(Ed. note: simulations run for the Pre-Conference Preview Blowout do not include Monday’s action. Nor does any of the text.)

This is part 2 of the Pre-Conference Preview Blowout, where I preview conference races by simulating them 10,000 times using my ratings. In this edition we find that Duquesne is sneaky good and you should pay attention to them. I’ll check back on this as the season winds down to see where I screwed up.

16. MEAC

Hampton                6015
Morgan St.             2811
Delaware St.            781
Coppin St.              155
Bethune Cookman         126
North Carolina A&T       95
South Carolina St.       13
Howard                    2
Norfolk St.               4

There’s a new sheriff in the MEAC and its name is Hampton. Or at least it could be if this analysis is worth anything.

15. A-10

Temple                 5495
Richmond               2714
Duquesne               1102
Xavier                  403
Rhode Island            114
Massachusetts            80
Dayton                   76
St. Louis                 7
La Salle                  5
St. Bonaventure           2
Charlotte                 0

Let’s keep an eye on the Dukes over the next two weeks. Ron Everhart’s team doesn’t have the quality wins that would get his team some attention from the “Who have they beaten?” patrol, but his team has turned in nothing but quality performances this season. Maybe I am overrating them. But maybe I am not. I never would have given a second thought about them winning the A-10 without doing this analysis, but it doesn’t seem crazy. At the very least, expect them to screw up somebody’s tourney hopes.

14. SWAC

Texas Southern         5430
Jackson St.            4176
Mississippi Valley St.  272
Alabama St.              49
Prairie View A&M         30
Alabama A&M              28
Grambling                 9
Alcorn St.                5
Arkansas Pine Bluff       1

Texas Southern is the 2011 version of 2010 Pine Bluff. The Tigers survived the pre-season barnstorming tour with just two wins, but losses included a number of respectable performances against decent teams.

13. SoCon

College of Charleston  5327
Davidson               1889
Furman                 1467
Wofford                1251 
Appalachian St.          47
Chattanooga              10
Samford                   5
Western Carolina          2
Elon                      1

Talk about unbalanced divisions. The top four teams here have put a ton of distance between them and the rest of the conference, and all four reside in the Southern South.

12. CAA

George Mason           5301
Drexel                 3042
Old Dominion           1091
Virginia Commonwealth   539
James Madison            19
Delaware                  8
Hofstra                   1

Should be a good duel between GMU and Drexel, and from eyeballing it, the Dragons have the slightly easier schedule.

11. Sun Belt

North Texas            5260
Arkansas St.           2125
Florida Atlantic       1273
Western Kentucky        937
Denver                  190
Middle Tennessee        124
Arkansas Little Rock     56
South Alabama            22
Florida International    13

Isiah, you still have a shot.

10. Conference USA

Central Florida        5190
Texas El Paso          1877
UAB                     975
Southern Mississippi    880
Memphis                 726
Tulsa                   308
Marshall                 21
Rice                     19
Tulane                    4

I get the feeling people think Memphis is a favorite to win the league despite their recent string of poor performances. In reality, UCF is the favorite based on its on-the-court play, and UTEP is a nice darkhorse thanks to a friendly schedule.

9. NEC

Quinnipiac             4927
Robert Morris          3115
St. Francis NY         1317
Long Island             417
Central Connecticut     122
Wagner                   98
Fairleigh Dickinson       1
Monmouth                  1
Sacred Heart              1
Mount St. Mary's          0

Quinnipiac has two losses by a total of six points, although almost every game has been an odyssey in late-game win probability swings.

8. MVC

Wichita St.            4826
Missouri St.           4578
Creighton               516
Northern Iowa            78
Illinois St.              1
Indiana St.               1
Southern Illinois         0

The Shockers and Bears are both 2-0 and if everything goes to plan, the race will be decided in the season finale between the two in Wichita.

7. America East

Vermont                4692
Maine                  3174
Boston University      1721
Albany                  212
Stony Brook             174
Hartford                 17
New Hampshire             8
Binghamton                0

Vermont was picked fifth by the media (and fourth by the kenpom projection). BU was the media/kenpom favorite and still has hope despite starting the season 5-10 (0-1).

6. Ivy

Princeton              4677
Harvard                4567
Pennsylvania            236
Yale                    223
Cornell                 221
Columbia                 68
Brown                     7
Dartmouth                 0

The nation’s most improved conference figures to have a good race for the most important one-seed of all. There’s a 21% chance of a tie at the end of the regular season which included one case of a five-way tie.

5. OVC

Austin Peay            4412
Murray St.             3501
Morehead St.           2054
Tennessee St.            31
Eastern Kentucky          1
Eastern Illinois          0
Tennessee Tech            0

This was widely thought to be a Murray/Morehead race but Peay’s 4-0 start, including a wild OT win over Morehead, has changed the math.

4. Big East

Pittsburgh             4405
Syracuse               2821
Louisville              990
Villanova               957
Georgetown              248
Cincinnati              223
Notre Dame              205
Connecticut              47
Marquette                46
St. John's               34
West Virginia            22
Seton Hall                2

OK, so I went a little overboard with this tweet. Pitt


the favorite, but it’s largely attributable to schedule differences. The Panthers get the Orange at home and also get to double dip with South Florida.


Iona                   4319
Fairfield              2704
Rider                  2446
Siena                   482
St. Peter's              39
Loyola MD                 6
Canisius                  4

Props to Rider, an after-thought in the preseason, but arguably the best team in the MAAC at this moment. However, the Broncs are a game down to Fairfield and Iona heading into Monday’s action.

2. MWC

Brigham Young          4228
Nevada Las Vegas       3166
San Diego St.          2479
New Mexico              124
Colorado St.              4

No games yet in the MWC, but you could pick any one of the top three teams and I wouldn’t quibble.

1. MAC

Ball St.               3776
Kent St.               1806
Buffalo                1553
Ohio                   1243
Akron                  1022
Western Michigan        338
Miami OH                213
Central Michigan         31
Northern Illinois         8
Bowling Green             7
Eastern Michigan          2

The conference that sent its nine-seed to the NCAA tournament last season also brings us the most wide-open race in 2011. I predict when log5 season comes around, seeding will not be very important this year, either.