The Pi-Rate Ratings

February 6, 2023

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Conference Tournament Sneak Peak

The calendar seems to be accelerating these days, as conference tournament action just crept up on our PiRate Ship.  Three weeks from today, teams will begin playing for an automatic bid to the Big Dance.

The PiRate Ratings have created a guide for you to follow along online to see what’s what and who’s in and out.  As each tournament bracket becomes set, we will show you each team’s path to punching a Dance ticket, which teams are in line for at-large bids, and which teams can take out the Kleenex and shed some tears, maybe even necessitating the use of pink-shaded paper when delivering a message to the head coach.

There are 32 Division 1 basketball conferences, and in a 68-team tournament, 36 at-large teams will be selected.  Here is a preliminary breakdown on how each conference looks as of today.

American Athletic

Houston (10-1/22-2) has a strong chance to get a #1 bid, if the Cougars continue winning.  They are the only lock at the present time, because former near sure thing Memphis (7-3/17-6) keeps losing games they shouldn’t lose.  Three other teams are on the radar where a hot finish could get them into the discussion on Selection Sunday.  Cincinnati (7-4/16-8), Tulane (8-3/15-7), and Temple (8-3/14-10) most likely would have to get at least to the semifinals of the AAC Tournament and maybe make the Championship Game.

Atlantic Coast

Every year, some pundit or metric says the ACC is down.  If you think that 10 ACC teams should always make the Field, then yes it is down.  Because North Carolina and Duke aren’t the top two teams in the standings, the ACC is being dismissed as a potential championship league this year, but we wouldn’t be surprised if an ACC team makes the Final Four and if more than one make the Elite Eight.

As of today, it looks like seven teams could get into the tournament.  Surprising Clemson (10-3/18-6) has a half-game lead over Virginia (9-3/17-4) and surprising Pittsburgh (9-3/16-7).  Of the three, we think a hot finish by Virginia could make them a Final Four contender, because the Cavaliers are close to having the perfect resume for a Final Four team.

The other four teams that would be in the Field today are: North Carolina State (9-4/19-5), Miami (9-4/18-5), Duke (8-4/17-6), and North Carolina (7-5/15-8).

Three more teams, Wake Forest (7-6/15-9), Syracuse (7-6/14-10), and Virginia Tech (4-8/14-9) are in contention for bids but have a lot of work yet to do.

America East

This is a one bid league, and the perpetual top AEC team has slowly and deliberately climbed to the top again.  Vermont (7-2/13-10) has a 5-game winning streak and has a full game lead over the team that was hot at the start of the season, UMass Lowell (7-4/19-6).  The AEC Tournament is played on the home courts of the better seed, so getting home court advantage for the tournament might make it quite difficult to knock off the Catamounts.

Atlantic 10

In past years, three and four teams made the field from the A-10, but this year, it looks like a one-bid league.  The A-10 Tournament is in Brooklyn, and it will be a wide-open affair.  Current leader VCU (9-2/18-6) is not a clear-cut favorite, because this league tends to have more close games than blowouts.  The Rams need their defense to create offense, and in the postseason, offense becomes more important than defense by a little.

Saint Louis (7-3/15-8) has more offense than VCU, but the Billikens have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by other A-10 teams.  Dayton (7-4/15-9) may have the best talent in the league, but the Flyers have made numerous mistakes in games, where defensive lapses or lack of ball control has hurt them.  Saint Bonaventure (7-4/13-11) has improved by several points per game in the last three weeks, and the Bonnies have crept up the standings.  Coach Mark Schmidt has A-10 Tournament title success in recent years, so this is a team to keep an eye on.  Fordham (6-4/18-5) plays excellent pressure defense but has size limitations and can be exploited inside.  Duquesne (5-5/15-8) is a dark horse, but the Dukes haven’t been in the NCAA Tournament since 1977.

