NCAA: Best Basketball Conferences—Who Will Win it All?

John LewisSenior Writer IMarch 7, 2008

Big East, PAC-10, Big 12, ACC, SEC—which one is the best conference in the country?

Because I live on the East Coast, I have a little bit of a bias that everything up and down the eastern seaboard is great.

But let me break down each major conference to find out which one is the toughest come tourney time.

I've heard all the arguments, the PAC-10 has the most NBA ready players, PAC-10 has many NCAA championships, the SEC has won the last two titles, the Big East has the most ranked teams, the ACC gets too much respect, etc.

First of all, having the most NBA ready players doesn't always win titles and second of all, I'm tired of hearing about how many titles the PAC-10 has. Listen after the John Wooden era, the PAC-10 isn't close to the largest number of NCAA titles. 

The other arguments, last two champs are Florida—SEC, well they may not even make the tournament and the ACC does get too much respect at times.

But look at the numbers, in the last thirty years I can only think of two NCAA titles out of the PAC-10, 1995 UCLA and 1997 Arizona.  While the ACC has eight in that span, the SEC has six, the Big East and Big Ten have five and the Big 12 has one.

But, that's beside the point—We are talking about the best conference today.  Currently, it's projected that the Big East will get seven teams into the tourney, six by the PAC-10, Big 12 and the ACC and five from the SEC. 

Based on those numbers it's a toss up, but when you break it down the RPI tells a different story.  Of the top 30 teams, according to RPI rank, the Big East has six teams in the top 30, the ACC and PAC-10 have four, the Big Ten and Big 12 have three and the SEC has two.

That still tells me that the Big East is the toughest conference. However, common sense tells me that no Big East team will cut down the net. 

To make a long story even longer: I feel like only three conferences can make the claim about winning a possible title this year: PAC-10—UCLA, ACC—UNC and the Big 12—Kansas. 

I just have a hard time picking Memphis, Tennessee, Duke, Texas, Georgetown, Louisville, Indiana and Stanford to win it all.

But again I say, anything can happen—what do you guys think?