Updated Wednesday February 25 9 AM. Next Update: Friday Morning February 27
Updates after this weekend will focus on what teams must do in the final week of the season/Conference tournaments to secure an at large and less on what the resume looks like at this point.
What has happened since the last update
Moved to the Lock Line: West Virginia
Eliminated from At Large Contention: No one this update last update - Seton hall, Florida, La Tech George Washington, Clemson, St. Mary's, Alabama, Green Bay, La Salle, Cal, Harvard
Not much action early in the week as we go from 46 teams fighting for 26 spots to 45 teams fighting for 25 spots.
Moving up within the BW: NC State, St. John's
Moving Down within the BW: Texas
After a busy weekend it was a relatively slow Monday and Tuesday around the bubble with not much movement. Texas A&M lost at Arkansas and despite the losing margin, a loss on the road to a top 20 team that only has 1 home loss all year just doesn't hurt all that much (similar to how wins over Alabama and Auburn at home don't really help that much.) The realistic goal was always to go 1-1 on this road swing to set up for a 12-6 finish if we can take care of business. The Aggies did just that and are still well positioned so long as they can win the games that they will be favored to win.
We will look at the potential multiple bid conferences and then rank the teams 1-N. Once a team reaches "lock" status their "ranking" doesn't matter, it is just a placeholder to count how many spots are left.
This is not a ranking of how good teams are or how much of a threat they are for a deep tourney run, it is a measure of if the season ended today based on past selection committee behavior, who is in and who is out and how relatively safe teams are.
Most likely a 3 bid league. Cincy is doing their part to make sure this league has a little bit of drama for March.
Bubble: SMU, Temple, Cincinnati, Tulsa, UConn, Memphis
A crowded bubble watch league got a lot less crowded this weekend with 2 teams (GW and La Salle) officially falling off the watch. It would be shocking if the A10 wasn't at the heart of some Selection Sunday bubble drama.
Locks: Virginia Commonwealth
Bubble: Dayton, UMass, Rhode Island, Davidson
The ACC is having a very good year for having numerous top end teams that could make a deep run. Not so great of a year for getting in a huge number of middling teams, although those on the bubble each have multiple opportunities to knock off the top tier of the league.
Locks: Virginia, Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Notre Dame
Bubble: Pitt, NC State, Miami
With 70% of the league IN the tournament as of today the Big 12 is the top statistical conference in the country. Baylor and West Virginia are the latest to join the lock line
Locks: Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa St., Baylor, West Virginia
Bubble: Oklahoma St., Texas
The 2nd best conference statistically to the Big 12 and ahead of the ACC. 6 bids wouldn't shock anyone.
Bubble: Butler, Georgetown, Providence, St. Johns, Xavier
Similar to the SEC the Big 10 has 1 very good team (Wisconsin) and then a host of teams that are trying to sneak in to seeds somewhere in the 7-11 range.
Locks: Wisconsin, Maryland
Bubble: Indiana, Ohio St., Michigan St., Illinois, Iowa, Purdue, Michigan
San Diego St. will likely be able to fall a few times still be dancing. Could the MWC still get 3 teams in during a down year?
Bubble: San Diego St., Colorado St., Boise St., Wyoming
2 pretty solid locks but beyond that there is still some work to do to get a 3rd (or 4th) team in.
Locks: Arizona, Utah
Bubble: UCLA, Stanford, Oregon, Arizona St.
Arkansas becomes the 2nd lock in the SEC. How many more will join them, we think at least 2 more but it could be as many as 4 additional teams.
Locks: Kentucky, Arkansas
Bubble: Georgia, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, LSU
Non Power Conferences
In general this is an exceptionally weak year for the non power conferences. It is entirely possible that only 1 at large bid goes to a deserving small conference team (not counting the A10). If that is the case will the committee reach down and pick an Iona or a Wofford if they fail to secure an automatic bid? Not likely but it will be interesting to keep an eye on them come Conference Tournament Week. A note on the Ivy League Harvard has a potentially bubble worthy profile as of right now. However the Ivy league awards its automatic bid to its regular season champion (no tournament) and Harvard in order to not get the auto bid and qualify for the at large would need to lose at least 2 more games, which would take them out of at large contention.
