RPI and schedule data from Basketball State (subscription), accessed on January 3, 2011. This information only reflects games played against Division I opponents up to Tuesday, January 4, 2011.
First Four Out
38. Washington State
Record: 10-4 overall; 0-2 conference; 2-2 vs. RPI Top 50; 0-2 vs. RPI 51-100; 7-0 vs. RPI 150+; 5-3 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 213; Loss: 44
Last Week: lost at UCLA 80-71, lost at USC 60-56
This Week: vs. Oregon State (Thu.), vs. Oregon (Sat.)
The Cougars looked set to be in this bracket, even after a loss to Butler in the Diamond Head Classic final, then they went and opened the Pac-10 slate at 0-2. A sweep of the dreadful Oregon schools, combined with some movement elsewhere could push them back in.
39. Virginia Tech
Record: 9-4 overall; 0-1 conference; 1-3 vs. RPI Top 50; 1-0 vs. RPI 51-100; 6-0 vs. RPI 150+; 5-2 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 196; Loss: 46
Last Week: def. USC Upstate 64-53, def. Mount St. Mary's 99-34
This Week: vs. Florida State (Sat.)
It's simply amazing the injury-ravaged Hokies are this close. