Projecting the field of 65.

This is the way I see the field of 65 unfolding at March Madness.

America East (1) Vermont. The Catamounts and Boston U are the teams running neck and neck for the season title, and probably will face each other in the conference tournament. It is a shame for either one not to make the field.

Atlantic Coast (6) Duke, NC State, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Florida State, Georgia Tech. Maryland will need to beat more than Clemson and Virginia in their remaining games to get a nod from me. They also have games at Duke, North Carolina, and NC State, and home games against Ga. Tech and Wake. The other 6 are safe with strong wins, strong SOS and a strong conference.

Atlantic Sun (1) Central Florida. The Black Knights are leading the ASC right now by a slim margin over the track and field team from Troy State, and Belmont is right there also. Whoever wins the ASC tourney gets the bid.

Atlantic 10 (3) St. Joseph's, Dayton, Richmond. These three have the QW (quality wins) and SOS to match. Anyone else needs to win the conference tourney which is in Dayton, so don't count on that.

Big East (6) Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Providence, Syracuse, Seton Hall, Boston College. These six seem safe with the right wins, SOS and conference rating. The reason only six is because of the conference rating which will hurt Rutgers and Villanova.

Big Sky (1) Eastern Washington. The Eagles have really dominated the Big Sky and will therefore host the Big Sky tourney. This will almost guarantee their appearance. Idaho State and Montana State are good teams in this conference, but will have a hard time winning at EWU home court.

Big South. (1) High Point. This conference is very balanced. Any of the top 5 can win it- Winthrop, Radford, and Liberty. Since the tourney is in High Point, they get the nod. It is a shame that the best team in the conference is ineligible until next year, Birmingham-Southern. They are still on amended status coming from the NAIA ranks.

Big 10 (4) Purdue, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan State, This is a very down year for the Big 10. I wouldn't be surprised if the 5-8 place team wins the tourney (Indiana, Iowa, Michigan).

Big 12 (5) Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech. The other schools are melting in the heat in the prowess of these five.

Big West. (1) Utah State. The only chance for poor Pacific is to win the conference tourney in Anaheim. They have had a good year only to see it squealched because of the conference rating.

Colonial. (1) Drexel. Put the top 5 teams in a hat and draw one out. They will be the favorite, That is how tight this conference is. Drexel is leading but Delaware, Old Dominion, George Mason, and VCU could win just as easy.

Conference USA (5) Louisville, Cincinnati, Charlotte, Memphis, UAB. The first three are secure. Memphis and UAB are in now but if they lose too many and the up and coming DePaul and St. Louis win out they may overtake them. Should be a great tournament in Cincinnati.

Horizon (1). Wisconsin-Milwaukee. If you haven't noticed, the Panthers are smothering the rest of the league. Yes, even Butler. They are the favorite, but Wisconsin Green Bay and Illinois Chicago are talented enough to upset the Panthers if they are not careful in the tourney.

Ivy (1) Princeton. By the slightest of margins over the Quakers and the Big Red of Cornell, it appears the Tigers are the class of the brain schools.

Metro-Atlantic (1) Manhattan. The Jaspers are by far the class of this league. They will cause someone some REAL headaches in their first round game and could be the Cinderella this year.

Mid American (2) Kent State and Western Michigan. Yes I think the MAC will get both. Kent has the previous history and Western is just throttling everyone. No slips by either and if they both get to the MAC championship game they are in.

Mid Continent. (1) IUPUI. Yes the Jaguars are back leading the MCC. Oral Roberts and UMKC are challengers but the Jags may have a tad more experience which may be enough to keep them at bay.

Mid Eastern. (1) South Carolina State. The lowest rated conference will just send the tourney champ. SC State is the cream of this crop, but the winner whoever it is will be in the play in game.

Missouri Valley. (1) Southern Illinois. WOW. What a job Matt Painter has done replacing Bruce Weber. Top 25 ranking and a 20-2 record right now. The three schools beneath them are at a great disadvantage with the selection committee because they have beaten up on each other and lost twice to SIU. Their only hope is to win Arch Madness (the MVC tourney in St Louis). SIU appears however, to have a talent advantage over the three.

Mountain West. (2) Air Force, Utah. Talk about teams of the year. The USAFA have come from NOWHERE to lead the MWC. Utah is just behind them and the rest are beating each other out of a chance. Air Force needs to continue to win to secure this, as their SOS is VERY low. Any slips and they will be gone.

Northeast. (1) Monmouth (NJ). Yes I know they are trailing St Francis (NY) but Monmouth has won the head to head and are even in the lost column. They really have the best team in a weak conference, so nothing is secure. The winner of the tourney gets the bid here.

Ohio Valley (1) Austin Peay. Poor Murray State. A 20-3 record may not be enough. The SOS is too low. APSU has won the head to head so they will need a miracle to win the reg season. Therefore for anyone to overtake APSU they will have to win the conference tourney in Nashville this season. No one will overtake the Govs since 6 of their last 7 are at home.

Pacific 10 (2) Arizona, Stanford. Another major conference experiencing talent-lacking syndrome this season. For any of the other 8 they have to win the conference tourney. This would take one away from another major conference if there were an upset at the conference tourney at the Staples Center.. home of the Clippers…

Patriot (1) Lafayette. They have the edge right now, but a last game of the season matchup with second place Lehigh will determine reg season champ and the host of the tourney. Whoever wins that game will win the conference and host the tourney, and therefore be the favorite.

Southeastern (7). Kentucky, Mississippi State, Florida, LSU, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Alabama. Yes I said Alabama, they are 22 in the RPI with the number 1 SOS. Yes they have to win a few more games, but they should win 5 of the last 8 thus securing the number of wins and keeping the SOS high and therefore their RPI high which will get them in. If they falter and Tennessee performs better than Bama they will get the 7th spot.

Southern (1) East Tennessee State. The Buccaneers are lambasting everyone in the conference. The only stumbling block? The conference tourney is at the Kresse Arena, home of the southern division leader Charleston. It may come down to those two as only one bid will come from the SoCon.

Southland. (1) Stephen F Austin. Eight of the 11 teams have overall losing records. 2 of the remaining three are just treading water. The Lumberjacks get the nod right now with the best overall record. But whoever wins this conference will get the winner of the MEAC in the play in game.

Southwest Athletic. (1) Mississippi Valley State. They are the class of this conference and should win the regular season and conference tourney with ease.

Sun Belt (1) Louisiana-Lafayette. The Rajin Cajuns are the class of the Sun Belt in a down year for this mid major conference. The rest of the conference is .500 in league play and beating each other into the NIT.

West Coast. (1) Gonzaga. Enough Said.

Western Athletic. (2) Hawaii, UTEP. Hawaii and UTEP are 1 and 2 in a league that has stepped up this year. They both have enough quality wins that if they win out (and they don't have to play each other again), that they both will secure spots, just as long as they meet for the conference tourney.

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