With just a few days remaining in the regular season for college basketball's larger conferences, where a team finishes in the standings could positively or negatively affect their eventual outcome.
If any team were to move up to a more favorable spot, which could lead them to being a somewhat surprising conference champion and most likely improve their NCAA tournament seeding, that would be a huge plus. The same would also be true if a club does not do well, slips in the conference tourney seeding and is unexpectedly knocked out before they were presumed to be and ends up with a tougher seed and has an uphill climb against the college basketball odds.
Let's reviews a few conference scenarios.
Big 12 Conference - Iowa State on Slippery Slope
We are all aware Kansas will be the No.1 seed in the Big 12 Conference tourney. However, immediately afterword it gets tricky. Iowa State currently would have the No.2 slot, but they will be in Morgantown for a very rare Friday night contest. If the Cyclones lose, it could be very costly, since they would drop for sure, having been swept by West Virginia and having it come down to conference tie-breakers, where they could fall to 4th and possibly face the Jayhawks in the semi-finals, rather than the tournament finals.
Big Ten Conference - A Bewildering Season
By late January, it was apparent this was not going to be a banner year for the Big Ten with no elite teams, just a collection of above average one's for about half the membership. While Maryland was not super talented, they showed great composure, until February came along and they lost five of eight. Wisconsin was next in line, but they have dropped fourth of five and have to win final two home games to hold on to second seed. Purdue is in first place as much as a survivor than anything else. The concern on the Boilermakers is just when you think they might be a cut above, they falter. Minnesota has not lost since January and are the league's hottest team and if they can win in Madison this Sunday, they could climb all the way to No. 2 seed if everything breaks right.
Mountain West Conference - One Game Decides Champion
Colorado State and Nevada both have four losses in MWC action. If the Wolf Pack defeat San Jose State on March 1st, that sets up regular season conference championship battle, with the Rams in Reno. Having seen Nevada four times and Colorado State twice, the Wolf Pack have more talent and are 12-1 and 10-3 ATS at home, but when considering college basketball picks, I would not overlook the Rams who are 7-4 and 10-1 ATS on the road.