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Conference watch

March 05, 2007|Robyn Norwood

Robyn Norwood takes a look around the country at which teams should be in and which ones are still open to debate. Asterisks mark the teams that already have earned automatic berths. For conferences expected to receive only

an automatic bid, either the tournament finalists are listed or the top-seeded remaining team is projected as the winner.

AMERICA EAST

Vermont or Albany.

ATLANTIC 10

In: Projected winner Xavier.

In the conversation: Xavier, Massachusetts. Somebody will win the A-10 tournament and the automatic berth, but there's no certainty of a second bid.

ATLANTIC COAST

In: North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Duke, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Georgia Tech.

In the conversation: Clemson, Florida State.

ATLANTIC SUN

Belmont.*

BIG 12

In: Kansas, Texas A&M, Texas.

In the conversation: Texas Tech, Kansas State.

BIG EAST

In: Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame, Marquette, Villanova.

In the conversation: Syracuse, West Virginia.

BIG SKY

In: Projected winner Weber State.

BIG SOUTH

Winthrop.*

BIG TEN

In: Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Indiana.

In the conversation: Illinois, Purdue, Michigan.

BIG WEST

In: Projected winner Long Beach State. Despite 22 victories, with an RPI in the 80s, the 49ers have to win the Big West tournament to make it.

COLONIAL

In: Virginia Commonwealth or George Mason. What do you know? A season after their Final Four run, the Patriots have made an unexpected run to the conference title game Monday but must win to get in.

In the conversation: VCU, Drexel, Old Dominion.

CONFERENCE USA

In: Memphis. Only a C-USA upset of the Tigers would give the league a second team.

HORIZON

In: Butler. The Horizon gets two if Wright State, which upset Butler last month, can earn the automatic bid by beating Butler again in the title game Tuesday.

IVY

In: Pennsylvania* The last holdout, the Ivy sends its regular-season champion.

METRO ATLANTIC

In: Siena or Niagara.

MID-AMERICAN

In: Projected winner Toledo.

MID-CONTINENT

In: Projected winner Oral Roberts.

MID-EASTERN

In: Projected winner Delaware State.

MISSOURI VALLEY

In: Creighton* and Southern Illinois.

In the conversation: Bradley, Missouri State.

MOUNTAIN WEST

In: Nevada Las Vegas, Brigham Young, Air Force.

NORTHEAST

In: Central Connecticut State or Sacred Heart.

OHIO VALLEY

In: Eastern Kentucky*.

PAC-10

In: UCLA, Washington State, Oregon, Arizona, USC.

In the conversation: Stanford. Washington enters the discussion if it makes the final.

PATRIOT

In: Holy Cross or Bucknell.

SOUTHEASTERN

In: Florida, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Kentucky.

In the conversation: Alabama, but it's probably a short one as poorly as the Tide has played.

SOUTHERN

In: Davidson.*

SOUTHLAND

In: Projected winner Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

SOUTHWESTERN

In: Projected winner Mississippi Valley State.

SUN BELT

In: Projected winner Arkansas State.

WEST COAST

In: Gonzaga or Santa Clara.

In the conversation: Gonzaga. The Zags have one of the stranger resumes around -- including a victory over North Carolina and a loss to Loyola Marymount -- but the suspension of Josh Heytvelt and a high-60s RPI make their chances uncertain if they fail to win the WCC title.

WESTERN ATHLETIC

In: Nevada. Only a WAC upset of the Wolf Pack would give the league a second team.

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