Why two conferences? Because it’s simple. The Pac 10 only has three teams that are in contention. The Big 10 is pretty much locked in at 5 bids. And I am lazy. As you can probably tell, right?
In: Purdue. Despite the tragic Robbie Hummel injury? They’ve done more than enough to porbably be a #2 seed. Ohio State. A solid RPI, a massive run (9-1 in their last 10), and 5 wins in the RPI top 50 with 12 conference wins equals locked down. Michigan State does not have the number one seed resume anymore, but two gimme home games coming up and an overall solid resume means a lock. In terms of quality wins? (Maryland, Duke, Marquette, Ohio State, Purdue and Michigan State) Wisconsin has done a lot. If they got a road win versus Illinois? It may get them a three seed.
Barring a collapse: Illinois. The Las Vegas Invitational killed their computer numbers. (Losing to Bradley and Utah would keep anybody from getting in this year.) But they have a legitimate shot at 12 conference wins if they can steal one against Wisconsin or Ohio State and hold serve versus Minnesota. If not? They’ll likely get a second chance against Wisconsin in the tournament. If they don’t? Then things could be interesting. California. It was a big win today against Arizona State. They win against Stanford? And they have the computer numbers to be the at-large team.
Bubble Teams: Minnesota has an RPI nearing 80. They have to win tonight if they even want to think about the Tournament. Arizona State. They have an RPI in the 50’s and don’t have the resume to handle getting upset even once. (Best win? San Diego State.) But they are better than Washington. Their RPI kisses 60, and they’re 1-6 on the road. Their last three regular season games? On the road.
UPDATE: Minnesota is up double figures against Illinois. 46-31 as I type this. Could the Big Ten only get four teams?