Conference play is underway, and the jousting has begun as the path toward March Madness continues. This is a good time to assess which conferences are the best in the country, with rankings from USA TODAY Sports' Nicole Auerbach and Eric Prisbell.
The Big Ten has five teams in the top 14 of the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll. The Big East has two in the top 7, No. 4 (Louisville) and No. 7 (Syracuse). The Atlantic Coast Conference has the near-unanimous No. 1 in Duke.
But judging the best conference is about more than the teams on top. It also needs to include a discussion of the depth from top to bottom. A year ago, the Big East received nine NCAA bids, with the Big Ten and Big 12 each getting six and the ACC getting five. How will those numbers stack up come March?