Atlantic Sun

This is definitely a one-bid league, and recent ASUN dynasty team Liberty (10-2/19-6) shares the lead with Kennesaw St. (10-2/18-7).  Neither team is a slam-dunk sure thing to make the Championship Game in this balanced league.  Keep an eye on Eastern Kentucky (9-3/16-9), where Coach A.W. Hamilton has the Colonels playing their typical disruptive defense and up-tempo offense.  His teams don’t start games tight like teams that play more patient basketball.  In the postseason, this style frequently pulls off upsets, but it is also vulnerable to laying an egg.  Lipscomb (7-5/15-10) just beat Liberty, and has a favorable schedule down the stretch to sneak into the 3-hole in the seeding.

Big 12

This is the best conference in college basketball this year, and a team with a losing conference record could very well make the Big Dance.  It’s been a year full of anxiety down in Austin with a mid-season coaching change necessitated by off-court actions, but Texas (8-2/19-4) has made it back to the top of the standings.  Iowa State (7-3/16-6) easily handled Kansas (6-4/18-5) over the weekend to move into second place.  These three are locks for the Dance.

Baylor (6-4/17-6), Kansas State (6-4/17-5), and TCU (6-4/17-6) are close to locks and need just to keep playing on their current paces.  Oklahoma State (5-5/14-9) is in good shape and short of a meltdown should be in the discussion on Selection Sunday.  West Virginia (3-7/14-9) may have the best chance of any team currently 4 games under .500 in their league to still make the field as an at-large team.  Oklahoma (2-8/12-11) is on the outside, looking in, even with a 24-point win over Alabama.  

Big East

The conference tournament at Madison Square Garden will be one of the most exciting of all this year, as it is in most seasons, because there are six teams with legitimate designs on the trophy.  Five of the six are at-large worthy today.  Marquette (11-2/19-5) has a 5-game winning streak, and Shaka Smart knows how to win in the postseason.  Xavier (11-2/19-5) has four victories over ranked opponents and Archie Miller knows how to win in the postseason.  Creighton (9-3/15-8) and Providence (9-3/17-6) will hear their names called on Selection Sunday, as will Connecticut (7-6/18-6).  Seton Hall (8-5/15-9) is in contention for an at-large spot, and Coach Shaheen Holloway has had recent tournament success at Saint Peter’s.

Big Sky

This is a one-bid league, and Eastern Washington (12-0/18-7) has lapped the field with 14 consecutive wins.  Montana State (10-2/17-8) is the top contender.  Any other team that wins the conference tournament could be looking at a First Four game in Dayton.

Big South

This is a one-bid league and probably #16-seed bid at that.  Longwood (8-4/16-9) led the race throughout most of January, but the Lancers fell behind UNC Asheville (10-2/18-7) and the red-hot Radford Highlanders (10-2/16-9), who have now won nine games in a row.  UNCA does not have the typical resume for postseason success, as they get beat in the hustle stats that become much more important in March.  Longwood won the automatic bid last year but quickly lost in the Round of 64 by more than 30 points.

Big Ten

The Big Ten figures to get at least seven teams into the Field, but this conference has disappointed year after year for the last 20 seasons.  Heavily favored teams have been upset early, as mid-major champions with more quickness have defeated more physical Big Ten teams.  Chief among the disappointing is Purdue (11-2/22-2).  Is this the year that Zach Edey leads the Boilermakers back to the Final Four for the first time since Joe Barry Carroll led PU there in 1980?  Since the Gene Keady era began in West Lafayette in 1981 and through his protege Matt Painter’s now 17th year, the Boilermakers have made 30 of the 41 NCAA Tournament fields, frequently with a top 4 seed.  PU has made just two Elite 8’s and eight Sweet 16’s in those 30 seasons, and there is a valid reason why even as a #1-seed three times, they have not had a lot of tournament success.  

Purdue has been an excellent half-court possession team in the regular seasons for the last 30 years, but the Boilermakers have not been up to snuff in the hustle points, especially in forcing turnovers and steals, where the elite teams usually perform quite well.  Just like Billy Beane stated in Moneyball that his methods did not work in the Playoffs, Boilerball doesn’t work in the NCAA Tournament.  Could this finally be the year where PU crosses the rubicon and makes it to the third weekend?  They have a dominating presence on the glass unlike most years in the past, but once again, they do not force turnovers and pick up steals that lead to cheap baskets.  Winning the title with a negative turnover margin isn’t something that has been done often since 1939.

