Henson's Heels cruising into March

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UNC one of 4 ACC teams in the Field of 68.

UNC one of 4 ACC teams in the Field of 68.

ACC (4)
In: Duke, Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech
Worth a Mention: Boston College, Clemson

Notes: North Carolina and Duke are the only teams that are secure. Boston College’s late-season slide continued Wednesday night with a very damaging loss at home to Miami. Virginia Tech has a golden opportunity this weekend with Duke visiting Blacksburg. It’s not a must win for the Hokies, but it sure would help their cause.

America East (1)
In: Vermont

A-10 (3)
In: Richmond, Temple, Xavier
Worth a Mention: Dayton, Duquesne

Notes: Richmond is one of the final teams in the field. The Spiders should win their final three games — at Charlotte, at Saint Joe’s, home vs. Duquesne — to finish 13–3 in the A-10. The win over Purdue in late November, however, is what will eventually be the difference for this team.

A-Sun (1)
In: Belmont

Big 12 (5)
In: Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Texas, Texas A&M
Worth a Mention: Baylor, Colorado, Nebraska

Notes: It was a bad five days for Baylor. First, the Bears lost at home to short-handed Texas Tech. Then, they hit the road and lost by 18 points at Missouri. Colorado deserves a real good look, but the Buffs have a bad RPI (85) and, more damaging, 11 losses. Kansas State picked up a nice win at Nebraska Wednesday night; the Wildcats are in very good shape.

Big East (11)
In: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, St. John’s, Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia

Worth a Mention: None

Notes: There is a lot of ant-Marquette sentiment out there, and it is tough to overlook the Eagles’ 11 losses, but keep in mind that 10 of those losses came against teams ranked in the top-30 of the RPI. They have three top-20 wins (West Virginia, Notre Dame and Syracuse), but all three came at home. Cincinnati is playing its way off the bubble (in a good way). The win at Georgetown was enormous.

Big Sky (1)
In: Montana

Big South (1)
In: Coastal Carolina

Big Ten (6)
In: Illinois, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin
Worth a Mention: Michigan, Penn State

Notes: Michigan State is playing its way out of a midseason funk. The Spartans have won three of their past four games, including a key road win at Minnesota on Tuesday night. Minnesota is really struggling, losers of six of their past seven games. The Gophers aren’t likely to make the field on Selection Sunday, but they made it this week simply because their resume, at this point, is still good enough relative to their competition. Illinois has dipped below .500 in the Big Ten (7–8), but the Illini still play Iowa and Indiana at home. They have enough quality wins (four vs. top 50) to feel relatively safe at this point. Michigan would have been in the field this week had Josh Gasser’s 3-pointer at the buzzer not banked in to give Wisconsin a one-point win last night. Just a heartbreaking loss for a young team that is improving at a rapid rate.

Big West (1)
In: Long Beach State

Colonial (3)
In: George Mason, Old Dominion
Worth a Mention: Drexel, VCU

Notes: VCU played its way out last night with a loss at Drexel; it was the Rams’ third loss in their last four games. They got a nice win at Wichita State in the BracketBusters and also have a neutral court win over UCLA and a nice win at Old Dominion. The four sub-150 RPI losses (at South Florida, Georgia State and Northeastern) are a bit troubling, though.

Conference USA (1)
In: Memphis
Worth a Mention: UAB, UTEP

Notes: UAB is lacking in quality wins. The Blazers have no top-50 wins, thought they do have six against teams ranked 50-65. UTEP has lost two straight games. Memphis is in as the automatic qualifier. The Tigers will be very, very close if they don’t win the C-USA Tournament.

Horizon (1)
In: Butler, Cleveland State
Worth a Mention: Valparaiso

Notes: Butler is making a late push and sneaks in this week, but the Bulldogs are far from secure. They only have one win vs. a team from the at-large pool (Florida State), and they have too many bad losses (home vs. Evansville and Milwaukee and at Milwaukee, Wright State and Youngstown State).

Ivy (1)
In: Harvard

MAAC (1)
In: Fairfield

MAC (1)
In: Kent State

MEAC (1)
In: Bethune-Cookman

MVC (1)
In: Missouri State
Worth a Mention: Wichita State

Notes: Missouri State and Wichita State are tied atop the MVC standings with a 13–3 record, but MSU gets the automatic bid due to its win at Wichita State in January. WSU’s loss at home to VCU was a tough blow. The MVC did not fare well in the recent BracketBusters games.

Mountain West (4)
In: BYU, Colorado State, San Diego State, UNLV
Worth a Mention: None

Notes: Colorado State lost by eight points at BYU on Wednesday night. There’s no shame in that. The Rams have three regular-season games remaining — road games at Air Force and San Diego State sandwiched around a home game vs. Utah. They need to beat Air Force and Uah.

Northeast (1)
In: Long Island

OVC (1)
In: Morehead State

Pac-10 (3)
In: Arizona, Washington, UCLA
Worth a Mention: None

Notes: Washington State’s recent slide has taken the Cougs out of consideration.

Patriot (1)
In: Bucknell

SEC (6)
In: Alabama Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Worth a Mention: None

Notes: Tennessee picked up a bid-clinching win at Vanderbilt Tuesday night. Alabama’s RPI is still brutal (80), but the Tide have two top-25 wins and are 11-2 in the SEC. They didn’t pass the ‘eye test’ for those watching their two-point win over Auburn on Wednesday, but they had been playing very good basketball up to that point.

Southern (1)
In: College of Charleston

Southland (1)
In: McNeese State

Summit (1)
In: Oakland

Sun Belt (1)
In: Florida Atlantic

SWAC (1)
In: Texas Southern

WAC (1)
In: Utah State

WCC (2)
In: Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s
Worth a Mention: None

Notes: Gonzaga has played its way back into the field, for now. The Zags, winners of five straight, can really help their case by winning at Saint Mary’s Thursday night. The Zags have a win over Xavier and wins over two teams on the bubble (Marquette and Baylor). Saint Mary’s has played its way back onto the bubble with recent losses at San Diego and at home vs. Utah State.

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