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Sunday, January 11, 2009

NCAA Basketball Conference Power Rankings

1. Big East: As many as nine teams appear tournament bound and they also have the nation's #1 team in Pittsburgh.  This conference expanded recently in an effort to become a Basketball Super Conference and early indications are it's working.
NCAA Bound: Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Georgetown, Syracuse, Louisville, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Villanova, Marquette

2. ACC: The ACC has three top five teams and even though they are not ranked #1, North Carolina is everyone's pick to win it all.  The ACC also edged out the Big Ten in the ACC-Big Ten challenge with UNC blowing out Michigan St and Duke beating Purdue.
NCAA Bound: North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, Clemson, Boston College, Miami
Close: Florida State, Maryland

3. Big Ten: The Big Ten might be the nation's most improved conference.  It's too early to get accurate RPI rankings but here's a guess that the Big Ten ranks third in conference RPI.
NCAA Bound: Michigan State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State
With some luck: Penn State

4. Big 12: The Big 12 does not have the dominant team it's accustomed to having but in a way that is a good thing as it allows a couple other teams to get a shot.  Last year's champs, Kansas, are a lot better than many imagined after sending the majority of the team to the NBA.
NCAA Bound: Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor, Texas A&M
Probably in: Kansas, Missouri
Not quite: Oklahoma State

5. Pac 10: This once proud basketball conference is not having a strong season on the hardwood.  Getting more than four teams in is probably wishful thinking.  This might be the conference that lost the most talent to the NBA so it's probably just a blip on the screen.
NCAA Bound: UCLA, California, Arizona State
Working hard: Stanford, Washington, USC

6. SEC: The SEC also does not have a team that is likely to win a championship as Florida and Kentucky are not dominant teams and the bottom half of the conference is awful.
NCAA Bound: Florida, Tennessee
Likely nostalgic inclusion: Kentucky

7. Atlantic 10:  Xavier is for real and even though this conference will likely not get more than two schools into the Big Dance, the Musketeers can't be ignored.
NCAA Bound: Xavier, Dayton

8. Horizon: Butler is at it again!
NCAA Bound: Butler, UW-Milwaukee

9. West Coast: Gonzaga is a weird team having beaten Tennessee, Ok. State, Maryland and losing a nail biter to Oklahoma while losing to Portland State.  They'll get it together but they better hurry because St. Mary's is pretty good too.
NCAA Bound: St. Mary's, Gonzaga

10. Mountain West: This is probably the most up-for-grabs mid-major.  I don't know much about the teams except that San Diego State is good.
Out due to small conference bias: Utah

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