With just a couple of days left until the 2014 NCAA Tournament bracket is unveiled, you might find yourself in a state of panic. You're currently flipping the channel from conference tournament to conference tournament, sizing up the teams and players, trying to figure out what it all means before you fill out your first of, let's say 17 brackets starting Sunday night.
We're here to help. The landscape of conferences has changed in the 29 years since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985, and the tournament strength of the so-called power conferences has fluxuated as well. The ACC and Big East come out looking like the historical winners, with the Big Ten not far behind. (The Big 12 suffers from being a newer conference relative to the others, but remember that the Big 12 took on the entire Big Eight, plus four more schools, when that conference dissolved in 1996. The Big 12 does not recognize the Big Eight years as part of its official history).
Another indicator of the ebbs and swells of the top leagues is below. Note that there's a direct relationship between tournament victories and tournament revenue distribution to the leagues, so the bigger the numbers in the boxes below, the happier folks at the league offices were in those years:
Keep it right here at CBSSports.com throughout the tournament, as we give you up-to-the-minute bracket stats on how your favorite teams, leagues, and fellow bracket-fillers are faring in this year's event.