Table of Contents

Top Contenders for Conference Tournament Titles & March Madness

Author: AmericanGambler1234 | Last Updated: March 2, 2022

Since 2000, 10 NCAA National Champions also won their conference tournaments. So, it isn’t a lock for a conference winner to win it all, but it’s a great way to keep up the momentum heading into the one-loss bracket format.

Several conferences have several teams that could make a push in March, while some just have one team that is much better than the rest.

Conference tournaments will begin during the beginning of March, finishing up just prior to Selection Sunday. Performances will determine seeding and could even help some bubble teams to get a spot in the bracket.

Let’s take a look at the March Madness contenders by conference. We will see who has the best shot to win their conference, and who can carry that drive into the NCAA tournament.

Power 5 Conferences

There are five conferences that usually get the most bids into the NCAA tournament. The dominance of these conferences might even be more relevant in football.

There have only been two teams to win the NCAA tournament outside of the Power 5 since 2000. And those were from the Big East (Villanova and Connecticut), which has always been a strong basketball conference.

Throughout the season, the Power 5 has been responsible for around 17-18 of the Top 25 teams.


What a down year for the ACC. It was a basketball powerhouse just a few years ago. Usual contenders such as Virginia, Louisville, Syracuse, and Florida State won’t be making a tournament without a conference championship. And that is doubtful.

The lone single-digit seed may be Duke, who does have a chance to win it all. Then there’s Notre Dame, North Carolina, and Miami, who may get high seeds if they are in at all.

  • Tournament location: Brooklyn, NY
  • Prediction: Duke

Big Ten

The Big Ten is a different story. It’s quite possibly been the best conference in the NCAA. Wisconsin and Purdue definitely lead the pack. Illinois, Ohio State, and Michigan State aren’t far behind.

Iowa, Michigan, and Indiana are competing for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament. These teams could use a run to improve their spot. It will be a great time for Indiana fans to create a home-court advantage in Indianapolis.

  • Tournament location: Indianapolis, IN
  • Prediction: Wisconsin

Big 12

And again, the Big 12 has been impressive. Baylor won just last season and may get a top seed. Kansas will be right alongside them.

Chris Beard has had a great first season at Texas, but Texas Tech hasn’t struggled in his absence. Iowa State and TCU will also be working on their seeding in the tournament.

  • Tournament location: Kansas City, MI
  • Prediction: Baylor

Pac 12

Arizona has had a huge year, but that’s been the case in the past. Tommy Lloyd will work getting them over the hump and grab a national title. UCLA is coming off of a run last season, and USC is reminding folks it is more than a football school.

Oregon will need a good outing in the conference tournament. Bracketology has them barely getting in. Honestly, I don’t have a lot of confidence in the Pac 12 this season.

  • Tournament location: Las Vegas, NV
  • Prediction: Arizona


The SEC has been known for dominating football, but they are in the mix as the top conference in basketball this season. Auburn and Kentucky will enter the tournament as the favorites, both having a very realistic shot at cutting down the nets.

But there’s also Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, and LSU. Those six teams mentioned will easily get into the tournament, regardless of the outcome of the conference tournament.

  • Tournament location: Tampa, FL
  • Prediction: Kentucky

Other Conferences with Contenders

There are several teams outside of the Power 5 that will be competing in March. Of course, Gonzaga is included, being probable for a number one overall seed.

Everyone loves a Cinderella story in March, and many there are several teams from smaller conferences who have a chance to do just that.

Hopefully, we can even see a contender from a conference I didn’t mention. Those remaining conferences are projected to only send one team (the winner of the conference) to the tournament.


Houston had been in the Top 25 throughout the year. However, they really don’t have many quality wins. The only other team likely getting a bid in the American Conference is Memphis, and Houston lost to them in their last matchup.

They will be playing again, which will be the last game of the regular season for each team.

  • Tournament location: Fort Worth, TX
  • Prediction: Houston

Atlantic 10

The Atlantic 10 has been great over the years, including Davidson, VCU, Richmond, Saint Louis, and Dayton. This year, Davidson is the only clear-cut bid.

But VCU is looking like they will get in. It wouldn’t hurt to win the tournament, or at least get to the championship game.

  • Tournament location: Washington D.C.
  • Prediction: VCU

Big East

The Big East is outside the Power 5, but they should be considered a top conference. The only conference that may get more bids is the Big Ten.

Providence is in position to get a top 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. They received their first regular-season championship in the Big East this season. But you can never count out Coach Wright and Villanova.

Other Big East teams in contention include Marquette, Connecticut, Seton Hall, Xavier, and Creighton.

  • Tournament location: New York
  • Prediction: Villanova

Mountain West

The Mountain West is projected to get four bids to the dance, but none are going to be higher than a 5 seed. Boise State and Colorado State are the teams in that position.

San Diego State and Wyoming are around the 8-10 seed area.

  • Tournament location: Las Vegas, NV
  • Prediction: Colorado State

West Coast

And last but not least, the conference that may produce the top seed. The WCC has two locks for the tournament – Gonzaga and St Mary’s.

In the midst of many top teams in the league losing near the end of the season, St. Mary’s beat the Bulldogs to give them their fourth loss of the season. San Francisco has eight losses and are on the bubble.

  • Tournament location: Las Vegas, NV
  • Prediction: Gonzaga