Behind the bracket: Projected bids for each conference

The Pac-12 has taken some heat this year, but could still get as many as 3 into the field. Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA tournament begins in a month. Although the selection committee pays no attention to conference affiliation when awarding bids, we know everyone else in the sport does. It's how fans (and especially administrators) keep score.

All of which makes it high time to revisit our league-by-league projections from the start of the conference season. What did we say then? And how does it look now?

Big Ten

Last season: 4 bids
Five-year average: 6.2 bids
January projection: 10 bids
Over-under: 9.5 bids
Lunardi projection: Under

January's 10 bids included Nebraska, sadly decimated by the season-ending injury to center Isaac Copeland, and Indiana, self-decimated by losing 10 of its past 11 games. Minnesota should hang on as an eighth bid for the conference, doubling last year's total, but the under bet was correct.