Updated Friday February 27 6 PM. Next Update: Monday Afternoon March 2
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: Butler, SMU
Eliminated from At Large Contention: Valparaiso, Umass, Wyoming, UTEP, Memphis, Arizona St.
Added to the Watch (a rarity: Stephen F. Austin
More teams eliminated means we go from 45 teams fighting for 25 spots to 38 teams fighting for 23 spots.
Moving up within the BW: Davidson, Iowa, Georgia
Moving Down within the BW: Rhode Island, Indiana, Illinois
A few more teams at the edge of the bubble have played their way out of at large competition. Several teams have moved up and down within the bubble but everything has for the most part balanced out with A&M safe by about 10 spots for the last several weeks. More teams should start locking themselves in this weekend so spots will disappear fast over the next 2 weeks.
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.
SMU finally locks itself up and now hopefully will start knocking off other bubble teams and make the AAC a 2 bid league instead of a 3 or 4.
Bubble: Temple, Cincinnati, Tulsa, UConn
A crowded bubble watch league a few weeks ago continues to gain clarity at rapid pace.VCU has been locked in for a while, Dayton looks relatively safe and Davidson will likely make it a 3 bid league unless they fall hard or URI makes a big run.
Locks: Virginia Commonwealth
Bubble: Dayton, 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.
Locks: Villanova, Butler
Bubble: 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.
Too many losses for La Tech and UTEP to have realistic chances to get an at large. They are some decent profiles though that a loss in the Conference Tournament wouldn't hurt too much.
Bubble: Old Dominion
Conference listed indicates projected auto bid
1. America East
2. American SMU
3. Atlantic 10 - Virginia Commonwealth
4. ACC Virginia
5. Atlantic Sun
6. Big Sky
7. Big 12 Kansas
8. Big East Villanova
9. Big 10 - Wisconsin
10. Big South
11. Big West
13. Conference USA
19. Missouri Valley - Wichita St.
22. Pac 12 - Arizona
25. SEC Kentucky
28. Sun Belt
29. West Coast Gonzaga
32. North Carolina
34. Notre Dame
38. Northern Iowa
39. Iowa St.
42. West Virginia
44 teams fighting for 25 spots
44. Georgetown (RPI 24: 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)
45. San Diego St. (Mountain West auto bid placeholder) (RPI 23: 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.)
46. 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)
47. Oklahoma St. (RPI 27: 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)
48. Colorado St. (RPI 26: 23-5, 11-5) 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. Just 2 games left, both against sub-par competition. I have to think that as long as they don't lose out they are in. (Next Up: 3/4 @Nevada)
49. Georgia (RPI 29: 18-9, 9-6) Best Wins: @ Texas A&M, Ole Miss (twice), Seton Hall, Florida. Worst Losses: @Georgia Tech, NC vs. Minnesota, South Carolina (twice), Auburn. It is pretty tough to argue against the Bulldogs now being the unquestioned 3rd team from the SEC after they beat Texas A&M and swept Ole Miss. Outside of those 3 wins they really didn't do that much else but it may not matter. They have Kentucky left sandwiched between 2 very winnable games. So long as they win at least one of those and don't look completely inept in the SEC Tournament they are dancing. (Next Up: 2/28 Missouri)
50. Michigan St. (RPI 33: 19-9, 10-5) Best Wins: Indiana, Ohio St., @Iowa, @Illinois. Worst Losses: Texas Southern, @ Nebraska, Minnesota. That home loss to TSU is still tough to forget and adding another home loss to Minnesota doesn't help either. Still though it is a great RPI and a 10-5 record in the Big 10 so they still seem relatively safe. (Next Up: 3/1 @ Wisconsin)
51. Dayton (RPI 35: 21-6, 11-3) 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 last 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. They did rebound with the win over George Mason and get a huge shot to completely erase that Duquense loss if they can knock off VCU. Even if they don't so long as they can win their last 2 they should be fine. (Next Up: 2/28 @VCU)
52. N.C. State (RPI 40: 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)
53. Ohio St. (RPI 42: 20-8, 9-6) Best Wins: Indiana, Maryland, Illinois. Worst Losses: Purdue, Iowa (twice). Got past the gimme home game against the Cornhuskers to right the ship. The Buckeyes do still have good top end wins and not any terrible losses. They finish the year with Wisconsin so they may be wise to win this weekend vs. fellow bubbler Purdue. (Next Up: 2/28 Purdue)
54. St. John's (RPI 38: 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)
55. 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)
56. Ole Miss (RPI 45: 19-9, 10-5) Best Wins: @Arkansas, Texas A&M, NC vs. Cincinnati, @ Oregon. Worst Losses: Charleston Southern, TCU, Western Kentucky. Lost again to Georgia but it isn't time to panic yet. 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. Probably want to win 2/3 to feel good about where they are in a few weeks. (Next Up: 2/28 @LSU)
57. 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 hurtthe 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)
58. Indiana (RPI 37: 19-10, 9-7) Best Wins: SMU, NC vs. Butler, Maryland. Ohio St. Worst Losses: Purdue (twice) Eastern Washington, Northwestern. Another devastating loss in what was supposed to be the easy part of the schedule for the Hoosiers. They are still definitely in as of today but neither of their last 2 vs. Iowa and Michigan St. will be easy and if they lose both? They will need to do some damage in the Big 10 Tournament. (Next Up: 3/3 Iowa)
59. Iowa (RPI 54: 18-10, 9-6) Best Wins: @North Carolina, @Maryland, Ohio St. (twice), Illinois. Worst Losses: @Northwestern, Minnesota, @Purdue, NC vs. Syracuse. The Hawkeyes stopped the bleeding with 2 must wins against bad Rutgers and Nebraska teams and then got a huge win against bubble competition Illinois to stay in the field themselves and push the Illini out. As long as they don't stub their toe and go 2-1 down the stretch they will remain on the right side of this discussion going into the Big 10 tournament. (Next Up: 2/28 @ Penn St.)
