The Washington Times Daily - - Sports -

west­ern on the spot this week. The un­der­pin­nings of the Wild­cats’ re­sume are beat­ing Michi­gan State and not ab­sorb­ing any bad losses. They might need more than that. A loss to Min­nesota to open the league tour­na­ment would be crip­pling.

Big West: Long Beach State is the over­whelm­ing fa­vorite in the one-bid league.

Con­fer­ence USA: Mem­phis and South­ern Mis­sis­sippi are likely at-large teams, with Mem­phis much more se­cure. Any­one else will need to win the tour­na­ment, which hap­pens to be played at Mem­phis. Good luck with that.

Mid-amer­i­can: The last three MAC tour­na­ment champs won an av­er­age of 8.7 league reg­u­lar-sea­son games, so ex­pect some more bed­lam. Akron, Buf­falo and Ohio were the top reg­u­lar-sea­son teams and will chase the con­fer­ence’s one bid.

Mid-eastern: Sa­van­nah State is the top seed and Nor­folk State is tal­ented, but this is one-bid ter­ri­tory.

Moun­tain West: There are three ex­cep­tion­ally se­cure at-large teams (New Mex­ico, San Diego State and UNLV) and an­other in de­cent shape (Colorado State). If all win in the quar­ter­fi­nals, the pos­si­bil­ity of a bid thief will be ex­tin­guished.

Pac-12: Who knows what will hap­pen. Only one team (Cal­i­for­nia) prob­a­bly can flop and hope to earn an at-large nod, and the Golden Bears aren’t par­tic­u­larly over­whelm­ing. Ari­zona, Ore­gon and reg­u­lar-sea­son champ Wash­ing­ton still have work to do.

Southeastern: The con­fer­ence tour­na­ment is anti-cli­mac­tic; Ken­tucky went 16-0 in the reg­u­lar sea­son and should coast. Mis­sis­sippi State could use a win to feel safe, while Mis­sis­sippi and even Ten­nessee are on the fringe of the at­large con­ver­sa­tion.

Southland: Texas-ar­ling­ton lost its at­tempts for a per­fect con­fer­ence reg­u­lar sea­son, but the Mav­er­icks re­main a strong pos­si­bil­ity for the league’s lone bid. Pat Knight’s Lamar team also could be an in­ter­est­ing pos­si­bil­ity.

South­west­ern Ath­letic: Mis­sis­sippi Val­ley won the reg­u­lar sea­son. The league’s win­ner looks like it will re­ceive a ticket straight to Day­ton for one of the play-in games.

West­ern Ath­letic: Hard to be­lieve it’s been five years since Ne­vada reached the NCAA tour­na­ment. The Wolf Pack is the top seed, with New Mex­ico State also a con­tender for a sin­gle berth.

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