It’s kinda, sorta time where bracketology starts to hold some water in college basketball. We’re seven weeks into the season, and non-conference play is almost complete. While some leagues have already waded into league competition, nearly everyone will have played their conference opener by the weekend’s conclusion.

With non-conference resumes pretty much set, here’s a look at how the bracket shapes up. The bracket holds 32 automatic bids for conference champions (noted with italics), and the remaining 36 are at-large selections. Teams are evaluated by how they have performed to this point in the season without projecting how they will perform the rest of the year. Conference champions have been selected using KenPom projections.

Here’s the full field of 68 through results of Dec. 26 with analysis on the bracket and the bubble below.

1 Villanova 1 Michigan State
16 Iona 16 Northern Kentucky
8 Texas 8 Butler
9 Minnesota 9 Cincinnati
5 Clemson 5 Arizona
San Diego
12 Iowa State/St. Bonaventure 12 Stephen F. Austin
4 Tennesseee 4 Kansas
13 UT Arlington 13 UC Santa Barbara
6 St. John’s 6 Missouri
11 New Mexico State 11 Boise State/Baylor
3 TCU 3 Virginia
14 East Tennessee State 14 Vermont
7 Kentucky 7 Syracuse
10 UCF 10 Alabama
2 North Carolina 2 Xavier
15 Princeton 15 Murray State
1 Texas A&M 1 Arizona State
San Diego
16 UNC Asheville/St. Francis PA 16 Texas Southern/Hampton
8 Florida State 8 Texas Tech
9 Creighton 9 Gonzaga
5 Auburn 5 Wichita State
12 Lipscomb 12 Middle Tennessee
4 Seton Hall 4 Arkansas
13 Towson 13 Missouri State
6 Rhode Island 6 Miami
11 SMU 11 UCLA
3 Oklahoma 3 Purdue
14 South Dakota 14 Ball State
7 USC 7 Nevada
10 Michigan 10 Louisville
2 Duke 2 West Virginia
15 Idaho 15 Bucknell

Last four in: Boise State, Baylor, Iowa State, St. Bonaventure

In whispering distance: Temple, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Florida, Virginia Tech, Saint Mary’s

In talking distance: Northern Iowa, Providence, Oklahoma State, Maryland, Oregon

In shouting distance: Kansas State, Boston College, Houston

Bracket notes:

**If you’re looking for the deepest conference in college basketball, the Big 12 is your obvious answer. Currently, eight teams are in the field, with six seeded as a No. 8 or better. Every Big 12 team is in the mix for a bid with Oklahoma State and Kansas State not too far out.

**The Big Ten and the Pac-12 are extremely weak this year, which has opened up some room for smaller conferences. The American has four teams in with Temple and Houston also in the mix, while the Mountain West and the Atlantic 10 each have two. Unfortunately, the “true” mid-major leagues haven’t produced many contenders to snatch up those at-large spots as it’s hard for the little guys to get a fair shot. New Mexico State (WAC), Northern Iowa (MVC) and Middle Tennessee (C-USA) will have a shot, but each will have to dominate its respective league.

**Last year, we saw four programs make the NCAA Tournament for the first time. We have two in today’s bracket who have never gone dancing: Lipscomb (12 seed, South) and South Dakota (14 seed, South).

Bids by conference:

ACC — 8

Big 12 — 8

SEC — 7

Big East — 6

Big Ten — 4

Pac-12 — 4

AAC — 4

MW — 2

A10 — 2

About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.