Missouri Valley Conference
No drama here so long as WSU or UNI win the tournament this will be a 2 bid league
Locks: Wichita St., Northern Iowa
West Coast Conference
Same song different year. Gonzaga is solidly in and the 2nd tier is trying desperately to knock them off to join them in the field of 68.
Difficult to imagine a scenario where this league can get 2 in. Nevertheless they do have a couple decent profiles and if they can win out until the conference finals it isn't totally out of the question.
Bubble: Old Dominion, UTEP
Conference listed indicates projected auto bid
1. America East
2. Atlantic 10 - Virginia Commonwealth
3. ACC Virginia
4. Atlantic Sun
5. Big Sky
6. Big 12 Kansas
7. Big East Villanova
8. Big 10 - Wisconsin
9. Big South
10. Big West
12. Conference USA
18. Missouri Valley - Wichita St.
21. Pac 12 - Arizona
24. SEC Kentucky
28. Sun Belt
29. West Coast Gonzaga
32. North Carolina
34. Notre Dame
38. Northern Iowa
39. Iowa St.
42. West Virginia
45 teams fighting for 25 spots
43. Georgetown (RPI 23: 18-8, 9-5) Best Wins: NC (Neutral Court) vs. Indiana, Butler, Villanova, St. Johns, NC vs. Florida. Worst Losses: Xavier (twice). The #2 SOS in the country and it shows with great OOC and in conference wins, as well as every one of the 8 losses being to probable tournament teams. They avoided a landmine against DePaul on Saturday and now have a week off to prepare for a difficult 3 game stretch to end the season. Winning just 1 of the 3 would be more than enough to firm them up. (Next Up: 2/28 @ St. John's)
44. San Diego St. (Mountain West auto bid placeholder) (RPI 25: 21-6, 12-3) Best Wins: Utah, Colorado St., NC vs. Pitt. Worst Losses: @ Fresno St. Outside of a really bad loss to Fresno St. this looks a lot like a lock profile. In the MWC however there are plenty of landmines to avoid. Just winning 1 of the last 3 would lock them up. (Next Up: 2/28 Boise St.)
45. Butler (RPI 24: 19-8, 9-5) Best Wins: NC (Neutral court) vs. North Carolina, NC vs. Georgetown, Xavier, St. John's (twice). Worst Losses: At Tennessee. Great top level wins, no bad losses, great record and SOS ranking. Unless disaster strikes there isn't much to talk about here that being said February locks don't get blown out by 17 points to a bubble team (Xavier) like they did on Saturday. The next 2 are very winnable though, take care of business and they will be a lock to start March. (Next Up: 2/25 Marquette)
46. SMU (AAC auto bid placeholder) (RPI 20: 21-5, 13-2) Best Wins: Temple (twice), @Tulsa, @ Michigan. Worst Losses: Cincinnati (twice). After losing 3 of the first 5 out of the gate SMU has navigated through a very tough schedule to a very good record with no bad losses. That said they picked up only their 3rd top 50 win this week with 2 of those being Temple and the other #49 Tulsa. The remaining schedule is not easy vs. 3 teams fighting for their lives @Memphis, @UConn and Tulsa but even with a late season slide the Mustangs should feel pretty good about going back to the dance for the first time in 22 years. (Next Up: 2/26 @Memphis)
47. Providence (RPI 22: 19-9, 9-6) Best Wins: NC vs. Notre Dame, @Butler, Georgetown, Xavier. Worst Losses: Brown, @ Marquette, @ Boston College. Great wins, really bad losses. This is a roller coaster of a profile to keep in mind when picking a top seed to be upset early but at the end of the day it is a gaudy win total with some marquee wins and a 3rd place Big East team which is likely more than enough to sweat out bubble status too much. (Next Up: 3/1 Marquette)
48. Oklahoma St. (RPI 28: 16-10, 7-8) Best Wins: Baylor (twice), Kansas, Texas (twice). Worst Losses: @ Kansas St., @TCU, @ South Carolina. Followed up a banner week with wins over Baylor and Kansas with 3 straight losses. This is the Big 12 so some of the slide can be excused but with Texas Tech and TCU up next, they need to stop the slide immediately or their profile will see a major hit. (Next Up: 2/28 @Texas Tech)
49. Indiana (RPI 32: 19-9, 9-6) Best Wins: SMU, NC vs. Butler, Maryland. Ohio St. Worst Losses: Purdue (twice) Eastern Washington. Missed a great chance to start firming things up on Thursday night with a 2nd loss to Purdue. Still great OOC wins and no terrible losses. They did rebound nicely by blowing out Rutgers and should do the same against Northwestern before the schedule toughens. (Next Up: 2/25 @ Northwestern)
