Next week or the week after, a full-color Lockbox will emerge. For now, this pre-Lockbox displays a list of conference leaders along with a gaggle of teams ranging from "almost certain" to "this will look dumb come late February." And, of course, some teams will charge hard late and jump into the box.
As always, leagues currently with just one team in the At-Large convo have their favorite listed in italics. I have put multi-bid conference teams in just two colors for today's purposes. Teams in black represent those that most everyone would expect to be IN even at this early juncture. If any teams in black miss, it would be a major surprise. Teams in blue have work to do. Many have played well, but have few (or no) strong wins. Others have unpredictable issues to sort out (Tennessee). Some have performed well statistically, but are off to tough league starts (Marquette). There is a lot of guesswork at this point, but this does at least narrow the field a bit.
There are 46 AL potentials listed here, so if one were constructing a bracket, 12 teams in blue would have to be cut.
The first actual bracket will come either next Monday or the following one and will appear every Monday until the season ends. Lockbox updates occur on Wednesdays (usually).
--Pitt at Cincinnati. Should be a bruiser.
--North Carolina at College of Charleston. Always interesting when a team of UNC's caliber and funds plays a real roadie at a non-Big 6 school.
--Mississippi State at WKU. Both looking for a solid OOC win.