This is the third and final part of my look at every conference race using a Monte Carlo and my current ratings for each team. The listed numbers are how many simulations each team won out of 10,000, so divide that number by 100 to get the percent chance I am giving each team of winning the one-seed for its conference tournament. (Note: not all teams listed are eligible for their conference tournament, so in some cases it’s a mythical one-seed.) If a team isn’t listed, I didn’t forget about them – they didn’t win a single simulation.

Conferences are ordered from least to most competitive. These are the ten most-competitive conference races. The following results include all games played through yesterday.

10. Sun Belt

The pick: Louisiana Lafayette. Bob Marlin’s team has looked very good aside from a 39-point drubbing to Louisville. Point guard Elfrid Payton is putting up Marcus Smart-type numbers. He’s not a great perimeter shooter, but he gets to the free-throw line so much that he’s a major problem for opposing defenses.

The contrarian pick: Georgia State. The Panthers have been exactly what you might have thought coming into the season. A great offensive team led by R.J. Hunter and Ryan Harrow, with a little bit of Manny Atkins thrown in. They’re the contrarian pick because I’m not sure how many people know they are in the Sun Belt this season.

Louisiana Lafayette    4056
Georgia St.            3178
South Alabama           864
Western Kentucky        763
UT Arlington            677
Arkansas St.            339
Louisiana Monroe         91
Arkansas Little Rock     18
Texas St.                10
Troy                      4

9. Conference USA

The pick: Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs were picked second by an esteemed panel of experts and they haven’t disappointed, what with recently winning at Oklahoma. Michale Kyser is one of the best shot-blockers in the country and leads a defense that will give some problems to the rest of C-USA.

The contrarian pick: UTEP. Since Southern Miss was picked to win the league by that same esteemed panel of experts, the contrarian pick has to be a team that lost at home to New Orleans.

Louisiana Tech         4045
Southern Miss          3026
UTEP                    978
UAB                     839
Charlotte               666
Middle Tennessee        157
Tulsa                    94
East Carolina            90
North Texas              47
Marshall                 18
FIU                      16
Old Dominion             16
Florida Atlantic          6
Rice                      1

8. ACC

The pick: Syracuse. I’m not saying this was common thought, but if there was an idea that there’s some sort of adjustment period for a team playing in a new conference, I think Syracuse will be one of a few examples in 2014 of how that is a dumb idea.

The contrarian pick: Pitt. The Panthers’ chances are overstated here because I suspect Duke’s chances are understated. Still, I think there’s a way they could go 13-5 in ACC play and spread out those losses in a way that would prevent them from being ranked by the AP. I’m really hoping for that, actually.

Syracuse               4032
Pittsburgh             2141
Duke                   1727
North Carolina         1085
Florida St.             471
Clemson                 250
Virginia                165
Notre Dame               80
Maryland                 26
North Carolina St.       12
Wake Forest               6
Virginia Tech             3
Miami FL                  2

7. OVC

The pick: Belmont. You remember Belmont’s win at UNC, but overall it hasn’t a been a smooth journey through the non-conference slate for the Bruins. They’re the favorite to win the conference, but just barely.

The contrarian pick: Eastern Kentucky. There are some teams lining up behind Belmont, but the Colonels once took VCU to overtime, so beware.

Belmont                3939
Eastern Kentucky       3307
Morehead St.           1330
Southeast Missouri St. 1155
Murray St.              181
Austin Peay              44
Tennessee Tech           20
Jacksonville St.          9
Eastern Illinois          6
Tennessee Martin          4
Tennessee St.             4
SIU Edwardsville          2

6. Big Sky

The pick: Montana. I’ve never the SOS imbalance that the Griz has going on right now. They’ve faced the seventh-best set of offenses and the 295th-best defenses. Thus, their raw offensive numbers look great and the defense looks poor. Hopefully, Wayne Tinkle understands that once conference play begins, those numbers are going to even out.