50. Michigan St. (RPI 27: 19-8, 10-4) Best Wins: Indiana, Ohio St., @Iowa, @Illinois. Worst Losses: Texas Southern, @ Nebraska. That home loss to TSU is still tough to forget but the 10-4 record in the Big 10 is doing all it can to erase it. The Spartans will be challenged down the stretch to keep up that record. (Next Up: 2/26 Minnesota)
51. Colorado St. (RPI 26: 22-5, 10-5) Best Wins: San Diego St., Boise St., Worst Losses: @New Mexico, Wyoming (twice). CSU started 13-0 against a joke of a non-conference slate and has a pair of nice in conference wins vs. the class of the league. Every game left is vs. a RPI 150+ team however if they can manage to stub their toe once or less the rest of the way the at large should be a safety net for them in the conference tournament. (Next Up: 2/25 San Jose St.)
52. Ole Miss (RPI 34: 19-8, q0-4) Best Wins: @Arkansas, Texas A&M, NC vs. Cincinnati, @ Oregon. Worst Losses: Charleston Southern, TCU, Western Kentucky. If only the Rebels didn't have those 3 horrible horrible losses OOC all at home to some really bad teams they would may be a lock and the perception of the SEC may be a little bit brighter. They have won 9 of 10 now and look to be 3rd in the SEC pecking order. Due to the terrible OOC showing the wins need to keep rolling in if they want to stay on the right side of the bubble. (Next Up: 2/25 Georgia)
53. Dayton (RPI 35: 20-6, 10-3) Best Wins: Texas A&M, Ole Miss, La Salle. Worst Losses: @Duquense UConn, @ George Washington. When the best things about your resume is "no bad losses" and then you do what they did and lose @ Duquense on Saturday that is going to equal a big hit to your standing on this BW and forces everyone to relook at this entire profile. Dayton really hasn't beaten anyone in conference even if the OOC was above average. Coming back home to play another what should be gimme game vs. George Mason is now almost a must win. (Next Up: 2/25 George Mason)
54. N.C. State (RPI 37: 17-11, 8-7) Best Wins: UNC, Duke, @ Louisville, Boise St., Pitt. Bad Losses: @Wake Forest, @Miami, @Purdue. A great win over in state rival UNC and their list of good wins may be the best of any team on this list. The #4 SOS in the country but they can't afford any more bad losses, that means beating BC this weekend for what would be their 4th straight win. (Next Up: 2/28 @Boston College)
55. Ohio St. (RPI 45: 19-8, 8-6) Best Wins: Indiana, Maryland, Illinois. Worst Losses: Purdue, Iowa (twice). That was not a very good showing with a bad loss to Michigan on Sunday, Nevertheless the Buckeyes do still have good top end wins and not any terrible losses. The upcoming schedule is very manageable so a great chance to rack up the wins over the next week or 2. (Next Up: 2/26 Nebraska)
56. St. John's (RPI 39: 18-9 8-7) Best Wins: Providence (twice), Xavier (twice), @Syracuse, St. Mary's. Worst Losses: @DePaul, @Creighton, @Seton Hall. St. John's went 3-6 in the month of January with 2 of those wins being the sweep of Providence. They got a huge win on Monday vs. Xavier and have a chance to be breathing much easier if they can get another one vs. Georgetown. (Next Up: 2/28 Georgetown)
57. Xavier (RPI 30: 18-11, 8-8) Best Wins: Georgetown (twice), Butler, Providence, @Cincinnati, @Alabama, Murray St. Worst Losses: @Auburn, @DePaul, Creighton, @Seton Hall, NC vs. UTEP. Xavier continues their schizophrenic roller coaster of a season, just after they win @ Cincy and blowout Butler, they take their 11th loss of the season against St. John's. I still think Xavier is relatively safe but a good chance for loss #12 on deck next. (Next Up: 2/28 Villanova)
