This is the final installment of the Monte Carlo style conference previews. The following six conferences are the most up for grabs. I am writing this while listening to a live stream of the South Carolina State/Hawaii game which tipped at approximately 1:45 AM ET, which is to say I was barely conscious and that is reflected in the quality of this post. Games played on Thursday night are not included in the calculations, but I hope you enjoy them anyway. Sometime in February, I’ll do a review of the predictions and perhaps we’ll all share a hearty laugh.

6. NEC (Predicted champ: Robert Morris, 46%)

Oh, admit it, you thought you’d see Wagner as the favorite here. (Or just admit you haven’t given two thoughts about the NEC race.)  Wagner is actually rated better than RMU but currently trails the Colonials by a game in the conference race. In addition, the teams only meet once in conference play which works against the Seahawks chance of overtaking Robert Morris.

Robert Morris 4576
Wagner        4392
Long Island    728
C. Connecticut 177
Quinnipiac      86
Sacred Heart    35
St. Francis NY   4
St. Francis PA   1

5. West Coast (BYU, 39%)

This doesn’t include the Gaels’ impressive statement last night in pummeling BYU. Saint Mary’s was expected to win, but the nature of the victory surely levels the odds of the top three teams, who combined have a 99.98% chance of winning the uber top-heavy WCC.

BYU           3931
Gonzaga       3275
St. Mary's    2792
San Francisco    2
Loyola Marymount 0

4. Big Sky (Weber State, 37%)

I’m surprised to see that UNC has a legit chance to take the Big Sky considering they’re one of the youngest teams in the country, and they lost to an NAIA school by 13. They have a slew of competitive losses to quality opponents, though.

Weber St.     3671
Montana       3059
E. Washington 2010
N. Colorado   1119
Portland St.   136
Sacramento St.   4
N. Arizona       0

3. America East (Vermont, 35%)

I’m rooting for Maine, just because I can. But also because they’ve never been to the NCAA tournament. That is true of Northwestern, of course, but you know about them, and they play on TV. Maine is never on national TV and basically nobody outside of Maine cares about them. They have one of the best freshmen in the country in Justin Edwards, and he’s so good he’ll probably transfer soon and eventually play in a Final Four like one-time Maine freshman Rick Carlisle did in the early ‘80s. But maybe Edwards can help the Black Bears end seven decades of frustration this year.

Vermont      3484
Stony Brook  2138
Maine        1663
Albany       1565
Boston U.     776
New Hampshire 374

2. Big 12 (Kansas, 33%)

Much like with the NEC, I don’t think too many people expected Kansas to be the favorite here, what with the loss to Davidson. But the Big 12 is clearly the conference race most up for grabs. Not only do you have the trio of conference power brokers, but Kansas State and Texas have reasonable possibilities here as well.

Kansas      3312
Missouri    3263
Baylor      2086
Texas        723
Kansas St.   567
Oklahoma      31
Oklahoma St.  11
Texas A&M      4
Iowa St.       3

1. WAC (New Mexico St., 32%)

New Mexico State’s humiliation at the hands of New Mexico on Wednesday continued a rough non-conference performance for the WAC. The benefit here is that the conference race is wide open.

New Mexico St. 3195
Utah St.       2881
Nevada         2195
Idaho          1466
Fresno St.      226
Hawaii           33
Louisiana Tech    4
San Jose St.      0