After peaking in 2012-13 with 5 of the conference's 9 teams making the Big Dance, only 1 of 11 squads have qualified for the Tournament in each of the past two years. I'm not sure that will change this year, despite the presence of several high-potential squads...
While Rhode Island seems to be the clear-cut frontrunner in the A-10 this year, it's hard to find much separation amongst the rest of the 14-team field. With only four games separating the 4th and 9th place teams last season, the margin for error will once again be slim to none in 2017-18.
After years of being the ugly stepchild of power conference hoops, the SEC brings in a glut of new talent this season and looks to be back on par with the ACC/Big Ten/etc. But how many NCAA bids will that lead to? And can anyone unseat the Kentucky Kid Crew?
Despite an impressive 10-4 showing in last year's NCAA tournament, the Pac-12 earned only four berths to the Big Dance - the league's least since 2012. Will a loaded Arizona squad roll through the "Conference of Champions" in a one-horse race? Or will the likes of USC, UCLA and Oregon have the chops to take down the Wildcats?
Kansas once again leads a competitive Big 12 that features 10 teams with NCAA Tourney hopes. While the top of the league appears weaker than in years past, the depth has never been deeper.
After a relatively down year, the Big Ten looks to be back with a vengeance. Michigan State is the clear cut favorite, but Minnesota, Purdue, and Northwestern all have conference championship aspirations. Top to bottom, this is one of the deeper conferences in the nation with 10 or 11 teams possessing legitimate shots at an at-large berth.
After sending 7 of it's 10 teams to the NCAA tournament last March - the most since the league's realignment in 2013 - the Big East looks to be just as deep this year. Will Villanova claim their 5th straight regular season title? Or will this finally be the year someone knocks the Wildcats off their perch?
Always one of the best conferences in the country, the ACC appears to have relatively clear top and bottom halves this season. Will any teams significantly surprise and upset the expectations?
With arch-villain Grayson Allen back and another elite crop of freshmen coming to Durham, Coach K once again has the Blue Devils squarely in the national spotlight. Will the pieces fit together more smoothly than last year's stacked squad?
It was yet another frustrating finish to Arizona's season after being bounced in the Sweet 16 by 11-seeded Xavier - head coach Sean Miller's former employer. With a potential player of the year candidate in Allonzo Trier back and fully healthy for his junior campaign, is this the year Miller and the Wildcats finally break through?
Perennial power Kansas reloads after losing all-time program great Frank Mason. Bill Self hunts for his 14th straight Big 12 regular season title, while Devonte' Graham assumes alpha dog status and looks to lead his squad to the Final Four.
Sparty is one of the favorites to win this year's National Championship per Vegas. Tom Izzo looks to lead his ridiculously deep and talented squad to the Promised Land, while Miles Bridges fights to stake his claim as the best player in the country.