Atlantic 10 (5)
La Salle, Temple, Butler, VCU, Saint Louis
La Salle was a good team last season, a very good team this season, absolutely the most exciting team in the city. The Explorers play the modern guard-centric game and play it well. This next stretch (road games with St. Bonaventure, Temple and Rhode Island) and Saturday's game at the Palestra against Saint Joseph's will tell the tale. The Explorers already have six true road wins and that loss at Miami actually helps the résumé.
Temple is probably among the last four teams in at the moment. If that holds, the Owls could play in the First Four. Playing anywhere is the object. Khalif Wyatt looks like he plans to shoot the Owls back into the NCAA.
Atlantic Coast (5)
Miami, Duke, North Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina State
Miami really is this good. Just watch the 'Canes and ignore the history. Jim Larranaga has to be front-runner for Coach of the Year. Wonder what might happen to Duke when it comes up against a really athletic team on a neutral court.
Atlantic Sun (1)
Florida Gulf Coast
The Eagles beat Miami on Nov. 13. The 'Canes were without key players.
Big 12 (6)
Kansas State, Kansas, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Oklahoma
Bruce Weber (K-State) also has to be in play for C/Y. If KU could play K-State all the time, it would never lose. Three-game losing streak ended emphatically with blowout win Monday night.
Big East (7)
Syracuse, Marquette, Cincinnati, Louisville, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame
Note that Cincinnati will be the only team left in the league (if the Bearcats are actually still there) in a year or two when all defectors actually defect. Two of the "Catholic Seven" are represented.
Syracuse and Louisville are Final Four contenders.
Villanova is in the vicinity of an at-large bid. The opportunities are there. The Wildcats are dramatically improved from November. One could make the case this is Jay Wright's best coaching job. Can they do it? Not sure, but definitely possible.
Big Sky (1)
The Grizzlies are 14-0 in the league and really who can stop them?
Big South (1)
The Bulldogs lost just about everybody from the team that nearly upset Syracuse in the first round last year. They started 1-6. They have now won seven straight. Eddie Biedenbach, the onetime N.C. State star, has to be one of America's best, unknown coaches.
Big Ten (7)
Indiana, Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois
Indiana, Michigan State or Michigan could make the Final Four. IU's offense can be breathtaking, but if the Hoosiers get a team with a unique style in the NCAA, they could have issues. Michigan can play any style. MSU's Tom Izzo has a team he really likes.
Big West (1)
Long Beach State
Did you know James Ennis averages 17.2 points to lead his team? You do now.
Colonial Athletic (1)
The Huskies are 12-1 in the league, but seven of the wins have been by five points or less, three in OT. So the tournament is wide open. Could Drexel get hot for 3 days and win it? Technically, yes, but this team really misses the shooting of Chris Fouch, the post play of Samme Givens and the toughness they each brought.
Conference USA (1)
The Tigers are getting in whether they win the tournament or not. They are 20-3 and have won 14 straight.
Bryce Drew, who made the most famous shot in school history, is the head coach.
Can't explain how the Tigers lost to Yale and Harvard lost to Columbia last weekend, but these are still the best teams. Princeton is at Harvard Saturday.
Metro Atlantic (1)
Joe Mihalich's team was winning all the close games. Lately, it has been losing them. Juan'ya Green (Archbishop Carroll) and Ameen Tanksley (Imhotep Charter) are two of the team's best players.
The Zips have the longest winning streak (15) in America. Center Zeke Marshall, from McKeesport, Pa., is on the NBA radar. He shoots 69 percent from the field and has 81 blocks.
Norfolk and North Carolina Central are unbeaten in the league, but, strangely, don't play.
Missouri Valley (3)
Creighton, Wichita State, Indiana State
Each has very good nonconference wins.
Mountain West (4)
New Mexico, Colorado State, San Diego State, UNLV
Lot of good teams here, but not likely any Sweet 16 teams.
The Bulldogs' top three scorers average 49 points among them.
Ohio Valley (1)
Belmont, Murray State and Eastern Kentucky will all win 20 and are fully capable of winning the tournament.
Pacific 12 (4)
Arizona, UCLA, Oregon, Colorado
Not sure if there are any Sweet 16 teams out there. Arizona State is in the hunt.
Be a great final between Bucknell and Lehigh, if it comes to that. Hopefully, Lehigh's C.J. McCollum is back by then. Bucknell's Mike Muscala and McCollum are both firmly in NBA conversation. Who could have imagined the Patriot might have two NBA players?
Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi
Florida can win it all. UK is getting better. Ole Miss is getting worse. Mizzou is pathetic on the road.
No Steph Curry, but still very good.
Stephen F. Austin
Taylor Smith averages 16.0 points and 8.9 rebounds while shooting a ridiculous 70.4 percent from the field.
So'western Athletic (1)
You can never have enough Jaguars in the tournament.
South Dakota State
We need more Nate Wolters who had 53 points in a game last week.
Sun Belt (1)
The Blue Raiders have won 11 straight and will have an upset chance against a high seed.
Western Athletic (1)
No Karl Malone, but 12-0 in the league
West Coast (2)
Gonzaga, St. Mary's
This might be the best Gonzaga team, but will it be able to stop the athletic teams it will face, rather than having to outscore them.