58. Texas A&M (RPI 31: 19-8, 10-5) Best Wins: LSU (twice), Florida, Arizona St. Worst Losses: @Kansas St., @Alabama. I talked about it in the intro to this article and will again here. Texas A&M does NOT move down after this loss on the road to a top 20 lock team that had won 9/10, 6 in a row and only lost once at home all year. For further evidence that this loss doesn't hurt the effect on the RPI for this game is that the RPI moved up 2 spots. That being said, a win would have been huge and taken a lot of pressure off of the next week. Now Auburn becomes very close to a must win in the effort to get to 12-6 and stay on the right side of the bubble. A&M had a great chance to erase the obvious wart on the resume by getting that marquee win. Without that the resume must rely on 2 things no bad losses and a very good record both inside and out of conference. A loss to Auburn would be devastating and would erase everything this team has done for the last 6 weeks and place the Aggie backs firmly against the wall. A win keeps them right here in this spot (about 10-12 spots ahead of the cut line). (Next Up: 2/28 Auburn)
59. Georgia (RPI 38: 17-9, 8-6) Best Wins: @ Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Seton Hall, Florida. Worst Losses: @Georgia Tech, NC vs. Minnesota, South Carolina (twice), Auburn. Georgia gets a lot of credit for a strong OOC when but when you dig deeper their only 2 OOC wins versus teams with a pulse were Seton Hall and @ Kansas St. nothing to sneeze at but it's not like they knocked off Kansas or Duke. To counter that the Bulldogs took their 5th questionable loss last week with South Carolina finishing the season sweep. Georgia won a thriller at Alabama this weekend which sets up a very interesting tilt @Ole Miss this week for what may be 3rd in the SEC implications (Next Up: 2/25 @Ole Miss)
60. Temple (RPI 33: 19-9, 10-5) Best Wins: Kansas, Cincinnati, La Salle. Worst Losses: NC vs. UNLV, @ St. Joes., Tulsa (twice). It is amazing what a OOC win vs. Kansas can do to make you look past an otherwise lackluster non-conference season with a few questionable losses. Even with that win however they have now lost 2 in a row in conference and got swept by Tulsa. It makes it tough to get a nod over a team that swept you, has a better overall record, and better conference record. Temple is still on the IN side of the discussion for now but the margin for error is getting smaller by the game. (Next Up: 2/26 Houston)
61. Pitt (RPI: 36: 18-10, 8-7) Good Wins: Notre Dame, North Carolina, Syracuse (twice), NC vs. Kansas St. Worst Losses: @Virginia Tech, @Hawaii, @NC State. Pitt added a really nice win on the road vs. Syracuse on Saturday which have them breathing a little easier, but they still have 10 losses and are hovering around .500 in conference so there is still a lot of work to be done. Being in the ACC will afford lots of opportunities to forget about a loss at Virginia Tech and they have taken advantage of a couple of those opportunities. The remaining schedule is very manageable and winning out is not out of the question. The most difficult game remaining is a home game against Miami in what many will call a play in game. I can see Pitt losing that contest and still being relatively safe on Selection Sunday assuming they take care of business elsewhere. This is the one team in the entire nation that is an outlier on my list compared to the national analysts, I have them as much safer at this point than others and I am perfectly comfortable with that. (Next Up: 3/1 @Wake Forest)
62. Cincinnati (RPI 50: 18-9, 9-5) Best Wins: San Diego St., SMU (twice), @NC State, UConn, Temple. Worst Losses: @East Carolina, @Nebraska, Tulane. When you have the kind of solid OOC wins the Bearcats do a few toe stubs are ok, but they are starting to pile up as Cincy creeps closer to their 10th loss. They did stop the bleeding on Saturday to a bad Houston team but still have the next 2 against RPI 150+ in "can't lose" game. . (Next Up: 2/25 UCF)
63. Oregon (RPI 48: 19-8, 10-5) Best Wins: Utah, NC vs. Illinois, UCLA, Arizona St. (twice), Oregon St. Worse Losses: @Washington St., NC vs. Michigan, @Washington, @UCLA. Well if you were looking for separation between UCLA, Stanford and Oregon, the Ducks provided it on Sunday with an enormous victory over Utah. That moves the ducks ahead of both Stanford and UCLA and firmly in command of a potential 3rd bid from the Pac 12. The 3/1 contest @ Stanford still looks to be somewhat of a play in game for both schools. (Next Up: 2/25 @Cal)
