT-2 (Cleveland State-2nd round, UW-Milwaukee)
Conference Power Rating: 15th
Notes...Tourney first round March 5 at campus sites; quarters, semis, and Final March 8-10 at Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH.
NIT-1 (Kent State-quarterfinals)
CIT-2 (Buffalo-2nd round, Western Michigan-2nd round)
Conference Power Rating: 9th
Solid...Wichita State, Creighton
Notes...Tourney ("Arch Madness") March 1-4 at Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO.
NCAA-1 (Indiana State)
NIT-2 (Wichita State-champs, Missouri State-2nd round)
CBI -2 (Creighton-2nd place, Evansville-2nd round)
CIT-1 (Northern Iowa-2nd round).
Conference Power Rating: 6th.
Solid...New Mexico, UNLV
Looking Good...San Diego State
Bubble...Colorado State, Wyoming
Notes...Tourney March 7-10 at Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV.
NCAA-3 (BYU-Sweet 16, San Diego State-Sweet 16, UNLV)
NIT-2 (New Mexico-2nd round, Colorado State)
CIT-1 (Air Force-2nd round).
Conference Power Rating: 7th
Bubble...Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, Stanford
Notes...Tourney March 7-10 at Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA.
NCAA-4 (Arizona-Elite Eight, UCLA-2nd round, Washington-2nd round, Southern Cal)
NIT-2 (Washington State-semifinals, California-2nd round)
SECConference Power Rating: 4th.
Solid...Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt
Looking Good...Mississippi State
Notes...Tourney March 8-11 at New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, LA.
NCAA-5 (Kentucky-Final Four, Florida-Elite Eight, Georgia, Tennessee, Vanderbilt)
NIT-2 (Alabama-2nd place, Ole Miss)
Conference Power Rating: 18th
Bubble...Middle Tennessee State
Notes...Tourney March 3-6 at Summit Arena, Hot Springs, AR.
NCAA-1 (UA-Little Rock)
NIT-1 (Florida Atlantic).
Conference Power Rating: 11th
Looking Good...BYU, Saint Mary's
Notes...Tourney February 29-March 5 at Orleans Hotel Arena, Las Vegas, NV.
NCAA-1 (Gonzaga-2nd round)
NIT-1 (Saint Mary's-2nd round)
CIT-3 (Santa Clara-Champs, San Francisco-quarterfinals, Portland).
Conference Power Rating: 12th
Notes...Tourney March 7-10 at Orleans Hotel Arena, Las Vegas, NV.
NCAA-1 (Utah State)
CBI-2 (Boise State-semifinals, San Jose State)
CIT-2 (Hawaii-2nd round, Idaho)