Other Big Ten teams that figure to receive invitations are: Rutgers (8-4/16-7), Indiana (7-5/16-7), Illinois (7-5/16-7), Maryland (7-5/16-7), Northwestern (7-5/16-7), Iowa (7-5/15-8), and Michigan State (6-6/14-9).  Michigan (7-5/13-10) needs to close the season on a big winning streak to get onto the bubble.  The last time the Big Ten produced a national champion was 23 years ago, when Michigan State cut down the nets.  That’s a long time for a league that is supposed to be one of the top three.

Big West

This is a one-bid league in a very interesting conference race.  UC Santa Barbara (9-2/18-4) and UC-Irvine (8-3/15-8) have dominated the league in recent years, but Long Beach State (8-4/14-10) pulled of the upset last year to get the bid.  LBSU has a 6-game winning streak. LBSU relies more on inside play than hitting threes from the perimeter, and they are most likely to play more consistently in the Big West Tournament.

Hawaii (8-4/17-7) and UC Riverside (8-4/15-9) are forces to be reckoned with.  They are capable of beating any of the top three, making this a 5-team race for the bid.

Colonial Athletic

Until last week, Charleston (10-2/22-3) looked like a runaway choice to win the one bid from this league and maybe even earn a #11 or #12 seed.  From out of nowhere came the Hofstra Pride (10-2/17-8) with a 5-game winning streak that included beating C of C in Charleston.  Coach Speedy Claxton has done a bang-up job since taking over for legendary coach Joe Mihalich two years ago.  Claxton is a big hero in Hempstead, NY, where he donated a lot of money to help build the arena in which his jersey is retired.  He played for Jay Wright, and Wright proteges do quite well on the Eastern Seaboard.

Conference USA

This may become a two-bid league if somebody upsets Florida Atlantic (12-1/22-2) in the CUSA Tournament in Frisco, Texas.  Hometown favorite North Texas (10-3/19-5) has a pair of four-point losses to the Owls, and those four points can easily be made up when a Dance Ticket is on the line.  

UAB (8-5/17-8) beat FAU last week, and the Blazers have the talent to win this tournament.  An improving dark horse is Middle Tennessee (8-5/15-9).

If you want to see two college basketball games live at the same time, this tournament allows you to do so, from a large distance.  CUSA has two basketball courts set up at the Dallas Cowboys practice facility, separated by a thick curtain behind the bleachers.  By sitting deep in the end zone at curtain level extended, you can view both courts simultaneously.

Horizon

This is another one-bid league, and this is not a big year in the HL.  No team is powerful enough to pose as a legitimate surprise Sweet 16 team or even a Round of 32 team.  Youngstown State (11-3/19-6) has a fun offense to watch play, but the Penguins are probably another year away from being good enough to win a tournament game.  Keep an eye on Coach Jerrod Calhoun.  He won big at Division 2 Fairmont State, and he’s slowly built the Penguins into the top HL program. 

Milwaukee (10-3/16-7) and Northern Kentucky (10-4/15-10) figure to be the top contenders to YSU.

Ivy

The top four in the league make the conference tournament, which will be played at Jadwin Gymnasium at Princeton.  The home team Tigers (7-2/16-6) have raced past Cornell (5-4/15-7) and lead Yale (6-3/16-6) by a game.  Penn (5-4/13-11) and Brown (5-4/12-10) are tied with Cornell for third, and there is room for two of the three in the conference tournament.  Yale is the hot team, and the Bulldogs may give the Ivy its best chance for an upset win.

Metro Atlantic

It looked like Iona (9-3/16-7) with Rick Pitino coaching was the class of the league, but the Gaels hit a rough patch in January.  Siena (9-4/15-9) briefly took command of the conference lead but hit a rough patch in February.  The hot team de jour is Rider (10-3/13-9), with a 7-game winning streak.  