64. LSU (RPI 52: 20-8, 9-6) Best Wins: @West Virginia, UMass, Georgia, @Ole Miss, Florida (twice) @Alabama. Worst Losses: @Missouri, @Miss St., Auburn. LSU got the must wins they needed by beating the Gators then going on the road and blowing out Auburn to get back to the right side of the bubble. A win vs. West Virginia and UMass in December can't carry you forever and LSU is getting to that point. LSU also started SEC play strong with wins over Ole Miss and Georgia but with 2 losses to Texas A&M since they need to get back on track quickly to erase 3 bad conference losses. They play in the biggest bubble SEC bubble game of the weekend vs. Ole Miss on Saturday and is one the Tigers need to win unless they plan on a deep SEC Tourney run. (Next Up: 2/28 Ole Miss)
65. Purdue (RPI 60: 18-9, 10-4) Best Wins: Indiana (twice), Ohio St., Iowa, N.C. State, Worst Losses: NC. vs. Kansas St., North Florida, @ Vandy, Gardner-Webb. Purdue got one of the biggest wins in the country last week knocking off Indiana to complete the season sweep. The Boilermakers are still recovering from a bad December stretch where they dropped 3 of their 4 terrible losses, but they have now won 7 of 8. They have a week off now to prepare for a can't lose game ahead of the final 3 of the season all against likely NCAA tournament teams. (Next Up: 2/26 Rutgers)
66. Illinois (RPI 59: 17-10, 7-7) Best Wins: NC vs. Baylor, Maryland, @Michigan St., Michigan. Worst Losses: @Nebraska, @Minnesota, @Michigan, @Miami. Losing to the Spartans this last Sunday is forgivable, but it is the 10th loss of the season and drops the record to .500 in conference. 3-1 down the stretch should be doable with a manageable schedule and it may also be necessary. The win on the neutral court vs. Baylor may be the saving grace for the Illini. (Next Up: 2/25 @ Iowa)
67. Iowa (RPI 55: 17-10, 8-6) Best Wins: @North Carolina, @Maryland, Ohio St. (twice). Worst Losses: @Northwestern, Minnesota, @Purdue, NC vs. Syracuse. The Hawkeyes stopped the bleeding with 2 must wins against bad Rutgers and Nebraska teams and now the competition takes a step up in talent with Illinois coming to town for a very bubbleiciious game. (Next Up: 2/25 Illinois)
68. Boise St. (RPI 42: 19-7, 11-4) Best Wins: San Diego St., Colorado St., @ St. Mary's. Worst Losses: @Fresno St., Utah St., NC vs. Loyola Marymount. The Broncos have just as many losses outside of the top 100 as wins inside of it (3). That's not a very good ratio. They have done a nice job taking care of business lately winning 11 of 12. If they can make it 12 of 13 with a win this Saturday they won't have too much to worry about heading into the conference tournament. Absent a win this weekend the Broncos may need to beat Colorado St. again in the semis of the MWC tournament to secure an at large. (Next Up: 2/28 @SDSU)
---------------------- The Bubble Bursts Here
69. Texas (RPI 44: 17-11, 6-9) Best Wins: West Virginia, NC vs. Iowa, @UConn. Worst Losses: Stanford. At a certain point regardless of how difficult the schedule was the losses were going to pile up to where this profile could not withstand any more. After Tuesday night's loss we are officially at that point. Only 1 really top notch win vs. West Virginia to go along with a couple solid wins OOC. 5-9 now in the last 14. That being said, there are still 3 really good opportunities just in the regular season, if they can get 2, or maybe even just 1 they can slide right back in where they need to be. Outside of that win vs. West Virginia they don't have a top 90 RPI win since beating Iowa in November. (Next Up: 2/28 @ Kansas)
70. Wofford (RPI 51: 21-6, 13-2) Best Wins: Iona, @NC State. Worst Losses: @Citadel, Chatanooga, @ William & Mary. Here to reflect where they fit if they didn't have an automatic bid to rely on. Any loss, including in the Southern conference tournament would be to a RPI 100+ and they just can't afford that as it would drop them well below the cut line and they would not be a very serious contender for an at large. They do have good wins vs. NC State and Iona. They took advantage of some key OOC games notching 2 nice wins but 6 losses is just too many in a really bad conference. (Next Up: 2/26 @ Mercer)