60. Purdue (RPI 59: 19-9, 11-4) 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 8 of 9. 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: 3/1 @ Ohio St.)
61. Temple (RPI 32: 20-9, 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: 3/5 @ East Carolina)
62. Oregon (RPI 39: 20-8, 11-5) 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. That said, the 3/1 contest @ Stanford still looks to be somewhat of a play in game for both schools. (Next Up: 3/1 @Stanford)
63. 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)
64. Davidson (RPI 48: 19-6, 11-4) Best Wins: Dayton, @Rhode Island, @UMass, @La Salle, @George Washington. Worst Losses: @St. Joseph's, @St. Bonaventure, @Richmond. Not any top end wins but they have beaten pretty much every other bubble contender and they beat them on the road. That does a lot to balance out a few bad losses and a poor SOS. They have now won 6 straight and if they can win 2/3 to end the year (with a likely loss to VCU) they have a great chance to sneak in. Winning out the rest of the way and in my opinion they are breathing easy going to the A10 tournament. (Next Up: 2/28 George Washington)
65. Cincinnati (RPI 52: 19-9, 10-5) Best Wins: San Diego St., SMU (twice), @NC State, UConn, Temple. Worst Losses: @East Carolina, @Nebraska, Tulane. Cincy stopped the absolute freefall by beating 2 gimmes in Houston and UCF. Those SOS wins though are still RPI killers and they have 1 left this weekend before the schedule toughens. Cincy isn't quite in must win mode but it is pretty close (Next Up: 2/28 @ Tulane)
66. LSU (RPI 55: 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)
67. Wofford (RPI 43: 22-6, 14-2) Southern Conference Auto Bid Placeholder)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 and be a serious contender for an at large. They do have good wins vs. NC State and Iona and have won 11 of the last 12 with just 1 more regular season game left as a land mine to avoid. (Next Up: 2/28 @ Furman)
68. Boise St. (RPI 41: 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. Old Dominion (RPI 47: 21-6, 10-5) 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. They are the last team standing of what was 3 CUSA bubblers a week ago. Due to that a loss in the Conference tournament 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: 2/28 @North Texas)
70. Stanford (RPI 51: 18-9, 9-6) Best Wins: @Texas, Wofford, 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: 3/1 Oregon)
71. Texas (RPI 46: 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)
72. Tulsa (RPI 34: 20-6, 13-2) 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: 2/28 @Memphis)
73. UCLA (RPI 50: 17-12, 9-7) 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 homeit's bad.Lucky for them every game the rest of the way is at home and both are absolute no questions asked must wins (Next Up: 3/1 Washington St.)
74. Illinois (RPI 60: 17-11, 7-8) Best Wins: NC vs. Baylor, Maryland, @Michigan St., Michigan. Worst Losses: @Nebraska, @Minnesota, @Michigan, @Miami. Losers of 3 straight the Illini now find themselves out of the field of 68 with a sub .500 conference record. A very manageable schedule so winning the last 3 is doable and may also be necessary. The win on the neutral court vs. Baylor may be the saving grace for the Illini. (Next Up: 2/28 Northwestern)
75. Miami (RPI 67: 18-10, 8-7) 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 9 including a big chance on Saturday dropping a tough one to Louisville. And it isn't the tough schedule - 3 of those 5 losses are to RPI 100+ teams. And now comes North Carolina with a chance to push themselves into the top 68 for now. Even with a loss the ACC affords lots of opportunities as they go @ Pitt this weekend and then plenty of chances in the ACC tournament. (Next Up: 2/28 North Carolina)
76. Iona (RPI: 49, 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)
77. Murray St. (RPI 68: 23-4, 13-0) Best Wins: Illinois St. Worst Losses: Houston, NC vs. Portland, NC vs. Valparaiso. Is it time to start paying attention to the Racers? A 22 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 22 straight wins. Too little too late most likely as the OVC is a pitiful conference and any tourney loss would be devastating. Only 1 regular season land mine left to avoid (Next Up:2/28 @Tenn-Martin)
78. BYU (RPI 56: 20-8, 12-5) Best Wins: Stanford, UMass, Worst Losses: @Pepperdine (twice), San Diego. 5 losses in the WCC? Yikes. Only 1 regular season game left and it is a big one Gonzaga and a big chance to move way up the rankings and potentially into the top 68 headed to the WCC tournament. (Next Up: 2/28 @Gonzaga)
79. Rhode Island (RPI 71: 18-7, 11-4) Best Wins: UMass, La Salle, George Washington. Worst Losses: NC. Vs. Georgia Tech, @St. Joseph's, See directly above (Davidson). Lost a critical game that was as close to a play in/elimination game as February gets. Now that their safety net is gone it is win out or drop off the BW time. It won't be easy starting with a difficult road game this weekend. (Next Up: 2/28 @ La Salle)
80. Stephen F. Austin (RPI 65: 20-4, 10-1) Best Wins: @ Memphis, @SHSU. Worst Losses: @TAMU-CC. Started 0-3 but are hot now against sub-par competition. If we are going to throw the likes of Murray St, Iona & Wofford on here, might as well track the Jacks. (2/28 @ Houston Baptist)
81. Michigan (RPI 81: 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)
82. Connecticut (RPI 76, 16-11, 9-6) 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. Written off as dead 2 weeks ago, they have now strung together consecutive wins and get their chance vs. SMU, Memphis and Temple to end the year and add 3 quality wins to the resume and we aren't even talking about tourney wins yet. Still lots and lots of work to do. (Next Up: 3/1 SMU)
What to Watch: All times Central
(Aggie fans should root for the team in bold)
11:00 NC State @ Boston College- NC State can't afford a bad loss at this stage of the season.