The one-bid for this league is up for grabs, and if there is a team from back in the pack with a slim chance to sneak up and win the automatic bid, it is Niagara (8-5/13-9).

Mid-American

Kent State (8-2/18-5) led the MAC by two games through January, as the Golden Flashes’ stingy pressure man-to-man defense devastated opponents.  They ceded their conference lead and fell into a second place tie due to two red hot teams.  Akron (9-1/17-6) has won eight games in a row, and Toledo (8-2/18-6) has won their last seven.  One of these three should win the one automatic bid, but there are others that could go on a run.

Mideastern Athletic

If you are old enough to have watched college basketball in the mid-1970’s, you might remember the 1974 NIT.  Maryland Eastern Shore was 26-1 and a logical top seed in the NAIA Tournament.  However, some African American leaders, led by the Reverend Jesse Jackson, lobbied the NIT to invite the Hawks, and he pressured the tournament enough to submit a bid to the NAIA program, the first and only time this happened.

UMES proved worthy by winning its first NIT game over Manhattan before falling by a deuce to Jacksonville in the second round.

That is the only real postseason success UMES (6-1/14-8) has had in the NCAA.  The Hawks are one of the most entertaining teams in college basketball.  This team is nothing like that great 1974 team that featured a fantastic inside game; they are more like the 1964 UCLA Bruins.  No starter is over 6 foot 5.  They are basically a 5-guard lineup, and they are defensive pests.  The Hawks created instant offense by stealing the ball and forcing turnovers, and then they limit three-point shooting on defense.  Plus, this team is loaded with experienced players, the type that can play above its expectations in March.  Should UMES get into the Tournament, they will still likely be placed in the First Four round in Dayton, but they will be really fun to watch play.

Of course, the MEAC is a one-bid league, and UMES must hold off Norfolk State (5-2/16-7), Howard (6-1/14-10 & 6 in a row), and Morgan State (4-3/12-11).

Missouri Valley

Arch Madness is going to be the most interesting in years this season, because the Valley is a lot better than most people realize, even if it remains a one-bid league.  This is a conference to look at in a potential double-digit NCAA Tournament team upsetting a single digit tournament team.

The race is currently tied with four teams, and if these four make the conference tournament semifinals, it may make Arch Madness the very best final two rounds of any conference tournament!

Drake (10-4/19-6) may have the best shot at winning a game in the Dance.  The Bulldogs are a 5-tool team, better than average shooting threes, getting inside baskets, playing defense, winning the rebound war, and having positive turnover margin.  The Bulldogs also have this league’s lone win over a ranked team.

The other three contenders are Bradley (10-4/17-8), Southern Illinois (10-4/18-7), and Belmont (10-4/17-8).  

Mountain West

Here is a conundrum.  The MWC has more tournament worthy teams than the Pac-12 at the moment.  Five teams deserve to be seriously considered, and even though the Selection Committee claims that they pay no attention to the number of teams from a conference that receive a bid, they definitely do but do it subtly.  If the Pac-12 only has three worthy teams with a fourth team on the Bubble, while this league has five tournament worthy teams, it is almost a metaphysical certitude that the fourth Pac-12 team will get in at the expense of the fight MWC team, and the Committee Chair will have statistical reasons to vindicate that selection.  Remember that there are three types of lies, and number three on the list is statistics.  No matter what the liability, the Committee will choose that one, whichever it is, to show that the other nine factors showing the MWC team to be better are not valid.

Editorial over.  The five teams that deserve to be in the Big Dance today are San Diego State (9-2/18-5), Nevada (8-3/18-6), Boise State (8-3/18-6), New Mexico (6-4/19-4), and Utah State (8-3/19-5).  We expect one of these five to get the shaft on Selection Sunday.