71. Stanford (RPI 53: 17-9, 8-6) Best Wins: @Texas, Wofford, and UConn, Arizona St. Worst Losses: @DePaul, @Washington St., @Colorado. The Cardinal got a nice win against Cal to temporarily stop their slide (had previously lost 4 of 5). They can't breathe easy yet though as every game feels like a must win at this point for Stanford before they finish the season on a 2 game swing in the state of Arizona. The Conference record is not pretty especially in the Pac 12. (Next Up: 2/26 Oregon St)
72. Old Dominion (RPI 47: 20-6, 9-5) Best Wins: Virginia Commonwealth, NC vs. LSU, La Tech. Worst Losses: @Western Kentucky, @Middle Tenn. St, @UAB, @UTSA.Similar to Wofford out of the Southern, ODU is listed here but realistically their chances for an at large are slim. A loss in the Conference tournament however would not be quite as devastating to their chances particularly if they can win out until the finals. They do have 2 very nice wins but really they are the only 2 of any particular substance which is not enough to balance out a handful of really bad losses. Any regular season loss would eliminate ODU as everyone left is RPI 100+ (Next Up: 2/26 @Rice)
73. Tulsa (RPI 41: 19-6, 12-2) Best Wins: @Temple (twice), UConn, Memphis. Worst Losses: @Oral Roberts Southeast Oklahoma St. (DII), One of the worst starts to a season you can imagine with a loss to RPI 200+ Oral Roberts and then a later loss to Division 2 SEOSU. The sweep of Temple is impressive however as is the gaudy conference record and what looks to be a 2nd place American conference finish. They end the year at SMU on March 8th. It may come down to needing a win in that game. (Next Up: 2/25 Tulane)
74. UCLA (RPI 49: 16-12, 8-7) Best Wins: Utah, Stanford (twice), Oregon, Oregon St. Worst Losses: @ Colorado, @Alabama, @Oregon St., @Oregon, @Cal, @Arizona St. It is not like losing @Arizona is a bad loss, but anytime you ring up your 12th loss of the season and you continue to prove that you can't win away from home it’s bad. Lucky for them every game the rest of the way is at home and all 3 are absolute no questions asked must wins (Next Up: 2/25 Washington)
75. Miami (RPI 69: 17-10, 7-7) Best Wins: @Duke, Illinois, @Florida, NC State, @ Syracuse. Worst Losses: Eastern Kentucky, Georgia Tech, @Florida St., @ Wake Forest. An 8-0 start with solid wins at Florida, and at home against Illinois is starting to slip away with 5 losses in the last 8 including a big chance on Saturday dropping a tough one to Louisville. And it isn't the tough schedule - 3 of those 4 losses are to RPI 100+ teams. (Next Up: 2/25 Florida St.)
76. Davidson (RPI 57: 18-6, 10-4) Best Wins: Dayton, @UMass, @La Salle, @George Washington. Worst Losses: @St. Joseph’s, @St. Bonaventure, @Richmond. Not much in the way of quality wins to balance a poor SOS and some bad losses. They have won 5 straight and are rapidly improving the profile. Up next is as close to a February play in/elimination game as you get as it will decide at this point who between Davidson and Rhode Island has the 3rd best profile in the A10 in what may very well be a 3 team league. (Next Up: 2/25 @Rhode Island)
77. Rhode Island (RPI 66: 18-6, 11-3) Best Wins: UMass, La Salle, George Washington. Worst Losses: NC. Vs. Georgia Tech, @St. Joseph’s, See directly above (Davidson). Critical game upcoming for both teams. Still plenty of work to do with 3 RPI top 100 games left in their last 4. (Next Up: 2/25 Davidson)
78. Iona (RPI: 46, 23-6, 16-2) Best Wins: Florida Gulf Coast Worst Losses: @Monmouth, @ George Mason, @Canisius. Could a team with 0 top 100 RPI wins really be in play for an at large? Probably not and that's certainly not a question Iona wants to be pondering on Selection Sunday. No chances for a top 100 left on the schedule and a tourney loss would be a devastating one. This is where their resume slots in but not a serious contender for an at large. (Next Up: 2/27 Manhattan)
79. Wyoming (RPI 77: 19-6, 10-4) Best Wins: Colorado St. (twice), Boise St. Worst Losses: Utah St., @ Air Force. The biggest problem for Wyoming is there are no chances left to impress so even winning out won't move them up much if any. (Next Up: 2/25 Fresno St.)
