NCAA Basketball March Madness

5 NCAA Basketball Teams That Could Earn No. 1 Seed With Conference Tournament Victory

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5 Teams That Could Earn No. 1 Seed With Conference Tournament Victory

Mark Dolejs-USA Today Sports

March Madness has officially begun. Mid-major conference championships are already underway, and major conference tournaments are set to commence in the upcoming week. Basketball fans everywhere are preparing themselves for a bombardment of buzzer-beaters and overtime thrillers, in what should be one of the wildest NCAA Tournaments ever.

The 2013-14 regular season comes to a close this weekend, but there is still much more at stake before the Big Dance gets started. With 10 teams claiming a legitimate shot at a No. 1 seed, this year’s conference tournaments will offer more incentive, and carry more importance than ever before.

Kansas’ loss to West Virginia Saturday gives them eight losses on the season, and likely destroys their chances of earning a No. 1 seed. Once perfect Syracuse has struggled greatly as of late, and is attempting to hold on to their top-seed dreams. Big Ten teams have spent all season beating up on each other, while Wichita State has beaten up on every team they’ve played, and Virginia hopes a lack of notable wins doesn’t harm their seeding resume.

Arizona and Florida have been the standouts of the NCAA, and have already locked up their top tournament spots, but the remaining two are still up for grabs. An impressive showing in next weekend’s conference tournaments could potentially help two hopefuls cap off their season in the best way possible.

Here are five teams looking to lock up a No. 1 seed with a conference tournament championship.

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Wichita State

Reese Strickland-USA Today Sports

The Wichita State Shockers are 33-0, and the only undefeated team left in the NCAA. Any other team clinging to an undefeated record would be considered a certain lock for a No. 1 seed, but the Shockers' strength of schedule puts them under heavy scrutiny. Capping off a truly undefeated campaign with a conference tournament championship, however, would leave no doubt in the tournament committee's minds. With a win on Sunday, Wichita State will deservedly clinch a No. 1 seed.

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Dave Weaver-USA Today Sports

At 28-3, Villanova has somehow flown under the radar this season, and is almost surprisingly one of the best teams in college basketball. The Wildcats dominated the Big East in 2013-14, and have only lost to Creighton and Syracuse. With non-conference wins over Iowa and Kansas, Villanova will look to add to its tournament resume with a Big East tournament championship.

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Charles LeClaire-USA Today Sports

The Orange were spotlighted in college basketball for much of the season. Once undefeated, Syracuse has tanked slightly as of late, but still find themselves at 26-4. An ACC tournament championship would go a long way in the team's No. 1 seed chances.

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blue devils
Joshua S. Kelly-USA Today Sports

Duke has arguably the top freshman in the nation in Jabari Parker, and has put together a very impressive 2013-14 season. Much like Syracuse, 23-7 Duke could help lay their claim to a No. 1 seed with a victory over UNC Saturday, and an eventual ACC tournament championship.

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Rick Osentoski-USA Today Sports

The Wisconsin Badgers are one of the most underrated teams in the country. At 25-5, Wisconsin survived as one of the top two teams in a very competitive Big Ten, and carry impressive non-conference wins against Florida, Saint Louis and Virginia. If they can win a Big Ten tournament championship on Selection Sunday, the Badgers deserve serious consideration for a No. 1 seed.