As we approach the end of December and conference play begins in earnest, we are now almost 40 percent of the way through the regular season. That means a lot can change between now and Selection Sunday.

When the members of the NCAA selection committee evaluate teams, they are looking to answer some key questions about each team. Who did they play? Where did they play them? Who did they beat? And who beat them? It's a subjective process guided by objective data (RPI). There are five other computer ranking systems averaged together to help inform the committee, but no team gets in or seeded based on any individual or collective computer ranking alone.

For those of you who follow the football selection committee, note that head-to-head is not necessarily a decisive criterion in basketball. It is not unusual to see a team selected or seeded ahead of a team it lost to during the season.

Here is how things stand heading into Wednesday's games.

10. North Carolina Tar Heels

Best wins: Wisconsin

Losses: Kentucky, Indiana

UNC has picked up some nice wins, but other than the ease with which the Tar Heels beat the Badgers, not much stands out. The loss to Kentucky was a classic that may be the best game of the season. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with losing at Indiana. The start of the ACC schedule is relatively soft for the Tar Heels. They won't play another team in the current AP Top 25 until Florida State on Jan. 14.

9. Kentucky Wildcats

Best wins: North Carolina

Losses: UCLA, Louisville

Kentucky has challenged itself, as usual, in non-conference play, even though the win over Michigan State doesn't look as good as you would normally expect. The fact that the loss to UCLA came at home is keeping the Wildcats down a little bit on this list. This team is still figuring itself out. There is no doubt Kentucky will be dangerous come March.

8. Creighton Bluejays

Best wins: Wisconsin

Losses: None

The Bluejays aren't exactly a one-hit wonder, but that win over Wisconsin really stands out against the rest of the schedule. Strength of schedule is why Creighton isn't any higher than this right now, but that will change this week when they host Seton Hall and defending champion Villanova.

7. Gonzaga Bulldogs

Best wins: Florida, Arizona

Losses: None

Gonzaga has played a decent schedule and hasn't lost, but I have the Bulldogs behind Duke because the Blue Devils' only loss was a 2-point game against Kansas (also ranked higher) on a neutral floor, and because Duke's schedule to this point is better. The Zags probably were expecting a win over Iowa State to look better than it does at the moment.

6. Duke Blue Devils

Best wins: Florida

Losses: Kansas

Duke's schedule has let them down a little. Rhode Island and Michigan State were ranked in the preseason, but not anymore. The Rams are still a likely tournament team. We will have to wait and see if the Spartans come around. A team can only be judged on the schedule it plays though, not the one it thought it was playing.

5. Kansas Jayhawks

Best wins: Duke

Losses: Indiana

Kansas lost to Indiana in overtime on a neutral floor to start the season and hasn't lost since. The Jayhawks' schedule isn't quite as difficult as we are used to seeing from them, but it's not bad either. Kansas doesn't play many bottom feeders, so that helps the strength of schedule ranking.

4. Louisville Cardinals

Best wins: Kentucky, Purdue

Losses: Baylor

Louisville has taken advantage of having two good opponents at home to get a couple of big early wins. The Cardinals had to fight tooth-and-nail to beat Kentucky, as you might expect, and hold off a furious rally from Purdue. The Cardinals' only loss came on a neutral floor to the top-rated team on this list, so no shame there. Louisville will have a great chance to resume build this week with games against Virginia and Indiana.

Louisville has a huge win vs. Kentucky on its resume. USATSI

3. UCLA Bruins

Best wins: Kentucky

Losses: None

The Bruins have one of the nation's most explosive offenses and they have been fun to watch so far. Their schedule isn't as good as the teams ahead of them at this point of the season. They start Pac-12 play with the Oregon road trip. The Ducks should provide a good test for Steve Alford's squad.

2. Villanova Wildcats

Best wins: Purdue, Notre Dame

Losses: None

Villanova is the top ranked team in the polls, but their collection of wins doesn't quite measure up to Baylor's at the moment. That said, the Wildcats are the only team on this list with one of their best wins coming on the road, and at Mackey Arena, no less. A New Year's Eve win at Creighton could push the Wildcats past the Bears. Regardless of what happens this week, the Wildcats have made it clear that they do not intend to give up their title easily.

1. Baylor Bears

Best wins: Louisville, Xavier, Oregon.

Losses: None.

The Bears are off to a terrific start and that win over Louisville looks better every week. That's especially true this week with the Cardinals knocking off Kentucky. Baylor isn't just winning, but for the most part, they are winning big. The committee will tell you margin of victory doesn't matter, but sometimes, it's hard to ignore. The Bears haven't played since defeating Texas Southern on Dec. 21. They will start conference play at Oklahoma.