80. Murray St. (RPI 72: 22-4, 12-0) Best Wins: Illinois St. Worst Losses: Houston, NC vs. Portland, NC vs. Valparaiso. Is it time to start paying attention to the Racers? A 21 game win streak would suggest yes. A bad computer profile and a lack of quality wins would say no. Murray state started 1-4, then reeled off what has now reached 21 straight wins. Too little too late most likely as the OVC is a pitiful conference and any tourney loss would be devastating. (Next Up: 2/26 Eastern Illinois)
81. UMass (RPI 43: 16-11, 9-5) Best Wins: Dayton, Iona, Rhode Island, La Salle (twice). Worst Losses: Florida Gulf Coast, St. Bonaventure, St. Joseph’s. Outside of a win vs. Dayton there isn't much to counter a handful of bad losses. The RPI looks ok but it is mainly inflated by road and neutral losses for a team that just doesn't pass the "eye test". Only 2 regular season games left so it will be hard to improve the resume much now. (Next Up: 2/28 Fordham)
82. Arizona St. (RPI 88: 15-12, 7-7) Best Wins: Arizona, UCLA, @Washington, Harvard. Worst Losses: @Marquette, Lehigh, @Washington St. The Sun Devils stay alive with a big win vs. UCLA last Wednesday and then improving to .500 in conference with a win over USC over the weekend. They did almost nothing in the nonconference outside of beating Harvard but that doesn't make up for bad losses to Marquette and Lehigh. The 0-4 start to conference play didn't help either but the win against Arizona is a big feather in the cap and enough to keep them as a fringe contender for now. (Next Up: 2/26 @Utah)
83. UTEP (RPI 62: 19-7, 11-3) Best Wins: NC vs. Xavier, Old Dominion, Kent St. Worst Losses: @Western Kentucky, @Marshall, @New Mexico St. See Old Dominion. Similar resume minus the VCU win that ODU has and the Miners do not. They do have H2H vs. ODU but that only goes so far. Winning out would mean adding a nice but not impactful win against La Tech. (Next Up: 2/26 @ La Tech)
84. Memphis (RPI 79: 17-10, 9-5) Best Wins: Cincinnati, UConn. Worst Losses: @East Carolina, Tulane. A team that challenged itself non-conference with games vs. Wichita St., Oklahoma St. and Baylor but they didn't win any of them and then have failed to impress in conference. Still have games vs. SMU and Tulsa at home so they have some chance to impress. (Next Up: 2/26 SMU)
85. Valparaiso (RPI 63: 22-4, 12-2) Best Wins: Green Bay, Murray St. Worst Losses: @Missouri, New Mexico, @Oakland. Nice record, some ok wins. It will be almost impossible to improve this resume at this point in the season and they may not even be the best team in their own conference (Green Bay) (Next Up: 2/25 @ Detroit)
86. BYU (RPI 58: 19-8, 11-5) Best Wins: Stanford, UMass, Worst Losses: @Pepperdine (twice), San Diego. 5 losses in the WCC? Yikes. Only 2 regular season games left, lucky for them the regular season finale is at Gonzaga. (Next Up: 2/26 @Portland)
87. Michigan (RPI 82: 13-13, 7-8) Best Wins: NC vs. Oregon, Illinois, Syracuse. Worst Losses: NJIT, Eastern Michigan. 2 horrible losses lowlight a .500 record. They did beat the Buckeyes but they still must win out until the Big 10 finals and get lots and lots of help.(Next Up: 2/28 @Maryland)
88. Connecticut (RPI 81, 15-11, 86-6) Best Wins: Dayton, @Florida, Cincinnati, Tulsa. Worst Losses: @Houston, @Memphis, @Stanford. Beat Dayton in Puerto Rico but the losses have really piled up since then. Only 1 really bad loss on the season. Lots of big chances left to end the regular season vs. SMU, Temple, & Memphis but even winning out and a deep tourney run is likely too little, too late. (Next Up: 2/25 @ East Carolina)
What to Watch: All times Central
(Aggie fans should root for the team in bold)
10:00 ESPNUNew Mexico @ Boise St. BSU will be right on the cut line until Selection Sunday unless they start losing games like this.
