The success of a basketball team is always determined by the strength and success of each member of the team. This is no different when determining the success of a conference because the metric is mainly based on how well members of a conference are.
At the end of the year, a conference’s strength often affects how many teams from that conference make it into the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament in general rather than just for seeding.
However, conference strength alone is less concrete in determining the best Conference in College Basketball as there are other factors that are to be put into consideration.
This article has put into consideration all the factors that can help one determine the best conference in College basketball teams in 2022.
How does One Gauge Conference Strength?
By averaging out the six criteria—NCAA Evaluation Tool, Strength of Record, Kevin Pauza Index, KenPom, ESPN’s BPI, and Sagarin—used by the NCAA selection committee for each team, and then contrasting the conferences we can select the top best Conference in College Basketball, 2022 ranking look at strength perspective.
However, if we only look at these strength aspects alone, we might not be doing real justice as there are other things to look into such as depth among others while ranking the best Conference in College Basketball.
We examined every data using the modified efficiency margin statistic, which we also employ to evaluate individual teams.
Efficiency margin is simple to define: it is the difference between a team’s points scored per 100 possessions and its points allowed per 100 possessions. The “adjusted” component also considers a team’s level of competition.
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What are the Selection Metrics of NCAA?
In actuality, official team sheets include the NET as one of six essential measures. The most significant factor is the NET because it establishes quadrant records, but the committee also looks into resume and quality criteria.
The “resume” metrics are the Kevin Pauza Index (KPI) and Strength of Record (SOR). These gauges how difficult it was for a team to achieve its record based on game outcomes rather than how those outcomes were determined.
To evaluate the quality of performances, “quality” metrics typically concentrate on team efficiency (i.e., points per possession). The quality metrics include BPI, KenPom, and Sagarin,
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Top 21 Best Conferences in College Basketball
Looking into all the qualities, we can select the Top 21 Best Conferences in College Basketball from all the conferences available.
1. BIG 12 CONFERENCE
How dominant will the Big 12 be, according to our evaluation? Nearly the same size separates the No. 2 and No. 5 rankings from the Big 12 and the No. 2 league. Baylor, Kansas, TCU, and Texas are among the four Big 12 teams that are currently ranked in the top 12 best Conference in College Basketball.
The Big 12 is so loaded because the basis of our conference ranking is on the Adjusted Efficiency Margin required to finish.500 in conference play (19.29).
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We also have the SEC on our list of best conferences in College Basketball.
The SEC has advanced significantly despite its tournament troubles in the previous year, the conference came in second on our best Conference in College Basketball ranking. The league finished sixth (last among major conferences) the previous season and fourth the year before.
Although the bottom half of the league is resetting with a bunch of new coaches, Auburn, Alabama, and Texas A&M could also place among the top 25 teams.
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3. BIG TEN CONFERENCE
The Big Ten has been the second-best conference in college basketball over the last four years, which speaks to the depth of the league. That hasn’t been as successful in the NCAA Tournament, which may result from both stylistic difficulties and just plain bad luck.
However, no conference consistently produces as many teams suited for tournament play. The Big Ten’s top teams are not as strong as they have been in recent years. However, the conference still boasts a lot of tournament teams and strong depth making it rank among the top best Conference in College Basketball.
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4. BIG EAST CONFERENCE
Few teams this year are producing the broad range that Creighton is. Jay Wright’s retirement has left Villanova with some uncertainty, as it does with most teams when a famous coach steps down.
However, the Wildcats have talent. Providence under Ed Cooley is rebuilding their team after making it to the Sweet 16. Additionally, clubs like Xavier and UConn may rank higher.
There are simply too many questions but if some of them receive encouraging responses, this conference would seem better.
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Next on our list of the best Conference in College Basketball is the ACC.
Instead of its depth, the ACC’s strength was typically its influence at the top of the conference. And if Virginia and Florida State haven’t been as strong as they once were, North Carolina and Duke are still very excellent.
Just a third of the league attended the NCAA Tournament the previous year.
6. PAC-12 CONFERENCE
Over the past few years, the Pac-12 has frequently ranked sixth on the list of the best Conference in College Basketball out of the six major conferences.
The amazing title-less drought for the conference dates back to Arizona’s 1997 championship victory when only three conference teams made it to the NCAA Tournament.
7. MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE
Mountain West Conference is the next on our list of the best Conference in College Basketball with four of its schools making the NCAA Tournament in Boise State, Colorado State, San Diego State, and Wyoming.
The Mountain West was the greatest mid-major league in America last year, generating more NCAA Tournament teams than the Pac-12.
The league might be as dominant as it was a year ago if three of those teams make the top 25 mentions in preseason rankings (with one or two decisions still to be made).
In addition to Colorado State and Wyoming, San Diego State may have the greatest defense in the country.
8. AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
With eight of the league’s 11 teams finishing at or above 500 the previous season, the AAC has some strong teams. That includes a Memphis club that appears to have fairly successfully rebuilt through the transfer portal and a Houston team that is ranked in the top five.
SMU was one of the tournament’s biggest snubs last year, and Tulane may fill that void this time around.
9. WEST COAST CONFERENCE
We also have the West Coast Conference on our list of the best Conference in College Basketball.
Gonzaga usually receives all the credit in this conference because it consistently wins the conference championship and consistently earns the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. Since the NCAA began ranking the No. 1 seeds in 2004, no other school has gone back-to-back in that manner.
However, the conference has also produced several other excellent teams: Saint Mary’s and San Francisco last year, while BYU stood out as the second-best team in the conference the two years prior.
