Texas is one of seven Big 12 teams in the field of 68.
In: Boston College, Duke, Florida State, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia Tech
Worth a Mention: Maryland
Notes: It was a great eight-day period for Florida State, with home wins over Duke and NC State and a road win at Miami. This little run has cancelled out the bad loss at Auburn. Miami is one of the last teams in the bracket. That win over West Virginia in early December was huge (even though the Mountaineers lost at Marshall Wednesday night). Maryland's loss at home to Virginia Tech on Thursday will not help the Terps down the line.
America East (1)
In: Temple, Xavier
Worth a Mention: Dayton, Duquesne, Rhode Island, Richmond
Notes: Xavier has won three straight in the A-10, and the Muskies need to keep winning because their non-conference resume isn’t strong. They beat three Big Six conference teams, but those wins were against Iowa, Seton Hall and Wake Forest — three of the weakest in the nation from the power leagues. Duquesne isn’t really close to making the field, but the Dukes are off to a 4–0 start in the league. Dayton had what looked like a nice win early in the season, beating Ole Miss in Oxford, but the Rebels are 0–4 in the SEC. Richmond has wins over Purdue, Arizona State and VCU, but also lost to Iona, Bucknell and Rhode Island (at home).
Big 12 (7)
In: Colorado, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M
Worth a Mention: Baylor
Notes: Baylor has a ton of talent but has yet to beat a team with a top-100 RPI. Colorado was among the last teams in. The Buffs have some nice wins (Missouri, at Kansas State) but lost at San Francisco and at Harvard. Oklahoma State got a boost with Alabama’s win over Kentucky this week (the Pokes beat the Tide in December) but then took a hit the next night when Missouri State lost at Indiana State.
Big East (11)
In: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, St. John’s, Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia
Worth a Mention: None
Notes: The Big East goes 11 deep this week, and Marquette is really the only team worth debating. The Golden Eagles’ RPI is 70 due to a very poor non-conference slate. They are lacking in good wins, but they have lost closely to some good teams — Duke (five points), Gonzaga (three), Wisconsin (five), Vanderbilt (one), Louisville (one). This team passes the “eye test.”
Big Sky (1)
In: Northern Colorado
Big South (1)
In: Coastal Carolina
Big Ten (6)
In: Illinois, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin
Worth a Mention: Northwestern, Penn State
Notes: Penn State has two nice wins (Michigan State and Illinois at home) and two close losses on the road against very good teams (three points at Ohio State, one point at Purdue), but the Nittany Lions need to win more games to make up for the loss at home to Maine in December. Northwestern has one win vs. a top-100 RPI team, Michigan (No. 83).
Big West (1)
In: Long Beach
In: Old Dominion
Worth a Mention: James Madison, VCU
Notes: James Madison had a great opportunity Wednesday night, but lost a six-point game at ODU. VCU gets its chance at ODU this weekend. A road win over the Monarchs could put the Rams into the field next week.
Conference USA (1)
Worth a Mention: Memphis, UAB, Southern Miss
Notes: UAB is close. The Blazers won at Arkansas and beat VCU at home, but neither of those are currently in the bracket. Southern Miss played its way out (for now) by losing a big lead at home to Memphis Wednesday night. Memphis has a long way to go, but that win at USM was a good place to start. UCF is sliding down the bracket, thanks to a three-game losing streak. Those wins over Florida and Miami will only carry this team so far.
In: Butler, Cleveland State
Worth a Mention: Valparaiso
Notes: Butler has some bad losses (Evansville, Milwaukee by 20), but also has done some good things, beating Florida State and Washington State in Hawaii and pounding Cleveland State by 23.
In: Ball State
In: Missouri State
Worth a Mention: Wichita State
Notes: Wichita State’s loss at home to Northern Iowa on Wednesday night was a tough blow. This team’s other three losses are to UConn in Hawaii, at San Diego State and at home to Missouri State.
Mountain West (3)
In: BYU, San Diego State, UNLV
Worth a Mention: Colorado State
Notes: Colorado State’s huge win at UNLV on Wednesday night was impressive, but the Rams still need a few more quality wins to offset losses to Sam Houston and Hampton.
In: Long Island
In: Austin Peay
In: Arizona, Washington, Washington State
Worth a Mention: UCLA
Notes: Washington State’s spot is far from secure. The Cougars have wins over Mississippi State and Baylor, two teams with plenty of talent but two teams that have underachieved. The win over Gonzaga was big. UCLA has one good win: vs. BYU. The Bruins need to go on a big run in league play.
In: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Worth a Mention: South Carolina
Notes: The five teams in the field are pretty secure at this point. South Carolina is sneaking its way into the discussion. The Gamecocks are 3–1 in the league, highlighted by an overtime win over Vanderbilt and a win at Florida.
In: College of Charleston
In: McNeese State
Sun Belt (1)
In: Texas Southern
In: Utah State
In: Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s