1. Pittsburgh (25-2)
2. UConn (25-2)
3. Oklahoma (25-2)
4. Memphis (24-3)
5. UNC (24-3)
6. Louisville (21-5)
7. Duke (22-5)
8. Michigan St. (21-5)
9. Mizzou (23-4)
10. Marquette (23-4)
11. Villanova (22-5)
12. Clemson (22-4)
13. WFU (20-5)
14. Ariz. St. (21-5)
15. Kansas (22-5)
16. Purdue (21-6)
17. Gonzaga (21-5)
18. LSU (23-4)
19. Illinois (22-6)
20. Xavier (22-5)
21. UCLA (20-7)
22. Washington (20-7)
23. FSU (21-6)
24. Butler (23-4)
25. WVU (19-8)
The top 22 are all in the safety zone (locks to make the NCAA tournament as an at-large), then there are 9 High Bubble Teams needing just a win or two be safe.
Here the high bubble teams and their magic numbers with an explanation:
FSU-1-They still have four more games and none of them are easy, but 1 win will give them 9 conference wins guarantee them a winning record in the ACC and guarantee them a spot.
WVU-1-One more win puts them at 20 wins and 9 wins in Big East that along with a RPI of 13 gets them in. I still can't believe they're not ranked in the AP or Coaches Poll.
Butler-2-ESPN has Butler and Dayton as locks, my definition of a lock is different than ESPN. To me a lock is a team that is in no matter what happens the rest of the year are in, if Butler or Dayton were to lose out and lose early in their conference tourney then they would likely not be in the NCAA Tournament.
Dayton-RPI-29, (23-4)-2/or 1 @XAV-see above, if they sweep Xavier they're a lock.
Texas-RPI-34, (18-8)-2-A win vs. Texas Tech doesn't guarantee them anything, but that along with a win
@OK St, Baylor, or @Kansas and they're in.
Utah-RPI-11, (19-7)-1-Their next 3 games are against other MWC bubble teams (UNLV, @BYU, @New Mexico), all they really need to do is win 1 and they are guaranteed a tie in the MWC and a 20 win season, that plus their insanely high RPI will get them in.
Syracuse-RPI-24, (19-8)-2-Need 2 wins to get to 9 wins in the tough Big East.
Arizona-RPI-42, (18-9)-2-They may have a sub 40 RPI but they are red hot 7-1 in last 8 games and their only loss was last night @Arizona St. by 2 points, 2 more wins is a 20 win season/at least 10 wins in the PAC-10.
California-RPI-32, (20-7)-2-Are home vs. LA schools this week then at the Arizona schools next week, if they at least break even in the next four they won't have to worry about the PAC-10 tournament.
Here are my NCAA Tiers:
(5)-The Contenders-The top teams that are currently battling for the #1 seeds.
Pitt., UConn, Oklahoma, Memphis, UNC
(5)-Very good yet inconsitent teams-they have all the tools to be contenders but need to be more consistent.
Louisville, Duke, Michigan St., Clemson, WFU
(6)-Red hot very dangerous teams.
Mizzou (11-2 in 2009 and have won 5 straight), Marquette (12-2 in 2009), Villanova (8-1 in last 9), Ariz. St, (have won 5 straight), Kansas (11-1, now 12-1 in last 13 after big win tonight at Oklahoma), LSU (8 in a row)
(2)-Nasty Mid-Majors if you wanna call them that.
(4)-Battle for #2 in the Big Ten-PAC-10.
Purdue, Illinois, UCLA, Washington
That is the cut off for the safe zone:
(8)-High Bubble Teams mentioned in piece above.
FSU, WVU, Butler, Dayton, Texas, Arizona, Syracuse, California
(4)-SEC East Battle-Tennessee has the highest RPI by far at 25 but is a game back in the SEC standings, these 4 teams all have 2 more games against each other and those games will be crucial in who gets into the tourney.
Florida, S. Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky
(5)-MWC Bubble Madness-New Mexico played themselves into the bubble mess with a blow out win vs. San Diego St. on Saturday, now 5 of the MWC's 8 teams are in the mix but Utah is clearly in the driver seat.
Utah, BYU, UNLV, S.D. St., New Mexico
(5)-Brutal Big Ten Bubble-Michigan and PSU are both on way on outside looking in.
Ohio St., Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Penn St-
(5)-Even more crazy and brutal Big 12 Bubble.
OK St., Texas A&M, Kansas St., Nebraska, Baylor
(3)-BrackerBuster wins really helped their cause.
Siena, Creighton, St. Mary's
(2)-High mid-major bubble teams with some very major games this week to help out that tourney resume. Temple (@Dayton-2/28), UAB (Memphis-2/26)
(8)-Who's deeper the ACC or the Big East-Who'll end up getting more teams in the Big Dance. Miami, BC, Maryland, VA Tech, Cincinnati, Georgetown, ND, Providence
(3)-Down but not out-These are the final 3 teams which gives us 65 possible teams to make the field of 65, of the 43 teams that are not locked in yet, maybe and I mean maybe half of them will actually end up in the big dance.
USC-have lost 4 of 5 and their record (16-19, 7-7) is not great but playing in the PAC-10 they will have chances to get some more wins and boost up their RPI from 49. Plus they have Lil Romeo.
Utah St-Lost a key game this weekend @St. Mary's, who was without Patty Mills and they have a horrible SOS-140, but they have a great record (24-3) and a good RPI-28
As my final team that still had hope as an at-large, I wanted to put Davidson but there is no way that Stephen Curry and company are going to be the tourney unless they win the SoCon Conference tournament.
Illinois St-They are my final team that still has a slight chance. They can be in both the tiers of Down and Out and High Mid-majors with big games coming up. They have got two of the top teams in the Missouri Valley this week (Northern Iowa-2/25 & @Creighton-2/28) and if they win those two games they will sweep Creighton and if they get to the MVC Title game and lose they still could have a shot to get in. They have a good record, but have no key wins outside the MVC and have a low RPI-58 and SOS-154, but hey this is college basketball you never know.
Better luck next year/good luck in the NIT-Unless of course you win your conference tournament. URI, George Mason, Davidson, WKU, Niagara, Ole Miss, WISC.-GB, Tulsa, UTEP, Auburn, N.C. St., VCU, Miami (OH), Cleveland St., Miss. St., Evansville, Northwestern, Hofstra, American, No. Iowa, Houston, Vandy, St. Joe's, Duquesne, Wyoming, any other school with an RPI below 80 at this point.