As USA Today bracketologist Shelby Mast and I discussed on Bracket Rabble today (you can replay the episode), the leagues with true round robin schedules usually don’t deviate much seed and selection-wise from the league standings. That’s because an 18-game round robin is about the best comparison you can have between two teams. With that in mind, let’s look at the Big XII and Big East:
West Virginia 13-5
Iowa State 10-8
Texas Tech 9-9
Kansas finished two games ahead of the pack and played very well against a very tough non-conference schedule. They will not only be an NCAA number one seed, but they are guaranteed to be a higher overall seed than any Big XII brethren regardless of whether Oklahoma or West Virginia wins the league tournament while Kansas loses in the quarterfinals.
I actually have Oklahoma ahead of West Virginia now because of Oklahoma’s great non-conference performance (including wins over Villanova and Wisconsin) and because of Oklahoma’s sweep of West Virginia. Texas is the fourth team in the pecking order because of their fourth place standing and a plethora of quality wins. Behind them are Iowa State and Baylor. While Baylor swept the series, Iowa State had quality non-league wins (Iowa, Colorado) that Baylor simply didn’t have, so Iowa State is the fifth current selection from the league, while Baylor is sixth. Seventh is seventh-place Texas Tech. All other Big XII teams will have to win the league tourney title to get an NCAA bid.
The Big East
Seton Hall 12-6
Villanova finished two games ahead of the nearest competitor, so it would be a real surprise if they aren’t the highest overall seed from this league. If second-place Xavier wins the Big East tournament and Villanova falls in the quarterfinals, then there is a chance it happens because of Villanova’s struggles against one seed-level competition (see the Oklahoma and Virginia games). But expect Villanova to be the first selection and Xavier the second selection, regardless of conference tournament performances.
Behind them, expect Seton Hall to be the third pick behind their strong 12-6 league record. After that, there are two tied teams (Providence and Butler). Whoever wins the quarterfinal game between the two should be the higher tournament seed.