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10. ATLANTIC 10 CONFERENCE
The A10 is the next on our list of best Conference in College Basketball another typical multi-bid league and has experienced some parity at the conference’s top. In 2018, Davidson, St. Bonaventure, and Rhode Island all made it to the tournament. VCU and Saint Louis achieved success in 2019.
Dayton was predicted to be the top seed in 2020, and Richmond was predicted to be a tournament team as well. The Bonnies and Rams came back in 2021. Additionally, Richmond made it to the field last year while Davidson returned.
These seven teams either made it to the tournament over five years or were predicted to compete in the postponed event.
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11. COLONIAL ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
Next on our list of the best Conference in College Basketball is the Colonial Athletic The College of Charleston Cougars is the top team among the conference we’ve covered up to this point because they return every significant player from a 25-win squad.
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12. MISSOURI VALLEY
The loss of Wichita State to the AAC will be a concern for the Missouri Valley, which has been among the top-best Conference in College Basketball for over ten years.
The conference is not being held back by any truly terrible teams, however, there aren’t any great teams at the top, while 80 percent of the league may end the season within two games of 500 in conference play.
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13. OHIO VALLEY CONFERENCE
Operating in the Midwest and the Southeastern regions of the country is the collegiate athletic league known as the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC).
This conference also ranks among the top best Conference in College Basketball.
It competes in the NCAA’s Division I, the lower of two levels of Division I football competition.
14. SUN BELT CONFERENCE
Next on the list of the best Conference in College Basketball is the Sun Belt.
Since 1976, Division I of the NCAA has had a relationship with the collegiate athletic conference known as the Sun Belt Conference (SBC).
The Sun Belt, which was once a non-football conference, started supporting football in 2001. Division, I Football Bowl Subdivision is where its football teams compete (FBS). The 14 Sun Belt member institutions are mainly located in the south of the country.
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15. ASUN CONFERENCE
A collegiate athletic league based mostly in the Southeastern region of the United States is the ASUN Conference, originally known as the Atlantic Sun Conference. ASUN is among the best Conference in College Basketball.
The league started sponsoring Division I FCS football in 2022 and competes at the NCAA Division I level.
The Trans America Athletic Conference (TAAC), originally founded in 1978, was renamed the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2001, and subsequently the ASUN Conference in 2016.
Atlanta serves as the location of the conference’s main office.
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16. Southland Conference
The Southland Conference, also known as SLC, is a collegiate sports association that competes in the South Central region of the United States.
It competes in all sports in the NCAA’s Division I and football in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). A presidential Board of Directors and an Advisory Council of athletic and academic administrators governs the Southland.
As part of the best Conference in College Basketball, Southland Conference sponsors 18 sports, 10 for women and 8 for men. On April 5, 2022, Chris Grant was appointed as the seventh commissioner of the Southland.
17. Southern Conference
A Division I collegiate athletic conference, the Southern Conference (SoCon) is a part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Football teams from the Southern Conference play in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-AA). Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia all have member institutions.
18. America East Conference
Next on our list of the best Conference in College Basketball is the America East.
The Northeastern United States is home to the members of the America East Conference, an NCAA Division I-affiliated collegiate athletic conference that was established in 1979.
The conference’s nine founding members include eight public research universities, three of which—the Universities of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont—are the state’s flagship institutions.
The University at Albany and Binghamton University, the State University of New York’s two non-flagship university centers, are present at the conference.
The sole private university in the core membership is Bryant University.
Eight of the nine members are found within the borders of seven neighboring states. The lone institution outside of this group of states is the ninth, UMBC.
In 2022, when Stony Brook University and the University of Hartford left the conference, Bryant is the most recent university to enter.
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19. Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
The Metro Atlantic Sports League (MAAC) is an NCAA Division I-affiliated collegiate athletic conference and it is the next on our list of best Conference in College Basketball.
This conference is made up of eleven schools in the northeastern states of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. In July 2022, a school from Maryland join the conference.
The only exceptions are two secular institutions, Rider University, and Quinnipiac University.
Members are all relatively small private institutions, with a majority Catholic or formerly Catholic.
There are now 25 sports sponsored by the MAAC, and 17 colleges are associate members.
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20. Western Athletic Conference
We equally have the Western Athletic Conference on our list of the best Conference in College Basketball.
The Western Athletic Conference men’s basketball tournament serves as the conference championship game for the Western Athletic Conference in college basketball (WAC).
21. CONFERENCE USA
we also have on our list of best Conference in College Basketball the Conference USA.
The Conference USA’s 2021–2022 men’s basketball season came to an end with the 2022 Conference USA Men’s Basketball Tournament (C-USA).
The tournament took place in the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, from March 8–12, 2022. The conference’s automatic bid to the 2022 NCAA Tournament went to the victor, the UAB Blazers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Depending on where the schools are located, teams are chosen for various conferences. Because of the teams’ geographical competition, these conferences have been established to provide each team with a fixed schedule of games for the following season.
However, five of the six former AQ conferences—the big ten conference, the big 12 conferences, the Atlantic coast conference (ACC), the pac-12 conference, and the southeastern conference—are now referred to as the “power five leagues” (SEC).
Fans of the sport argue about which conference in college basketball is the best not just annually but also on a daily and weekly level.
It is challenging to keep track of which teams are now in which conferences due to conference expansion at every major and even minor conference.
- bleacherreport.com:power ranking every conference-in-college-basketball
- www.foxsports.com college basketball conference-USA standings
- www.espn.com men’s college basketball conferences
- en.m.wikipedia.org ConferenceU Men Basketball Tournament
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