11:00 Georgetown @ St. John's Georgetown is a virtual lock but every game is huge for St. John's
11:00 ESPN Michigan @ Maryland Michigan has been in must win mode for quite some time. This may finally be a good opportunity to pull the plug on them.
11:00 ESPNU Missouri @ Georgia UGA will be prime bubble competition for A&M the rest of the way but this would help the Ags leap frog them.
11:30 NBCSN Rhode Island @ La Salle URI facing at large elimination
1:00 ESPNN Cincinnati @ Tulane Cincy desperately needs this one to stop their free fall
1:00 CBS North Carolina @ Miami the Canes are even more desperate than Cincy
1:00 Fox Villanova @ Xavier This one should be obvious, we don't want Xavier (prime A&M bubble completion beating a top 10 team.
1:00 ESPN2 Dayton @ VCU you can go either one with this one. Even if Dayton loses they are still in the "good loss" category. If they win they would become very near lock status.
1:00 FSN Ole Miss @ LSU I tend to root for Ole Miss in this one to create more separation between the top 5 of the SEC and LSU. If you are intensely focused on the number of top 50 wins then I can't blame you too much for going for LSU.
3:00 ESPNN Oklahoma St. @ Texas Tech OSU is relatively safe for now but this would be a bad loss.
3:00 Wofford @ Furman Last chance to knock off Wofford before their tournament begins
4:00 ESPN Texas @ Kansas Will the slide continue for the Horns? The rest of the bubble sure hopes so.
4:30 Old Dominion @ North Texas ODU is close to the cut line and can't afford to lose to UNT
5:00 ESPNU Iowa @ Penn St. Hawkeyes are barely in for now a loss here may change that
6:00 George Washington @ Davidson Davidson barely in for now, but a loss here may change that
6:00 BTN Northwestern @ Illinois Pretty close to a must win for Illinois.
6:00 Murray St. @ UT Martin Last chance of the regular season to eliminate Murray St.
7:00 ESPNU Tulsa @ Memphis Memphis was just eliminated last week so it is time to back them as spoilers and hope they can start knocking off bubble contenders.
7:00 ESPN2 Boise St. @ San Diego St. Boise St. will be right on the cut line until Selection Sunday unless they can knock off SDSU which would make them much safer
7:00 Stephen F. Austin @ Houston Baptist SFA not a real serious contender but this would eliminate the thought of any at large run
7:30 SECN Auburn @ Texas A&M Obviously the big one of the day, if the Ags can keep taking care of business they will make most of this bubble carnage going on below them not matter much.
9:00 ESPN2 BYU @ Gonzaga A must win for BYU to get them into the at large picture.
Sunday March 1
1:00 CBS SMU @ UConn SMU is a lock but they can go ahead and end any long shot at large chances for UConn/
1:00 Iona @ St. Peter's Every game is a can't lose for Iona
2:30 FS1 Marquette @ Providence Providence is very close to a lock, this would either clinch that or make folks tap the brakes a bit on them.
3:00 Michigan St. @ Wisconsin This would be a huge marquee win for MSU a fellow bubble team
5:30 ESPNU Pitt @ Wake Forest Pitt is very close to the cut line and cant afford to lose to a bad Wake Forest team.
6:00 FS1 Oregon @ Stanford this feels a lot like a play in game, the winner will be feeling ok about their March chances with the loser with a lot of work to do.
6:30 Purdue @ Ohio St. Ohio St. to me is still much safer than Purdue, I would rather the Boilermakers not get another big road win.
8:30 FS1 Washington St. @ UCLA UCLA is in must win time