Best Conference In College Basketball: ACC, Big 12, or Big East?

admin-ajax.php-3By: Caleb Luketic

College basketball has a unanimous #1 in Kentucky in the AP Poll this week, but there is not a clear-cut “Best Conference”. The best 3 conferences in regards to RPI ranking, also in regards to my personal opinion, are the Big 12, the Big East, and the ACC. These 3 conferences have the most projected bids into the NCAA Tournament and the most teams in the top 25.

ACC

The ACC is ranked 3rd in conference RPI at .57 behind the Big East and the Big 12. The ACC currently has 5 top 25 teams, and 4 of these teams are in the top 10. Their lowest ranked team in the top 25 is 12. The ACC has 5 of the top 12 teams, most by any conference. The ACC is 1-3 vs the Big 12, 2-7 vs Big East, 13-8 vs the Big 10, and 9-6 vs SEC. The ACC hasn’t played that great against the other top conferences, but they have drastically improved.

#2 Virginia (21-1) is currently in 1st place in the conference. #4 Duke (21-3) and #10 Notre Dame (21-4) are both close seconds. I think that the ACC Tournament Champion will either be Virginia or Duke, but I’m leaning more toward Virginia just because of their outstanding defense. Duke may have the best player in college basketball in Jahlil Okafor, but Virginia has the best defense in college basketball. Virginia plays as a team and every night a new guy steps up and carries them victory. I believe that Duke and Virginia hold the best chances to pilfer Kentucky’s National Championship hopes.

BIG 12

The Big 12 ranks 1st in overall RPI at .59 over the Big East and ACC. The Big 12 currently has 6 teams in the top 25, but only 1 of those teams is in the top 10, #8 Kansas. However, the Big 12 does possess the most teams in the top 25. The Big 12 is 3-1 vs the ACC, 2-1 vs Big East, 4-4 vs Big 10, and 13-8 vs SEC. The Big 12 has had success against the other major conferences earlier in the season, and they continue to get better and better.

#8 Kansas is currently holding the top spot in the conference at 19-4. #17 Oklahoma (17-7) is a second to them, and #14 Iowa State (17-6) is a close third to Oklahoma. My Big 12 winner right now has to be Kansas, but I think that Iowa State could cause some chaos and upset the Jayhawks in the Big 12 Tournament. Kansas is fighting to become a 1 seed right now, but i don’t see them getting a 1 seed. They will more than likely end up with a 2 seed, but anything is possible with 3 to 5 games left and the conference tournaments to go.

BIG EAST

The Big East is my surprise conference this year because of how good they are. I honestly thought that they weren’t going to be any good because they don’t have anyone except for Villanova. The Big East ranks 2nd to the Big 12 in RPI with .58. The Big East only has 2 teams in the top 25, #6 Villanova and #18 Butler. The Big East is 7-2 vs ACC, 1-2 vs Big 12, 7-5 vs Big 10, and 4-5 vs SEC. The Big East has had outstanding success against the major conferences, despite only having 2 ranked teams.

#6 Villanova is in the top spot in the Big East at 21-2. #18 Butler trails them at 18-6. #6 Villanova will be the Big East regular season champion, and i believe that they will easily win the Big East Tournament. While the Big East is a solid conference, Villanova is just better than everyone else in the conference. Villanova will be given a 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament unless something crazy happens and 2 or more of the top 4 teams lose in their conference tournaments.

DECISION

These 3 conferences are by far the best conference in college basketball, but which one deserves the title of “Best College Basketball Conference”? As you can see, the head to head match-ups are extremely close and don’t really provide a clear winner just yet. They all are ridiculously close in RPI as well, which makes it even more difficult to decide. However, I have a conference that i believe is the best conference because of how many highly ranked teams they have. I think that the ACC is the best conference in college basketball right now because they 5 of the top 12 teams in basketball. While the bottom of the conference may not be as strong as others, the top is head and shoulders above everyone else.

Let me know which conference you think is the best and why!!!!!

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