The contrarian pick: Northern Colorado. The Bears won at Kansas State to start the season, which at the time was just an excuse for people to make Bruce Weber jokes. But hey, Kansas State’s actually decent, and so is UNC-Greeley.

Montana                3849
Northern Colorado      2646
Weber St.              2635
Eastern Washington      481
Idaho St.               157
North Dakota            133
Northern Arizona         51
Montana St.              25
Portland St.             17
Sacramento St.            7

5. SEC

The pick: Kentucky. It’s a close call between the Wildcats and Gators, but the edge at the moment goes to Kentucky. UK isn’t shooting the ball great, but they lead the nation in offensive rebounding percentage and free throw rate. Which means the eye test won’t give their offense as much credit as it deserves.

The contrarian pick: LSU. The Tigers are the sleeper of all sleepers. They’re a two-point loss to UMass and seven-point loss to Memphis from being unbeaten and national darlings, and from people anointing Johnny Jones as the next Brad Stevens. OK, maybe that wouldn’t be happening yet, but if LSU contends for the SEC with a sub six-foot backcourt, Jones would start getting his due.

Kentucky               3765
Florida                3277
Tennessee              1213
LSU                     727
Missouri                440
Arkansas                404
Alabama                  92
Mississippi              55
South Carolina           17
Vanderbilt                7
Georgia                   1

4. A-10

The pick: UMass. The Minutemen have played a hellacious schedule, with just four true home games and only one gimme game – a home contest against Northern Illinois. They’ve risked a loss 11 times and only have one defeat to show for it.

The contrarian pick: Dayton. Saint Louis and VCU are still on the radar and got plenty of preseason ink, but Dayton’s 11-3 and been one of the unluckiest teams in the land so far.

Massachusetts          3527
Saint Louis            2921
VCU                    1678
Dayton                  927
Richmond                297
George Washington       282
Saint Joseph's          218
St. Bonaventure          69
George Mason             44
La Salle                 36
Fordham                   2

3. Big South

The pick: Charleston Southern. Charleston Southern is a fun team. They’ve only beaten two D-I teams so far, but one of those was at a really good Delaware team and they’ve been competitive against some high-quality competition such as New Mexico, Baylor, and Florida State.

The contrarian pick: Radford. The Highlanders last won the conference in 2009 when the great Artsiom Parakhouski patrolled the paint. He was 6-11, 240. The tallest player on this year’s edition is 6-8, 205 Jalen Carethers.

Charleston Southern    3307
UNC Asheville          1645
Radford                1575
Winthrop               1008
Liberty                 656
Gardner Webb            650
VMI                     525
Coastal Carolina        286
High Point              266
Campbell                 72
Longwood                  9
Presbyterian              1

2. NEC

The pick: Bryant. How can you not root for a team that has a player named Claybrin McMath on the roster?

The contrarian pick: St. Francis Brooklyn. The Terriers have never appeared in the NCAA tournament. This could be the year.

Bryant                 3236
Robert Morris          2750
St. Francis NY         1977
Wagner                 1159
Central Connecticut     297
Mount St. Mary's        237
LIU Brooklyn            185
Sacred Heart            143
Fairleigh Dickinson      14
St. Francis PA            2

1. Patriot League

The pick: Boston U. The winner for least-predictable conference race goes to the Patriot League. This is a bit of an upset in itself because before the season, it seemed like BU was the obvious choice to win the league. Now, there’s about a 70% chance they won’t.

The contrarian pick: You make the call. The bottom line is that there’s more parity at the top of the Patriot than any other conference. Bucknell, Holy Cross, Colgate, or Lehigh; even Lafayette and American, just go with whatever your gut tells you.

Boston University      3018
Holy Cross             2008
Bucknell               1941
Colgate                1303
Lehigh                  749
Lafayette               460
American                441
Loyola MD                56
Army                     21
Navy                      1