Northeast

This figures at the moment to be the weakest conference, and almost a sure bet to send its one-bid champion to the First Four in Dayton.  Unfortunately for the NEC, its current best team is not eligible for the NCAA Tournament due to its transition phase to Division 1 (a rule we find ridiculous).  Stonehill (8-3/12-14) can’t play in the NCAA or NIT this year.  Third place Merrimack (7-4/9-16) is also ineligible for the same reason.  That leaves Fairleigh-Dickinson (7-3/14-11) as the best bet, with Sacred Heart (6-5/13-13) and Wagner (5-5/12-9) the top contenders.  Last year’s Conference Tournament Champion Bryant is no longer in the league.

Ohio Valley

Thisone-bid league has been ravaged by team defections to other leagues, namely its former top four programs.  Only two of the original eight teams still remain in the league.  One of those two is Morehead State (9-3/16-9) leads the league with six other teams within striking distance of getting a #1 or #2 seed, which in this league gives them a bye to the semifinals.  One of those teams contending for a triple bye is Southern Indiana (6-6/13-12), but the Screaming Eagles are not eligible for the NCAA Tournament.  SIU Edwardsville (7-5/16-9) may be the best road team in the league this year, and the Cougars are riding high following a 55-foot game-winning buzzer beater on Saturday.

Pac-12

The Conference of Champions hasn’t had a basketball champion since 1997!  The league might even be only the third best in the West!  When you think about how far this league has fallen, if you eliminate UCLA in the John Wooden years, not much has changed in 60 years.

Not much else has changed that UCLA (10-2/19-4) is the premiere team in the league.  Coach Mick Cronin is a Rick Pitino protege, and he knows how to win in tournament action.  Cronin’s team has to be considered a strong Final Four contender this year, because the Bruins have all the necessary criteria to get there–a very experienced roster and coach, excellent defensive efficiency, almost great offensive efficiency, and outright dominance in the hustle stats.  The offensive efficiency is a tad lower than National Championship standards, but a hot finish could put them there.  If the Bruins run the table from here, they are getting a #1 seed.

Of the rest of the field, Arizona (10-3/21-3) is a lock and still has a chance to move up to the 1-seed line.  USC (9-3/17-6) isn’t a lock yet, but if the season ended today, the Trojans would be in the Field.  

Three others still have a chance to get to the good side of the Bubble.  Utah (9-5/16-9), Oregon (8-5/14-10), and Arizona State (7-6/16-8) must go on substantial winning streaks to break through.

Patriot

This is a one-bid league with no clear-cut slam dunk favorite.  Colgate (11-1/17-8) is close to securing the top seed in the conference tournament, and the Raiders have a highly efficient offense.  Their defense is not scary enough to pull off a big upset as a #15 seed in the Dance.  

Top contenders for the bid include: Lehigh (9-3/14-9), American (7-5/15-8), who just beat Colgate, and Army (7-5/13-12).

Southeastern

The SEC is always considered down when Kentucky (7-3/16-7) isn’t running away with the conference championship and staying in the top 5 nationally.  The Cats aren’t out of the picture for winning the SEC Tournament, where Nashville will become Lexington South in March.

Alabama (10-0/20-3) has to be considered a national title contender.  Coach Nate Oats has perhaps the nation’s top player in Brandon Miller, the closest thing to a college Lebron James.

Tennessee (8-2/19-4), Arkansas (5-5/16-7), and Auburn (7-3/17-6) will get bids, but none of this trio have a Final Four resume.  Missouri (5-5/17-6) might have the numbers to sneak into the Sweet 16 in year one under Dennis Gates.

Texas A&M (8-2/16-7)  is tied for second in the league, but the Aggies played a weak non-conference slate and have more work to do before being considered a definite Tourney team.  Florida (6-4/13-10) and Mississippi State (3-7/15-8) are within shouting distance with hot finishes, but as of today are NIT teams.

Southern

This is a one-bid league this year, as there are multiple fairly good teams but no teams that merit discussion for at-large bids.  Furman (10-2/19-6) is competent in every aspect but defending the perimeter.  The Paladins have the best chance at winning as a #13 or #14 seed in the Dance, but it’s still a slim chance.  Others in contention are Samford (10-2/16-9) and  UNC Greensboro (10-2/16-9).  

