From the ACC to the Pac-12, SI projects nine major-conference races in college basketball.

By Dan Hanner & Luke Winn
November 13, 2015

Sports Illustrated’s College Basketball Projection System simulates a given season 10,000 times in order to find the most frequent No. 1—this year, that would be North Carolina—and determine where the other 350 Division I teams fall in line. This marks the second year that SI’s preseason rankings have been decided by the projection system, a collaboration among economist Dan Hanner, SI producer and writer Chris Johnson and myself. The results from year one were promising: The system forecast—in exact order—the eventual top four teams in adjusted efficiency (Kentucky, Arizona, Wisconsin, Duke). It also predicted that title-game opponents Wisconsin and Duke would have the most efficient offenses, ranked all eight of the NCAA tournament No. 1 and No. 2 seeds among its Top 10, and produced the most accurate conference standings of any projection model, according to kenpom.com.

MORE: See SI.com's complete college basketball preseason coverage

For offense, the system projects every player’s efficiency and shot volume by incorporating his past performance, recruiting rankings, development curves for similar Division I players, the quality of his teammates and his coach’s ability to develop and maximize talent. Those stats are weighted based on the team's rotation—including human intel on who’s expected to earn minutes—then used to produce each team’s offensive efficiency projection. (The 10,000 simulations account for significant variance in individual performances as well as injury scenarios.) Team defensive efficiency projections are based on a blend of individual stats (rebound, steal and block percentages), roster turnover (if churn is low, then 2014-15 performances in areas such as two-point field goal percentage are given a lot of weight; if high, then a coach’s historical defensive résumé matters more), experience (veterans have fewer lapses) and height (taller frontcourts make for stingier D).

The following is a Nov. 12 update of our system's projected conference-by-conference standings for 2015–16, taking into account players who've been ruled ineligible or suffered season-ending injuries after our initial publication:

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Rhode Island

13

5

2

Davidson

12

6

3

VCU

12

6

4

Dayton

12

6

5

Richmond

12

6

6

George Washington

11

7

7

St. Bonaventure

8

10

8

Saint Joseph's

8

10

9

Duquesne

8

10

10

Massachusetts

7

11

11

La Salle

7

11

12

Fordham

6

12

13

George Mason

5

13

14

Saint Louis

5

13

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

North Carolina

13

5

2

Duke

13

5

3

Virginia

13

5

4

Louisville

10

8

5

Notre Dame

10

8

6

Miami FL

10

8

7

Florida St.

9

9

8

NC State

9

9

9

Syracuse

9

9

10

Pittsburgh

9

9

11

Clemson

7

11

12

Georgia Tech

7

11

13

Wake Forest

7

11

14

Virginia Tech

6

12

15

Boston College

3

15

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Stony Brook

13

3

2

Vermont

12

4

3

Albany

12

4

4

New Hampshire

9

7

5

Hartford

7

9

6

Binghamton

6

10

7

UMass Lowell

5

11

8

UMBC

4

12

9

Maine

4

12

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

NJIT

11

3

2

North Florida

10

4

3

Florida Gulf Coast

7

7

4

Lipscomb

7

7

5

Jacksonville

7

7

6

USC Upstate

7

7

7

Kennesaw St.

4

10

8

Stetson

3

11

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Connecticut

14

4

2

SMU

14

4

3

Cincinnati

13

5

4

Tulsa

11

7

5

Temple

10

8

6

Memphis

10

8

7

Houston

8

10

8

Tulane

5

13

9

East Carolina

5

13

10

UCF

5

13

11

South Florida

4

14

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Maryland

14

4

2

Indiana

12

6

3

Michigan St.

12

6

4

Purdue

11

7

5

Michigan

11

7

6

Ohio St.

11

7

7

Wisconsin

11

7

8

Illinois

9

9

9

Iowa

9

9

10

Northwestern

7

11

11

Nebraska

7

11

12

Penn St.

6

12

13

Minnesota

5

13

14

Rutgers

1

17

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Kansas

13

5

2

Iowa St.

12

6

3

Oklahoma

12

6

4

Texas

11

7

5

West Virginia

10

8

6

Baylor

9

9

7

Oklahoma St.

8

10

8

Texas Tech

5

13

9

TCU

5

13

10

Kansas St.

