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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 10:46 AM




Folks, we've had this "discussion" many times before right here in these Jim Sez web pages ...
Just how should the NCAA Tournament Committee folks break down the 68 bids that will be handed out next month?
Keep in mind that 32 of the slots will be filled by the post-season conference tournament winners - a/k/a the mini-tournies - and so that leaves 36 at-large bids in all and on a separate topic we'd like to see close to/or exactly a 50-50 split in terms of power conference teams versus non-power conference clubs getting to fill out the 68-team bracket.
We'll classify the power conferences as the following:
The ACC, the Big East, the Big 10, the Big 12, the Pac-12 and the SEC - that's six leagues in all that we say should be represented by a grand total of 34 or 35 teams in all ... and no more than that.
So, that leaves 33 or 34 teams from the so-called mid-majors or smaller leagues to fill out the rest of the field and keep in mind there are 25 smaller conferences that crown their mini-tourney champs plus the Ivy League winner too. So, you're really only looking at approximately seven or eight at-large teams from the smaller leagues and that's just fine.
Right this very minute, here's the Power Conference teams that would get NCAA Tournament bids:

ACC (6) - North Carolina, Miami, Virginia, Duke, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh
BIG EAST (4) - Villanova, Xavier, Seton Hall and Providence
BIG 10 (8) - Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Purdue and Michigan
BIG 12 (6) - Kansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas and Iowa State
PAC-12 (6) - Arizona, Oregon, Utah, California, USC and Colorado
SEC (5) - Kentucky, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Florida and Vanderbilt

Okay, so there's - for right now - your 35 Power Conference teams that will be diving into next month's NCAA Tournament and let us go on record to say that as of this moment the biggest "bubble teams" among the Power Conferences include Creighton (Big East), Texas Tech (Big 12) and LSU (SEC).

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers keep rockin'-n-rollin' through this College Basketball and NBA season with loads of winners right here online or at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 - so go ahead and join the fun and profits today with all the hardwood action and remember the conference tournaments or so-called mini-tournies heat up next week with day-time action all throughout the month of March! We will keep you posted.



Last week we presented to you Jim Sez readers a look at how the Top 4 seeds in each region of the NCAA Tournament would be if we were in control of the process and so let's get you our up-to-the-minute opinion ... and we'll provide this service every week till we get to the start of this year's "Big Dance".
Note that we're also including the Sweet 16/Elite 8 sites for each of the four regions:

EAST - at Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia (PA)
Villanova, Iowa, Miami and Baylor
The #5 Seed - Texas
Comment: Again, the Villanova Wildcats are indeed eligible to play on this floor in Philly because they only played three regular-season games here but check out the other teams in this field as Miami and Baylor probably are more athletic than 'Nova and Texas could be in for a long run behind first-year brilliant head coach Shaka Smart

MIDWEST - at United Center, Chicago (IL)
Kansas, Virginia, Maryland and Oregon
The #5 Seed - Texas A&M
Comment: If Kansas (23-4) keeps on truckin' through this end-of-season field than the Jayhawks will get the NCAA Tourney's top overall seed but no matter how you slice it none of the regions will be proverbial "cakewalks" as Virginia's strength of schedule keeps 'em a #2 seed here and gotta slide Oregon (21-6) somewhere into a top 16 spot even if the Pac-12 haters keep saying they don't deserve such a seeding.

SOUTH - at KFC Yum Center, Louisville (KY)
Oklahoma, Arizona, Xavier and Duke
The #5 Seed - Indiana
Comment: We'll state unequivocally that if the Oklahoma Sooners win the Big 12 mini-tourney than Lon Kruger's club will absolutely/positively land a #1 seed, so don't be at all surprised if both Kansas and OU are top seeds. Love to see a Duke versus Oklahoma showdown in the Sweet 16 round ... mmmm good!

WEST - at Honda Center, Anaheim (CA)
North Carolina, West Virginia, Michigan State and Utah
The #5 Seed - Iowa State
Comment: Gotta feeling that if Arizona (22-5) wins out the rest of the way and cops the Pac-12 Tournament, then the 'Cats will be here and very likely a numero uno seed and then we'd shift everyone down a peg meaning we could be looking at an Arizona vs. North Carolina slugfest in the Elite Eight ... would you sign for that right now, hoop geeks?



The NFL Combine is in full swing ahead mode in Indianapolis - yes, some folks are refusing to run the 40 (see Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell) and some folks will appear a big flabby -- but the annual "meat market" is gonna go a long way towards determining how the first round will look in this year's NFL Draft and here's one player on each side of the ball that could shoot up the draft board with some sweet times, long jumps, etc.

NOAH SPENCE, DE, Eastern Kentucky - The former bad boy at Ohio State is considered top 25 talent but he could scoot up the board by impressing scouts at the combine this week and wouldn't be surprised if he improved his lot and winds up a top 15 pick ... how about the Los Angeles Rams at pick #15?

HUNTER HENRY, TE, Arkansas - Most draftniks claim he is a borderline first-round pick but at 6-foot-5, 255 pounds this kid's a major load and now must show major leg strength as criticism grew that he was "pushed off the ball" in college. Could be headed to Pittsburgh at pick #25 after TE Heath Miller retired last week.

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