NCAA Division I Conference Championship Scenarios

  0 Jared Anderson | November 21st, 2016 | ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News, Pac 12, SEC, WCC

The winners of the NCAA’s 32 Division I conferences each earn automatic bids to the NCAA tournament – but 9 of those conference slots are still up in the air with one week of the regular season remaining. Who’s in and who’s out? Check out our quick analysis of the possible scenarios in each conference:

First off, here’s all the conference champs who have clinched their honors as of Tuesday morning:

Conference Champ
America East New Hampshire (20-10)
Atlantic 10 Dayton (30-1)
Atlantic Sun Lipscomb (22-7)
Big Sky North Dakota (26-9)
Big South High Point (23-9)
Big West Hawaii (22-5)
CAA James Madison (20-10)
C-USA Western Kentucky (30-2)
Horizon Cleveland State (25-5)
Ivy League Princeton (19-4)
MAAC Fairfield (28-5)
MAC Northern Illinois (25-5)
MEAC Howard (25-5)
Mountain West Boise State (24-6)
NEC LIU Brooklyn (15-14)
Ohio Valley Murray State (23-8)
Patriot American (26-7)
SoCon Samford (21-13)
Southland Corpus Christi (24-7)
Sun Belt Coastal Carolina (27-4)
SWAC Alabama State (24-8)
Summit League Denver (23-7)
WAC UT Rio Grande Valley (21-13)


The conferences still up in the air are the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, American Athletic, Big East, Missouri Valley and West Coast Conferences. Here’s what each team needs to clinch at least a share of their conference championship.


The UNC Tar Heels are currently leading by two games over Florida State and Duke. North Carolina would have to lose both of its games this week (Wednesday vs Duke, Saturday vs Wake Forest) and have either Duke (at UNC, at NC State) or FSU (home vs Clemson, home vs Georgia Tech) win out for the conference champ to change.

Team Conference Record Wed Sat Needs:
UNC 17-1 vs Duke vs Wake Forest Win or Duke + FSU losses
Duke 15-3 @ UNC @ NC State 2 wins + UNC loss to Wake Forest
FSU 15-3 vs Clemson vs Georgia Tech 2 wins + 2 UNC losses

Big Ten: 

#1 Nebraska leads, but all three top teams (Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota) will play each other this week. Minnesota is currently third, but plays Nebraska Wednesday and Wisconsin Saturday, both at home.

Team Conference Record Wed Sat Needs:
Nebraska 17-1 @ Minnesota vs Michigan 2 wins or 1 win + Wisconsin loss
Wisconsin 16-2 vs Iowa @ Minnesota 2 wins + Nebraska loss
Minnesota 15-3 vs Clemson vs Georgia Tech 2 wins + Nebraska loss to Michigan

Big 12: 

Kansas only needs to beat Baylor on the road this week to clinch. Texas could force a tie with a win over West Virginia and a Kansas loss.

Team Conference Record Sat Needs:
Kansas 14-1 @ Baylor win or Texas loss
Texas 13-2 vs West Virginia win + Kansas loss


Washington and UCLA are currently tied for the conference lead and will play – likely for the Pac-12 title – in Seattle Wednesday. Both teams also have a Saturday match. Stanford is one game back and needs some help to win the conference.

Team Conference Record Wed: Sat: Needs:
Washington 14-4 vs UCLA @ Washington State 2 Wins or 1 Win + 2 UCLA losses
UCLA 14-4 @ Washington @USC 2 Wins or 1 Win + 2 Washington losses
Stanford 13-5 vs Oregon vs Cal 2 Wins + Saturday loss for UCLA/ Washington winner


The SEC could come right down to the wire, with Kentucky just a half-game ahead of Florida and Mizzou. The Gators have winnable matches against Auburn and Arkansas this week, Missouri gets Georgia and Tennessee, and Kentucky has only one match left, on the road at Tennessee. Texas A&M isn’t technically eliminated either, but would need to win out against LSU and Auburn, plus get a lot of help to win the SEC.

Team Conference Record Wed: Fri/Sat: Needs:
Kentucky 15-2 @ Tennessee Win
Florida 14-2 vs Auburn @ Arkansas 2 Wins or Win + Kentucky loss + Missouri loss
Missouri 14-2 @ Georgia vs Tennessee 2 Wins or Win + Kentucky loss + Florida loss
Texas A&M 13-3 vs LSU @ Auburn 2 Wins + Kentucky loss + Florida loss + Missouri loss


SMU controls its own fate in the American, with a one-game lead over Cincinnati. Temple is two games back, but does have a chance to close that gap with a win over SMU on Wednesday.

Team Conference Record Wed: Fri/Sat: Needs:
SMU 16-2 @ Temple @ UConn Win
Cincinnati 15-3 vs East Carolina @ Memphis 2 Wins + SMU loss or 1 win + 2 SMU losses + Temple loss
Temple 14-4 vs SMU vs Tulsa 2 Wins + SMU loss to UConn + 1 Cincinnati loss

Big East: 

The Big East tournament begins Friday, with semifinal matches between top-seeded Creighton and #4 Seton Hall, plus #2 Marquette taking on 3-seed Xavier. The final is on Saturday between the winners of those two matches.

Championship Bracket

Missouri Valley: 

The hunt for the MVC title begins on Thursday with two quarterfinal matchups: Illinois State vs Southern Illinois and Loyola vs UNI. Top seeds Missouri State and Wichita State have byes until Friday, and the winners of those two semifinals meet Saturday for the conference title and the NCAA bid.

Championship Bracket

West Coast: 

The WCC title is also down to the final game of the season. BYU and San Diego are tied for the lead at 15-2 in the conference. BYU heads to Loyola Marymount while San Diego plays Pepperdine, also on the road. Wins for both will force a tie, as will losses for both. If one team wins and the other loses, the winning team earns the conference title.

Team Conference Record Tues: Needs:
BYU 15-2 @ Loyola Marymount Win
San Diego 15-2 @ Pepperdine Win

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