Southland

This one-bid league is another in danger of sending its champion to the First Four in Dayton.  No team has shone above the others this year, so the conference tournament should be wide open.  Northwestern State (8-3/16-8), Texas A&M Corpus Christi (8-3/15-9), and Southeast Louisiana (8-3/14-10) figure to provide the championship game combatants.  NW State has a ranked victory over TCU.

Southwestern Athletic

This league rarely has a Big Dance participant with an outstanding won-loss record, and that’s a result of the members in this league being forced to play a lot of road games against power conference opponents, just so they can cash a check and pay the bills.  The SWAC usually competes for bottom team in the NCAA field and almost always sends its one-bid champion to the First Four in Dayton.

This year, three teams may be good enough to at least win that First Four game.  Southern (8-2/12-11) is led by a Pitino protege.  Coach Sean Woods was one of Kentucky’s famed “Unforgettables,” and his team plays the same way UK played back then–press hard and take a lot of three-point shots.  The Jaguars’ top competitors are Alcorn State (7-2/10-11) and Grambling (7-3/14-8).  Grambling has two Power Conference wins this year, against Colorado and Vanderbilt.

Summit

This race was over in mid-January, as Oral Roberts (12-0/21-4) ran away from the field like the 1927 Yankees did to the rest of the American League.  All four of the Titans losses have come to teams that woud be in the NCAA Tournament if it began today.  ORU has profited through the Transfer Portal, where Coach Paul Mills added two SEC transfers to an experienced roster.  Multiple starters from the NCAA Tournament team that beat Ohio State and Florida to make the Sweet 16 and almost beat Arkansas for a chance at the Elite 8 are on this team.  They could be scary if they are in your favorite Power Conference team’s bracket.  

Among the rivals trying to steal this league’s bid are South Dakota State (9-4/14-11), Western Illinois (8-5/15-9), and UMKC (6-6/10-15).  If anybody other than ORU gets this bid, it will be shocking.

Sun Belt

Is it possible that this league deserves two bids?  Louisiana (10-2/20-4) and Southern Miss. (10-2/21-4) are solid teams but haven’t played a hard enough schedule to merit discussion.  Neither is guaranteed a spot in the conference tournament title game, because James Madison (8-4/17-8) and Marshall (8-4/19-6) are both talented enough to win three games in three days.  Any one of these four teams have enough talent to scare a Power Conference opponent in the Round of 64.

West Coast

This is a definite two-bid league with the chance for a third team getting in by winning the automatic bid.

Saint Mary’s (10-0/21-4) just staged a great second half comeback to beat Gonzaga (8-2/19-5) in overtime, likely giving the Gaels enough cushion to win the conference championship and earning the #1 seed.

Loyola Marymount (6-5/16-9) beat Gonzaga in January, and the Lions may have their best team since Bo Kimble shot his one-handed free throws in a memorable Big Dance.

BYU (6-5/16-10) is having an off year for Coach Mark Pope, but Pope has the coaching knowledge to prepare a gameplan on the quick and win in conference tournament play.

Santa Clara (5-5/17-8) gives the WCC five good teams.  The Broncos played SMC and Gonzaga close in January.

Western Athletic

This is a one-bid league with one team that could be a dark horse Sweet 16 candidate, if they can win the conference tournament.  Sam Houston State (7-4/17-6) is currently in a three-way tie for third in the league.  The Bearkats are quite difficult to prepare to play by a team that hasn’t seen them before.  Teams that play against their pressure defense come away thinking they have played against 6 defenders, because they always seem to have a double team on the ball with no open players for the ball handler to pass the ball.  SHSU limits shot opportunities, makes those opportunities tend to be poor percentage shots, and if a team tries to hold onto the ball too long, the Bearkats can take it away.

Utah Valley (9-2/18-6) is the current league leader.  The Wolverines solved SHSU’s defense and beat them by 16 points in January.  UVU is led by former Stanford standout and NBA banger Mark “Mad Dog” Madsen.

Here are the different styles of regular bracket seeding schedules for a 4, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 team conference tournament.  There are no 9-team tournaments this year.

