NCAA Tournament Projections As of March 11

LAST FOUR IN: Texas Tech, Xavier, Texas, NC State
FIRST FOUR OUT: Mississippi State, Stanford, Wichita State, Richmond
NEXT FOUR OUT:  Rhode Island, UConn, Memphis, St. Louis

PAC-12: 6
BIG 12: 6
ACC: 5
SEC: 4
WCC: 3
AAC: 2

Today I’m going to talk about conference tournaments. Many have already been completed with the big boys tipping off mid-week.

I think the average fan overestimates the importance of conference tournaments as far as the at-large teams are concerned. It’s common to overreact to wins and losses; I remember many years in which a team had a chance to be a No. 1 seed, lost in the semifinals and still managed to keep their No. 1 slot despite the loss.

There are a couple of reasons why we shouldn’t overreact to the conference tournament. First, the committee is looking at the resumes as a whole, not just what happened in the last week. A win in November counts just as much as a win in early March. Second, the committee begins its work Tuesday and really gets into the meat of selecting teams on Wednesday. By early Friday, the field is close to being selected. They do go back several times on Friday and Saturday as results come in to consider changing seed lines. They also place extra emphasis on the bubble and teams who could make a move with wins in their conference tournaments.

Speaking of the committee, let me just give you an update of what they will do in the next few days. On Tuesday, they met for the first time and each member gave reports on the leagues they were assigned. Then, the list of the 36 teams each member feels should be in the field was drawn up and submitted. If a team appears on eight of 10 ballots, they are into the field. This usually ends up being around 22-26 teams. They then begin selecting the rest of the at-large field, stopping occasionally to do seeding of the top four lines. I very much expect them to be very close to having the entire at-large field selected and have the top four lines seeded by early Friday.

Our next bracket will be posted Friday with the final bracket posted midday on Selection Sunday. Follow me on twitter @tkbrackets. I will give you updates daily as we work towards Selection Sunday.