Conference tournament week is like rush week in college fraternities.
Every team is working to make a last-ditch effort to impress the NCAA tournament selection committee. While Kentucky and Syracuse can breathe easily as the top two seeds, the rest of the potential field is eager to earn their way into top seeds or into the tournament at all.
As teams jockey for position, some are poised to make a run and some are on the verge of packing up for the season.
1. Kentucky (30-1, RPI 2, SOS 36). The selection committee doesn't look at conference performance, but the Wildcats' unblemished SEC record is a credit to their success. Eight wins against top 50 RPI teams is tough to match.
2. Syracuse (30-1, RPI 1, SOS 26). Has racked up quality wins, beating Florida, Marquette, Georgetown and Louisville.
3. North Carolina (27-4, RPI 3, SOS 4). Blowing out Duke on Saturday was a huge boost for the Tar Heels, who deserve a top seed with 11 wins against opponents with top 60 RPI.
4. Kansas (26-5, RPI 6, SOS 8). The Jayhawks asserted themselves with a recent victory against Missouri and own other quality victories against Ohio State, Georgetown and a sweep of Baylor.
LAST FOUR IN
1. South Florida (18-12, RPI 45, SOS 24). May be a given in the field after a victory against Louisville to enhance a resume that includes six top 100 wins. The only drawback is three early losses to low-quality opponents.
2. Northwestern (18-12, RPI 47, SOS 14). Wildcats will be hurt by Seton Hall's recent slide because the Pirates were a quality win. Now they're riding on their one win against Michigan State unless NU can make waves in the Big Ten tournament.
3. VCU (27-6, RPI 50, SOS 174). Helped itself with a late-season win over George Mason, but the resume takes a hit with losses to Georgia State and Georgia Tech.
4. Texas (19-12, RPI 51, SOS 23). Beating Temple is the top victory for the Longhorns, but they have losses to two teams with RPIs outside the top 100 -- Oklahoma State and Oregon State.
Xavier (19-11, RPI 57, SOS 47). Stumbled with losses to St. Louis (a tournament team) and Massachusetts, but its only quality win is against Vanderbilt. A loss to Hawaii (RPI 217) is a definite blemish.
Seton Hall (19-11, RPI 59, SOS 50). Looked like real contenders until losing to Rutgers (RPI 154) and DePaul (195). Pirates need to do some work in the Big East tournament to earn a way into the NCAA tournament.
Miami (18-11, RPI 53, SOS 41). Tripped with late losses to Maryland and North Carolina State (another team battling for tournament love). But beating Florida State and Duke earlier in the season are worth a nod.
Oregon (22-8, RPI 49, SOS 88). The Pac-12 will have a hard time earning two bids with a weak conference slate. The Ducks don't have any wins against quality teams to turn heads.