4-Team Conference Tournament Bracket
Semifinals
#1 Seed vs. # 4 Seed
#2 Seed vs. #3 Seed
8-Team Conference Tournament Bracket
Quarterfinals
#1 Seed vs. #8 Seed
#4 Seed vs. #5 Seed
#2 Seed vs. #7 Seed
#3 Seed vs. #6 Seed
Semifinals
1-8 winner vs. 4-5 winner
2-7 winner vs. 3-6 winner
10-Team Conference Tournament Bracket
1st Round
#7 Seed vs. #10 Seed
#8 Seed vs. #9 Seed
Quarterfinals
#1 Seed vs. 8-9 winner
#4 Seed vs. #5 Seed
#2 Seed vs. 7-10 winner
#3 Seed vs. #6 Seed
Semifinals
1-8-9 winner vs. 4-5 winner
2-7-10 winner vs. 3-6 winner
11-Team Conference Tournament Bracket
1st Round
#6 Seed vs. #11 Seed
#7 Seed vs. #10 Seed
#8 Seed vs. #9 Seed
Quarterfinals
#1 Seed vs. 8-9 winner
#4 Seed vs. #5 Seed
#2 Seed vs. 7-10 winner
#3 Seed vs. 6-11 winner
Semifinals
1-8-9 winner vs. 4-5 winner
2-7-10 winner vs. 3-6-11 winner
12-Team Conference Tournament Bracket
1st Round
#5 Seed vs. #12 Seed
#6 Seed vs. #11 Seed
#7 Seed vs. #10 Seed
#8 Seed vs. #9 Seed
Quarterfinals
#1 Seed vs. 8-9 winner
#4 Seed vs. 5-12 winner
#2 Seed vs. 7-10 winner
#3 Seed vs. 6-11 winner
Semifinals
1-8-9 winner vs. 4-5-12 winner
2-7-10 winner vs. 3-6-11 winner
13-Team Conference Tournament Bracket
1st Round
#12 Seed vs. #13 Seed
2nd Round
#5 Seed vs. 12-13 winner
#6 Seed vs. #11 Seed
#7 Seed vs. #10 Seed
#8 Seed vs. #9 Seed
Quarterfinals
#1 Seed vs. 8-9 winner
#4 Seed vs. 5-12-13 winner
#2 Seed vs. 7-10 winner
#3 Seed vs. 6-11 winner
Semifinals
1-8-9 winner vs. 4-5-12-13 winner
2-7-10 winner vs. 3-6-11 winner
14-Team Tournament Bracket
1st Round
#11 Seed vs, #14 Seed
#12 Seed vs. #13 Seed
2nd Round
#5 Seed vs. 12-13 winner
#6 Seed vs. 11-14 winner
#7 Seed vs. #10 Seed
#8 Seed vs. #9 Seed
Quarterfinals
#1 Seed vs. 8-9 winner
#4 Seed vs. 5-12-13 winner
#2 Seed vs. 7-10 winner
#3 Seed vs. 6-11-14 winner
Semifinals
1-8-9 winner vs. 4-5-12-13 winner
2-7-10 winner vs. 3-6-11-14 winner
15-Team Tournament Bracket
1st Round
#10 Seed vs. #15 Seed
#11 Seed vs. #14 Seed
#12 Seed vs. #13 Seed
2nd Round
#5 Seed vs. 12-13 winner
#6 Seed vs. 11-14 winner
#7 Seed vs. 10-15 winner
#8 Seed vs. #9 Seed
Quarterfinals
#1 Seed vs. 8-9 winner
#4 Seed vs. 5-12-13 winner
#2 Seed vs. 7-10-15 winner
#3 Seed vs. 6-11-14 winner

Here is a look at the conference tournament schedules, sites, and formats.  If there is no footnote, then the conference uses the standard format shown in the above brackets.