5

13

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Villanova

14

4

2

Georgetown

12

6

3

Xavier

12

6

4

Butler

11

7

5

Marquette

10

8

6

Providence

8

10

7

Seton Hall

8

10

8

Creighton

7

11

9

DePaul

5

13

10

St. John's

3

15

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Montana

13

5

2

Weber St.

12

6

3

Eastern Washington

11

7

4

Portland St.

10

8

5

Northern Arizona

9

9

6

Sacramento St.

9

9

7

Idaho

9

9

8

Southern Utah

9

9

9

Montana St.

8

10

10

Northern Colorado

7

11

11

Idaho St.

6

12

12

North Dakota

5

13

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

High Point

15

3

2

Coastal Carolina

13

5

3

Winthrop

13

5

4

Radford

9

9

5

UNC Asheville

9

9

6

Longwood

8

10

7

Gardner Webb

8

10

8

Charleston Southern

7

11

9

Campbell

7

11

10

Presbyterian

6

12

11

Liberty

4

14

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

UC Irvine

11

5

2

Hawaii

11

5

3

Long Beach St.

10

6

4

Cal Poly

10

6

5

UC Santa Barbara

9

7

6

UC Riverside

7

9

7

Cal St. Fullerton

6

10

8

UC Davis

6

10

9

Cal St. Northridge

2

14

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Hofstra

12

6

2

James Madison

11

7

3

UNC Wilmington

11

7

4

Northeastern

11

7

5

William & Mary

10

8

6

Delaware

8

10

7

College of Charleston

7

11

8

Elon

7

11

9

Towson

7

11

10

Drexel

6

12

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

UAB

14

4

2

Old Dominion

14

4

3

Middle Tennessee

12

6

4

UTEP

12

6

5

Western Kentucky

11

7

6

Louisiana Tech

11

7

7

Rice

8

10

8

Charlotte

8

10

9

Marshall

7

11

10

FIU

7

11

11

North Texas

6

12

12

Florida Atlantic

6

12

13

Southern Miss

5

13

14

UTSA

5

13

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Valparaiso

15

3

2

Oakland

11

7

3

Detroit

10

8

4

Green Bay

10

8

5

Milwaukee

10

8

6

Wright St.

9

9

7

Cleveland St.

8

10

8

Northern Kentucky

7

11

9

Illinois Chicago

5

13

10

Youngstown St.

5

13

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Princeton

9

5

2

Columbia

9

5

3

Harvard

9

5

4

Yale

8

6

5

Dartmouth

7

7

6

Penn

6

8

7

Brown

5

9

8

Cornell

3

11

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Iona

16

4

2

Canisius

13

7

3

Rider

13

7

4

Monmouth

11

9

5

Manhattan

11

9

6

Siena

11

9

7

Fairfield

10

10

8

Quinnipiac

9

11

9

Saint Peter's

6

14

10

Niagara

6

14

11

Marist

4

16

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Central Michigan

14

4

2

Akron

13

5

3

Western Michigan

11

7

4

Kent St.

10

8

5

Miami OH

9

9

6

Buffalo

9

9

7

Eastern Michigan

8

10

8

Ball St.

8

10

9

Toledo

8

10

10

Ohio

7

11

11

Northern Illinois

6

12

12

Bowling Green

5

13

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

NC Central

14

2

2

Hampton

12

4

3

Norfolk St.

10

6

4

Howard

10

6

5

MD Eastern Shore

9

7

6

North Carolina A&T

8

8

7

Morgan St.

8

8

8

Bethune Cookman

8

8

9

South Carolina St.

7

9

10

Delaware St.

6

10

11

Savannah St.

6

10

12

Coppin St.

4

12

13

Florida A&M

2

14

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Wichita St.

16

2

2

Evansville

12

6

3

Illinois St.

11

7

4

Northern Iowa

11

7

5

Loyola Chicago

9

9

6

Indiana St.

9

9

7

Southern Illinois

8

10

8

Missouri St.

7

11

9

Drake

4

14

10

Bradley

3

15

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

San Diego St.

15

3

2

Boise St.

13

5

3

UNLV

13

5

4

New Mexico

11

7

5

Colorado St.

10

8

6

Fresno St.

9

9

7

Utah St.

9

9

8

Wyoming

7

11

9

Nevada

6

12

10

Air Force

5

13

11

San Jose St.

