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Breaking down the Bids

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Editor’s Note: Bruce Marshall's college basketball selections can be purchased daily on VegasInsider.com. Click to win!

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.

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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.

ACC

Conference Power Rating: 5th

Solid...Duke, North Carolina, Florida State
Looking Good...Virginia
Bubble...Miami-Florida, NC State

Notes...Tourney March 8-11 at Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA.

Last year...
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).

ATLANTIC TEN

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.

Last year...
NCAA-3 (Richmond-Sweet 16, Temple, Xavier)
NIT-1 (Dayton)
CBI-3 (Duque sne-2nd round, Rhode Island-2nd round, St. Bonaventure).

BIG EAST

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.

Last year...
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).

BIG TEN

Conference Power Rating: 1st

Solid...Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin
Looking Good...Purdue
Bubble...Northwestern, Minnesota

Notes...
Tourney March 8-11 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN.

Last year...
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).

BIG XII

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.

Last year...
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)

BIG WEST

Conference Power Rating: 21st

Looking Good...Long Beach State

Notes...
Tourney March 8-10 at Honda Center, Anaheim, CA.

Last year...
NCAA-1 (UC Santa Barbara)
NIT-1 (Long Beach State)

COLONIAL

Conference Power Rating: 11th

Bubble...Drexel, George Mason, Virginia Commonwealth

Notes...Tourney March 2-5 at Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, VA

Last year...
NCAA-3 (Virginia Commonwealth-Final Four, George Mason-2nd round, Old Dominion)
CBI-2 (James Madison, Hofstra).

CONFERENCE USA

Conference Power Rating: 10th

Looking Good...Memphis, Southern Miss
Bubble...Marshall, Central Florida.

Notes...Tourney March 7-10 at FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN.

Last year...
NCAA-2 (Memphis, UAB)
NIT-1 (UTEP)
CBI-1 (Central Florida-semifinals)
CIT-3 (SMU-semifinals, Marshall, East Carolina)

HORIZON

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.

Last year...
NCAA-1 (Butler-2nd place)
NIT-2 (Cleveland State-2nd round, UW-Milwaukee)
CIT-1 (Valparaiso).

MID-AMERICAN

Conference Power Rating: 15th

Bubble...Akron, Ohio

Notes...Tourney first round March 5 at campus sites; quarters, semis, and Final March 8-10 at Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH.

Last year...
NCAA-1 (Akron)
NIT-1 (Kent State-quarterfinals)
CBI-1 (Miami-Ohio)
CIT-2 (Buffalo-2nd round, Western Michigan-2nd round)

MISSOURI VALLEY

Conference Power Rating: 9th

Solid...Wichita State, Creighton

Notes...Tourney ("Arch Madness") March 1-4 at Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO.

Last year...
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).

MOUNTAIN WEST

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.

Last year...
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).

PAC-12

Conference Power Rating: 7th

Solid...California.
Looking Good...Washington
Bubble...Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, Stanford

Notes...Tourney March 7-10 at Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA.

Last year...
NCAA-4 (Arizona-Elite Eight, UCLA-2nd round, Washington-2nd round, Southern Cal)
NIT-2 (Washington State-semifinals, California-2nd round)
CBI-1 (Oregon-Champs).

SEC

Conference Power Rating: 4th.

Solid...Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt
Looking Good...Mississippi State
Bubble...Alabama, LSU

Notes...
Tourney March 8-11 at New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, LA.

Last year...
NCAA-5 (Kentucky-Final Four, Florida-Elite Eight, Georgia, Tennessee, Vanderbilt)
NIT-2 (Alabama-2nd place, Ole Miss)

SUN BELT

Conference Power Rating: 18th

Bubble...Middle Tennessee State

Notes...Tourney March 3-6 at Summit Arena, Hot Springs, AR.

Last year...
NCAA-1 (UA-Little Rock)
NIT-1 (Florida Atlantic).

WEST COAST

Conference Power Rating: 11th

Solid...Gonzaga
Looking Good...BYU, Saint Mary's

Notes...Tourney February 29-March 5 at Orleans Hotel Arena, Las Vegas, NV.

Last year...
NCAA-1 (Gonzaga-2nd round)
NIT-1 (Saint Mary's-2nd round)
CIT-3 (Santa Clara-Champs, San Francisco-quarterfinals, Portland).

WAC

Conference Power Rating: 12th

Bubble...Nevada

Notes...
Tourney March 7-10 at Orleans Hotel Arena, Las Vegas, NV.

Last year...
NCAA-1 (Utah State)
CBI-2 (Boise State-semifinals, San Jose State)
CIT-2 (Hawaii-2nd round, Idaho)

  
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