There are several data points used to judge conferences against each other in college basketball. Some prefer RPI or KenPom rankings during the season while others reserve their judgement for Selection Sunday to count up the number of NCAA Tournament bids handed out to each league.
This year, four leagues stood out among the rest with seven teams picked in the field of 68. The Big 12 has the highest percentage of teams picked, getting 70 percent of the league in the NCAA Tournament, but it shares the 7-bid honor with the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12.
A few notes:
1. The ACC and American were hurt by having likely-tournament teams ineligible for the postseason because of NCAA issues (Louisville and SMU).
2. Bubble Math: The Missouri Valley Conference avoided the one-bid club with the inclusion of Wichita State and the SEC was able to get Vanderbilt into the tournament as well. Both league-boosting additions played a role in the Atlantic 10 only have three teams (St. Bonaventure missing the cut) and the MAAC having just one bid (Monmouth missed the cut).
Here’s the full breakdown:
ACC: 7 (Highest seed: UNC-1, UVA-1)
Big Ten: 7 (Highest seed: Michigan State-2)
Big 12: 7 (Highest seed: Kansas-1)
Pac-12: 7 (Highest seed: Oregon-1)
Big East: 5 (Highest seed: Villanova-2, Xavier-2)
American: 4 (Highest seed: UConn-8)
SEC: 3 (Highest seed: Texas A&M-3)
A10: 3 (Highest seed: Dayton-7)
MVC: 2 (Highest seed: Northern Iowa-11, Wichita State-11)
23 1-bid leagues