1

17

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Mount St. Mary's

13

5

2

St. Francis NY

11

7

3

Sacred Heart

10

8

4

LIU Brooklyn

10

8

5

Robert Morris

10

8

6

Wagner

9

9

7

Bryant

9

9

8

St. Francis PA

8

10

9

Fairleigh Dickinson

5

13

10

Central Connecticut

5

13

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Belmont

13

3

2

Tennessee Martin

11

5

3

Murray St.

11

5

4

Morehead St.

10

6

5

Eastern Kentucky

9

7

6

Eastern Illinois

7

9

7

SE Missouri St.

7

9

8

Tennessee St.

7

9

9

Austin Peay

6

10

10

Tennessee Tech

6

10

11

Jacksonville St.

5

11

12

SIU Edwardsville

4

12

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Arizona

13

5

2

California

13

5

3

Utah

12

6

4

Oregon

11

7

5

UCLA

10

8

6

Oregon St.

9

9

7

Arizona St.

8

10

8

Colorado

8

10

9

Stanford

7

11

10

USC

7

11

11

Washington

5

13

12

Washington St.

5

13

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Boston University

12

6

2

Lehigh

12

6

3

Bucknell

11

7

4

Army

11

7

5

American

10

8

6

Navy

8

10

7

Holy Cross

8

10

8

Lafayette

7

11

9

Loyola MD

7

11

10

Colgate

4

14

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Louisiana Lafayette

16

4

2

Georgia St.

14

6

3

Louisiana Monroe

12

8

4

Arkansas Little Rock

11

9

5

Texas St.

10

10

6

UT Arlington

10

10

7

Arkansas St.

10

10

8

Appalachian St.

8

12

9

Georgia Southern

7

13

10

South Alabama

7

13

11

Troy

5

15

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Wofford

13

5

2

Chattanooga

13

5

3

East Tennessee St.

12

6

4

Mercer

11

7

5

Western Carolina

9

9

6

UNC Greensboro

8

10

7

Furman

8

10

8

VMI

8

10

9

Samford

5

13

10

The Citadel

3

15

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Kentucky

14

4

2

Texas A&M

12

6

3

LSU

12

6

4

Vanderbilt

11

7

5

Florida

10

8

6

South Carolina

10

8

7

Georgia

9

9

8

Mississippi St.

8

10

9

Auburn

8

10

10

Mississippi

8

10

11

Arkansas

7

11

12

Tennessee

6

12

13

Alabama

6

12

14

Missouri

5

13

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Texas Southern

15

3

2

Southern

14

4

3

Alabama St.

11

7

4

Jackson St.

11

7

5

Alabama A&M

9

9

6

Arkansas Pine Bluff

9

9

7

Prairie View A&M

8

10

8

Mississippi Valley St.

6

12

9

Alcorn St.

6

12

10

Grambling St.

1

17

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Stephen F. Austin

16

2

2

Northwestern St.

12

6

3

Sam Houston St.

12

6

4

Texas A&M CC

10

8

5

Incarnate Word

10

8

6

Lamar

9

9

7

SE Louisiana

9

9

8

Houston Baptist

8

10

9

Nicholls St.

8

10

10

New Orleans

8

10

11

Abilene Christian

5

13

12

McNeese St.

5

13

13

Central Arkansas

5

13

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

South Dakota St.

12

4

2

North Dakota St.

11

5

3

Oral Roberts

8

8

4

Nebraska Omaha

8

8

5

IUPUI

8

8

6

South Dakota

8

8

7

IPFW

7

9

8

Denver

6

10

9

Western Illinois

4

12

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

New Mexico St.

11

3

2

Cal St. Bakersfield

10

4

3

Grand Canyon

8

6

4

UMKC

8

6

5

Seattle

6

8

6

Utah Valley

5

9

7

Chicago St.

5

9

8

Texas RGV

3

11

 

 

conference rank

team

projected wins

projected losses

1

Gonzaga

16

2

2

BYU

13

5

3

Pepperdine

11

7

4

Saint Mary's

10

8

5

San Diego

8

10

6

Santa Clara

8

10

7

Pacific

8

10

8

Portland

7

11

9

San Francisco

5

13

10

Loyola Marymount

4

14

 

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