This is the third installment of the monte-carlo style conference previews where I simulate each conference’s schedule 10,000 times. If you’re unclear as to what’s happening, check out Monday’s post, then look back with fondness on yesterday’s effort. Today, we get into the territory where this analysis predicts that the favorite in each conference is barely better than a coin flip to win.

20. ACC (Predicted champ: North Carolina, 59%)

It’s no surprise that the Tar Heels are the favorite to win the ACC, but it’s a bit surprising that they are just the 13th-strongest favorite in the land. And there’s a 15% chance that the champ is not UNC or Duke. I guess that’s a lot.

North Carolina 5941
Duke           2691 
Virginia        682
Florida St.     258
Virginia Tech   248
N.C. State       72
Georgia Tech     51
Miami FL         50
Clemson           7

19. CAA (VCU, 58%)

After struggling through the first two weeks of the season, the Rams are backing up their Final Four appearance quite well. The story of this list though is Georgia State, picked to finish next-to-last by the CAA media. (I, however, had them as only the fourth-worst team in the conference, thank you very much.) Take a bow, Ron Hunter. (And me!)

VCU           5812
Georgia St.   1656
George Mason  1005
Drexel         751
Old Dominion   435
James Madison  265
Delaware        66
Hofstra          4
NC Wilmington    3
Northeastern     3

18. Sun Belt (Middle Tennessee, 55%)

The Blue Radiers have away-from-home wins against UCLA and Ole Miss, and while neither win is terribly impressive in itself, both were by fairly convincing margins. Middle Tennessee is legit, but Joe Scott, whose teams have finished last or second-to-last in adjusted tempo every season since 2003, has resurrected his career in the land of Tebow. The Pioneers are a legit threat to win the Sun Belt this season.

Middle Tennessee 5545
Denver           3879
Florida Atlantic  422
La. Lafayette      67
Arkansas St.       38
South Alabama      37
North Texas         7
Troy                4
Western Kentucky    2
Ark. Little Rock    1

17. Mountain West (UNLV, 55%)

UNLV has gotten the bulk of the MW publicity, and rightfully so, but New Mexico has been quietly lurking, completely unknown on the national scene for some reason. One of the more unusual statistical flukes in the tempo-free era was Steve Alford leading Iowa to the adjusted defensive efficiency title in 2006. His teams haven’t finished better than 25th in any other season since 2003. But this year the Lobos are currently 10th.

UNLV          5529
New Mexico    3208
San Diego St.  990
Wyoming        173
Colorado St.    50
Boise St.       48
Air Force        2

16. Great West (Utah Valley, 55%)

The Great West is down to six teams, and when there are only ten games on the conference schedule, just about anything can happen. Unless you’re Chicago State. Fun fact: Utah Valley is the only program in the nation that doggedly refuses to reveal its players’ weights. What are you scared of, Wolverines?

Utah Valley       5488
North Dakota      2781
Texas Pan American 765
Houston Baptist    697
NJIT               265
Chicago St.          4

15. MAC (Ohio, 54%)

Move over Javon McCrea and Zeke Marshall, Ohio is good. However, there’s a strong enough mid-section to the MAC that the Bobcats are going to have to work to finish with the best conference record in the league.

Ohio              5361
Kent St.          1348
Buffalo           1296
Ball St.           795
Akron              653
Western Michigan   487
Bowling Green       28
Central Michigan    25
Miami OH             6
Toledo               0

14. Pac-12 (Cal, 53%)

Yes, the Pac-12 stinks by power conference standards, but don’t hold that against Cal or Stanford who are good enough to be at-large selections and have met or exceeded pre-season expectations.

California    5293
Stanford      2371
Arizona       1329
Oregon St.     372
Washington     368
Washington St. 195
UCLA            56
Oregon          12
USC              3
Arizona St.      1