Welcome to the second of five installments where I run 10,000 simulations of each conference’s schedule to get a sense for which teams have a viable shot at winning their conference’s regular-season title. For those late to the party, see yesterday’s post, where we learned not to hand over the Big West’s NIT auto-bid to Long Beach State just yet. In today’s edition, we see that the AP’s #4 team is also the fourth choice to win its conference’s title and that a team that won at Cincinnati has the fifth-best chance of winning the Big South.

26. Big Ten (Predicted champ: Wisconsin, 66%)

We shall never speak of this again.

Wisconsin   6628
Ohio St.    2651
Indiana      549
Michigan St.  93
Purdue        73
Michigan       3
Minnesota      2
Illinois       0
Nebraska       0

25. Patriot (Lehigh, 63%)

Lehigh hasn’t lost by double digits all season despite a schedule that has included road games against Michigan State, Wagner, and Iowa State and a style that packs over 70 possessions into the average game.

Lehigh      6308
Bucknell    3343
Holy Cross   193
American      99
Lafayette     51
Army           5
Colgate        0 

24. Atlantic-10 (Saint Louis, 62%)

Xavier’s recent collapse has made a mess of predicting the A-10, but for the purposes of this analysis it has boosted Saint Louis’s chances significantly. Each of the Billikens’ 11 wins has been by double-digits. After an eight-year hiatus, Rick Majerus makes a return to the Pit in Albuquerque on New Year’s Eve in what should be a tight, low-scoring game that will be worth watching before you head out to the evening’s festivities.

St. Louis      6238
Temple         1825
Xavier          754
Saint Joseph's  344
La Salle        332
St. Bonaventure 248
Dayton          106
Richmond         88
Duquesne         29
UMass            17
Charlotte        16
G. Washington     2

23. Big South (UNC Asheville, 62%)

UNC Asheville has but three wins against D-I competition, but they’ve been competitive against difficult opposition in their losses. This is all the more impressive considering they have one of the shortest teams in the nation, regularly putting a unit on the floor with nobody taller than 6-5.

NC Asheville     6181
Ch. Southern     1349
Coastal Carolina 1253
Campbell          767
Presbyterian      223
Winthrop          135
High Point         50
Gardner Webb       31
Liberty             7
VMI                 5

22. SoCon (Davidson, 61%)

Nearly 97% of the SoCon simulations ended with a league title for either Davidson or College of Charleston, and while I’m wary of ultra-high percentages the deal with events involving multiple teams over multiple games, this doesn’t seem like an exaggeration. In the past eight days, the Wildcats have a semi-road win against Kansas, and the Cougars were winning at Louisville heading into the final media timeout. These two teams are a little different than the rest of the SoCon.

Davidson         6116
C. of Charleston 3556
Elon              132
Western Carolina  107
Wofford            41
Appalachian St.    24
Furman             15
Georgia Southern    7
Chattanooga         2
Samford             0

21. Big East (Syracuse, 61%)

Somehow, the Orange lead the nation in steal percentage and are second in block percentage and yet their defense isn’t dominant. (Partial explanation: anemic defensive rebounding.) The Orange have been consistently fantastic on offense, though, scoring at least a point per possession in all but one game. They get one additional game against the five Big East bottom dwellers compared to Marquette giving them a little more room for error in this analysis.

Syracuse     6077
Marquette    1209
Georgetown    984
Louisville    805
Connecticut   544
West Virginia 231
Pittsburgh     57
Cincinnati     43
Seton Hall     34
Villanova      13
Notre Dame      4