Some sets of games seems like everyone has big shots against top end teams for this go around we have lots of must wins against teams that bubble teams shouldn't have much of a problem with. I expect to see lots of wins but when the L's come they will be painful.
6:00 ESPNU UConn @ East Carolina UConn is hanging around on life support this would put an end to that.
6:00 George Mason @ Dayton - Dayton will still be a decent loss no matter what happens the rest of the season, but if they lose this game even though they have the H2H over A&M they would likely fall below them in the national pecking order.
6:00 Davidson @ Rhode Island 2 teams just on the outside looking in. Not necessarily an elimination game but the loser of this one would basically need to win out. The winner could potentially find themselves in the top 68 going into the weekend.
6:00 BTN Indiana @ Northwestern Indiana is pretty safe but you can't lose to teams like Northwestern down the stretch and still be in good shape.
6:00 Valparaiso @ Detroit Valpo needs a ton of help but this would officially end their at large dreams
6:00 Saint Joseph's @ UMass Umass has run out of safety nets. This is a must win.
6:30 CBSSN UCF @ Cincinnati Cincy is still in for now but not if they lose this one.
7:00 FS1 Marquette @ Butler - Butler can pretty much lock themselves up with a win.
8:00 Florida St. @ Miami - Miami is in must win territory
8:00 San Jose St. @ Colorado St. Colorado St. is in god shape for now but can't afford to lose to bad teams like SJSU
8:00 BTN Illinois @ Iowa 2 teams near the cut line, if this was the Big 10 tournament this would feel a lot like a play in game
8:00 SECN Georgia @ Ole Miss Both SEC squads are on the right side of the bubble for now, the winner, particularly if it is Ole Miss will feel pretty safe headed to the last week of the season, the loser, especially if it is Georgia will still have some work to do.
8:35 CBSSN Fresno St. @ Wyoming A loss by Wyoming would eliminate them from the BW.
10:00 ESPN2 Washington @ UCLA Must win for UCLA
10:00 ESPNU Oregon @ Cal Pretty close to a must win for Oregon
6:00 CBSSN Houston @ Temple - Temple is safe for now but must stop their current losing streak against a bad Coog High team
6:00 Wofford @ Mercer Any regular season loss would eliminate Wofford from the BW
6:00 BTN Minnesota @ Michigan St. A MSU loss would move them dangerously close to the bubble cut line
6:00 Nebraska @ Ohio St. See Michigan St
7:00 UTEP @ La Tech This would eliminate UTEP from the BW
7:00 Old Dominion @ Rice This would eliminate ODU from the BW
7:00 Eastern Illinois @ Murray St. Any regular season loss would eliminate Murray St. from the BW
8:00 SMU @ Memphis A Memphis win would prevent SMU from reaching lock status for now. I am not worried too much about Memphis for now.
8:00 ESPNU Rutgers @ Purdue - Purdue is very close to the cut line, a win here does nothing but a loss would be a very significant data point
9:00 BYU @ Portland Any additional regular season loss would eliminate BYU
9:30 FS1 Arizona St. @ Utah Even though an ASU loss would eliminate them from the Bubble Watch, there is almost no scenario where ASU makes the tournament and A&M does not and this type of road win for them would do wonders for A&M's OOC resume.
10:00 Oregon St. @ Stanford Must win for Stanford
6:00 ESPN2 Manhattan @ Iona any regular season loss by Iona would eliminate them from the BW
9:00 ESPNU Valparaiso @ Cleveland St. Any regular season loss by Valpo would eliminate them from the BW