When it comes to the 2014 NBA Championship, we all know who the favorites are. The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers are contenders out East, while the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs are the top dogs out West.
Even the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets should be considered elite, as parity in the Western Conference is obvious among the first four seeds.
Beyond the top-tier competition, there are a handful of dark horses who have a puncher's chance at pulling an upset. Out East, there are a select few. Out West, virtually everyone could win with a strong postseason performance.
March is the month of madness in college basketball, but Cinderella stories are far less common in the NBA. That said, don't sleep on "second-tier" competition, as the postseason should provide entertainment virtually every step of the way.
*Rankings, standings and statistics are current as of March 21 at 1:00 a.m. ET.