1 = 1st Round; 2 = 2nd Round; Q = Quarterfinals; S = Semifinals; C = Championship

Conference Tournaments 2023Teams inFebruaryM A R C H
ConferenceSiteBracket2728123456789101112
America EastBetter Seed Home8 of 9QSC
American AthleticFort Worth, TXAll 111QSC
Atlantic 10Brooklyn1512QSC
Atlantic CoastGreensboro, NC1512QSC
Atlantic Sun (a)Better Seed Home10 of 141QSC
Big 12Kansas City101QSC
Big EastNew York (MSG)111QSC
Big Sky (b)Boise, ID101Q1Q2SC
Big SouthCharlotte101QSC
Big TenChicago1412QSC
Big West (c)Henderson, NV10 of 111QSC
Colonial AthleticWashington, D.C.1312QSC
Conference USAFrisco, TX111QSC
Horizon (d)Campus, Indianapolis111QSC
Ivy LeaguePrinceton, NJ4 of 8SC
Metro Atlantic (e)Atlantic City, NJ111Q1Q2SC
Mid-AmericanCleveland8 of 12QSC
Mideastern Athletic (f)Norfolk, VA8Q1Q2SC
Missouri ValleySaint Louis121QSC
Mountain WestLas Vegas111QSC
Northeast (g)Better Seed Home8 of 9QSC
Ohio Valley (h)Evansville, IN8 of 101QSC
Pac-12Las Vegas121QSC
PatriotBetter Seed Home101QSC
SoutheasternNashville1412QSC
SouthernAsheville, NC101QSC
Southland (i)Lake Charles, LA8 of 101QSC
Southwestern Athletic (j)Birmingham, AL8 of 12Q1Q2SC
Summit (k)Sioux Falls, SD101Q1Q2SC
Sun BeltPensacola, FL1412QSC
West Coast (l)Las Vegas1012QSC
Western Athletic (m)Las Vegas12 of 131QSC
(a) Atlantic Sun: Opening round 10 vs. 9 at 1 & 8 vs. 7 at 2. Teams reseeded for Semifinals
(b) Big Sky: Opening round 10 vs. 9 & 8 vs. 7. Q1: 9-10 winner vs. 1 & 7-8 winner vs. 2. Q2 3-6 & 4-5
(c) Big West: UC San Diego non participating–ineligible while transitioning to D1
(d) Horizon League: 1st round and quarterfinals on better seed home floor; semis and championship at Indianapolis
(e) Metro Atlantic: #1 and #2 seeds play on M8 and #3 and #4 seeds play on M9 in quarterfinals
(f) Mideastern Athletic: #1 and #2 seeds play on M8 and #3 and #4 seeds play on M9 in quarterfinals
(g) Northeast: Merrimack, is allowed in NEC Tournament but ineligible for NCAA. Stonehill is not eligible for either tournament due to transition to D1
(h) Ohio Valley: Top 8 qualify, but Southern Indiana and Lindenwood not eligible for NCAA Tournament
(h) Ohio Valley: 5-8 & 6-7 in Rd 1; 5-8 winner vs. 4 & 6-7 winner vs. 3 in Q; 4-5-8 winner vs. 1 & 3-6-7 winner vs. 2 in S
(i) Southland: Top 8 teams qualify for conference tournament, but Texas A&M Commerce not eligible for NCAA tournament
(i) Southland: 5-8 & 6-7 in Rd 1; 5-8 winner vs. 4 & 6-7 winner vs. 3 in Q; 4-5-8 winner vs. 1 & 3-6-7 winner vs. 2 in S
(j) Southwestern Athletic: #1 and #2 seeds play on M8; #3 and #4 seeds play on M9
(k) Summit: #1 and #2 seeds play on M4; #3 and #4 seeds play on M5
(l) West Coast: 8-9 & 7-10 in Rd 1; 8-9 winner vs. 5 & 7-10 winner vs. 6 in Rd 2; 5-8-9 vs. 4 & 6-7-10 vs. 3 in Q; 4-5-8-9 vs. 1 & 3-6-7-10 vs. 2 in S
(m) Western Athletic: Top 12 teams qualify; Utah Tech and Tarleton State not eligible for the NCAA Tournament
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