HoosierInsider.com Tourney Preview

March Madness is easily the most exciting month in sports. Champions are crowns and Cinderellas are celebrated like no other, during an intense 65 team race to glory. The only real question that remains is who's getting in? Will the Big Ten only get 3 teams? Will we see a lot of mid-major teams make the field this year? Look inside for a conference breakdown of tournament teams.

America East (2) Vermont and Boston U (both 19-5), Vermont has an RPI of 16, while Boston boasts an RPI of 41. Vermont is an at large lock, while Boston has a strong claim to a bid.

ACC (6) The ACC may only deserve 4-5 teams, but the coverage that the league receives will garner them more. Locks include Wake Forest, North Carolina, Duke, and Maryland. Teams that can still play their way in, but still need some work are Virginia Tech, Miami, and Georgia Tech.

Virginia Tech has a very poor RPI at 135, but with quality wins this year over Duke, at Georgia Tech, and a pair of wins over Miami, Tech will overcome their poor RPI if they can hold their own at the end of the season against NC State, Clemson, and Maryland. Two wins out of the last 3 should get them in.

Miami at 15-9 with an RPI of 48 is not a lock, and with games left at Florida St and Duke, and home against Georgia Tech, they could play their way either in or out. Georgia Tech has had a tough season with a bad injury to BJ Elder, however with him back, the committee will look upon them favorably. With a 15-8 record and an RPI of 40, they will have to win 2 of their last 4 to get in. Not an easy task with Duke, Wake Forest, and at Miami left on the schedule, but I think they are in with Elder back.

Atlantic Sun (1) Only 1 from here, UCF could've been an at large, but too many conference losses. Whoever wins the conference tourney will take the Atlantic Sun birth.

Atlantic 10 (2) George Washington is a lock, with Dayton, St. Joes, Temple needing to prove themselves in the last two weeks.

Dayton has a very poor 121 RPI, but a 15-8 record will make it a possibility for them. None of their wins are particularly quality, but if they can win against George Washington at home on the 26th, they are probably in.

St. Joseph's also needs a little help with an RPI of 99, they are likely out, but still have a chance due to their 14-9 record.

Temple has played some of the toughest teams this year, and lost most of the games, however you can never count out John Cheney. If they can win 3 of their last 4, they will have to be looked at very closely.

Big East (7) Boston College, U Conn, Pittsburg, and Syracuse are all locks. Georgetown and ND are basically in. Villanova and West Virginia will battle for the final spot.

Georgetown has an RPI of 36 and a 16-7 record, barring a disaster, they are in.

Notre Dame probably guaranteed their spot when they knocked off undefeated Boston College, but an RPI of 46 keeps them from being a lock. With three of their final four at home, they are most likely in.

Villanova was ranked 25th at the start of the week, and with an RPI of 19, they are in after a win today over Pittsburgh.

West Virginia may be the odd man out. Not because they don't deserve to be in, but because eight births is a lot for a conference. With an RPI of 65, they will have to win out for the committee to really think about putting 8 in.

Big Sky (1) Conference Tourney Champ will make the field and no one else.

Big South (1) If Winthrop doesn't win their conference championship, they could be an at large with a record of 19-5, but the Big South is likely to only get one team, regardless of if Winthrop wins their tourney.

Big Ten (4) Illinois, MSU, Wisconsin are all locks to get into the tournament. The remaining teams with a chance are Minnesota, Iowa, and Indiana.

Minnesota may have played their way in with a win over Ohio State this weekend, however their RPI of 62 is the only problem. If they can win at home against Iowa on the 23rd, they can be considered in with their final games on the road against the Big Ten cellar dwellers in Purdue and Penn State.

Iowa had an excellent preseason, but without Pierre Pierce, the team has fallen apart. Their RPI is down to 50, and they may need to win their final 4 games to be in the tournament.

Indiana has been up and down all year, but at 11-11 with an RPI of 89, they are probably out without an automatic bid.

Big 12 (6) There are four locks in Oklahoma St, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech. Texas still has an excellent resume despite losing key players. Iowa St and Texas A&M also are in the running for the final spot in the Big 12.

Texas, at 18-7 with an RPI of 34 is probably in, but the loss of PJ Tucker hurts the team. There are no easy wins left on the schedule, with Texas Tech, Missouri, Oklahoma and Oklahoma St left, but if they can win one of those games, they should be in.

Iowa St has really come on during the second half, winning their last 7 games, including an upset at Kansas. They are probably in, but an RPI of 71 is the only thing keeping them from being a lock.

Texas A&M had an excellent preseason, and have not lost a non-conference game all year. A win over Texas is their only quality win however, and an RPI of 108 will probably keep them out unless they can win some key games down the stretch.

Big West (1) Pacific is a lock with a 15-0 conference record, and only 2 losses on the year. If they do not win their conference tournament, they will still get in, allowing for a possibility of two Big West teams, but don't count on Pacific losing again until the NCAA tournament.

Colonial Athletic (1) Only the conference champ should be put in from the Colonial Athletic. Chances are that will be Old Dominion. If its not, the Monarchs still have a good chance of getting in with a record of 23-4 and an RPI of 28.

Conference USA (5) Locks from Conference USA include Louisville, Cincinnati, and Charlotte. Six teams still have a shot at the tourney other than those three, they include, Marquette, DePaul, UAB, Memphis, Houston and TCU.

Marquette kept their hopes alive Sunday with a home win against DePaul. However, with an RPI of 59 and a 17-8 record, they aren't in yet. Games remain against Cincy, Houston and St. Louis.

DePaul took a hit with a tough loss to Marquette, however with 31 in the RPI, and a record of 16-7 they are probably in. They will have to handle their business against South Florida and St. Louis to clear things up.

UAB has lost its last 4 games, which may put them out, but with an RPI of 55 and a record of 16-9, they aren't out yet. They can't lose another this year though, which will be tough with road trips to Houston, and DePaul coming to Birmingham.

Memphis might have one of the toughest times getting in with an RPI of 109 and a 16-10 record. If they can beat Charlotte, Louisville, and Cincinnati in 3 of their final four, they could get in.

Houston is going to need to win out and get a tourney win or two. With an RPI of 83, but a 17-10 record, they are on the outside looking in right now. They must beat ECU, Marquette, and UAB in the final week to make this one easier.

TCU has a quality win over Texas Tech, but that was back in November. With an RPI of 73 and a 15-10 record, TCU will have to do something special to get in.

Horizon League (1) The satellite schools have the best shot in this league in Wisconsin Milwaukee and Wisconsin Green Bay. Neither is really good enough for an at large, so the winner of the conference tournament will make the NCAA's.

Independents (0) None of the independents should make it this year, and they do not receive an automatic birth.

Ivy League (1) With no conference tourney, Pennsylvania should get the auto bid for winning the league, no one else even has a shot at being a bubble team.

Metro Atlantic Athletic (1) Whoever wins the conference tournament will be the winner here, Rider and Niagara are the likely two, but neither is an at large team.

MAC (2) Three teams may be too many, but Miami (OH) is a lock, as well as Kent State. The teams that remain in the hunt, but will need some help from major conference losses are Akron, Buffalo, and Bowling Green.

Akron is 15-7 with an RPI of 79. With remaining games against Miami-OH, Kent St and Buffalo, they could really help their chances.

Buffalo is sitting with a 17-7 record and 53rd in the RPI, they are the most likely to get in if they can handle their business, but its not easy with games against Marshall, Ohio and Akron.

Bowling Green is probably going to be left out with an RPI of 81 and a record of 15-7. They still have a chance however if they can beat Miami-OH at home on the 27th.

Mid-Continent (1) Winner of the tourney will get in. Oral Roberts is 20-5 overall, but an RPI of 125 keeps them from being an at-large.

Mid-Eastern (1) Most teams in the league aren't even .500 overall, this could be one of the teams in the play-in game.

Missouri Valley (2) The locks are Southern Illinois and Wichita St, both with RPI's in the top 30. After that, Northern Iowa and SMS still have a chance, but it's an outside one.

Northern Iowa is 16-9 on the year with an RPI of 52, but they have games against Southern Illinois and Wichita St coming up. If they can win those, they may play their way in.

SMS is a real outside shot with a 14-10 record and an RPI of 57, but with games against Wichita St and Illinois St, they still have a chance.

Mountain West (1) Utah is in, no matter if they win the conference tourney or not. There is no real reason to believe that they wouldn't win it.

Northeast (1) This will probably be the other team playing in the play in game.

Ohio Valley (1) Not too many good teams in the Ohio Valley either.

Pac-10 (4) The Pac 10 is really down this year, Arizona and Washington are locks, but other than that, the other teams don't really deserve to be in. Stanford and UCLA will probably get in though.

Stanford is currently 15-9 with an RPI of 45. They will probably make it in, although they could collapse during the next two weeks.

UCLA sits at 14-9 with an RPI of 37. Their RPI will help them get into the tournament, but they have to get wins in the next two weeks. With 3 home games against lesser opponents, they should, however they don't have any real quality wins this year.

Patriot League (1) One team will make it in. Holy Cross better hope it is them, because otherwise, they will waste a 20-5 season.

SEC (4) The SEC is down this year, but will still get its share of teams. Kentucky and Alabama are locks. Florida, LSU, Mississippi State, and Arkansas will compete for the other spots.

Florida is sitting at 16-7 with an RPI of 35, and is probably in. They could help themselves with games against Vandy, SC, Georgia, and Kentucky remaining.

LSU is 15-8 with an RPI of 56, which will hurt them. The need some wins down the stretch. They can get those at Auburn, Mississippi, and Vanderbilt.

Mississippi State has a great RPI of 24, and a record of 18-8 should get them in. They just can't collapse during the final 2 weeks.

Arkansas is probably not going to make it with an RPI of 61 and a 17-9 record. They can easily win out, but are still missing a real quality win on their resume.

Southern (1) Davidson should win their tournament, but if they don't, their 64 RPI will stop them from getting into the field with an at large.

Southland (1) Just one team here too, it will probably be SE Louisiana.

SWAC (1) They'll be competing to be the team in the play in game if the team.

Sun Belt (1) They is a chance for more than one, but its not likely. Western Kentucky has an RPI of 49, and UL Lafayette has an RPI of 42, but one is likely to be left out.

West Coast (2) Gonzaga and St. Mary's are in. The Zags are a lock, and St. Mary's should be in with an RPI of 33 and a 20-7 record.

WAC (1) Probably only going to take one from the WAC. If Nevada loses, they could get in as an at large, which is possible with UTEP in the league. Not likely that UTEP gets in as an at large though.

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