Let's get serious about college basketball.
The Ides of March is moving towards us, which means Selection Sunday (March 17th) when the 68 team field must be filled.
Here at TMG, we have been monitoring the season with increasing attention each week and have spotted the following trends.
It's a bad year for such normal multi-bid conferences as the Pac-12, and the Atlantic 10 and to lesser extent even the Big East.
There seems to be clear line between the No. 1 seeds--Duke, Tennessee, Virginia and Gonzaga--and everyone else.
While it is still too early to put complete brackets together, we are fairly confident in saying right now that there appear to be only 7 at-large slots open from the available 36 slots.
Of the current mid to low major conferences only Buffalo (MAC), and Nevada (Mountain West) are locks to receive bid if they lose in their conference tournaments.
Other teams such as Hofstra (CAA), Lipscomb (Atlantic Sun) and Radford (Big South) would receive consideration if they are upset in their conference tournaments.
Here's our guess as to the teams currently in "bubble'' mode regarding their tournament status without winning their conference tournament.
Southeastern Conference--Florida, South Carolina
American Athletic Conference--USF, Temple
Big Ten--Indiana, Minnesota
Pac-12--Arizona, Utah, Oregon State, Arizona State
West Coast Conference--USF, BYU, Saint Mary's
Big 12--Oklahoma, Texas
Atlantic 10--Davidson, VCU
Mountain West--Utah State
A lot of this will sort itself out in the next few weeks as teams are eliminated.
The ACC could be the leader of the pack with 9 teams. The Big Ten has fallen off somewhat and could finish with 7 teams.
The Pac-12 is having the worst season, with only Washington tournament worthy, which would mean it would take a upset loss by the Huskies to gt a second Pac-12 team in the field.
The Atlantic 10 is in a similar position with Davidson and VCU the front runners, although neither team is a lock if it loses in the A10 tournament.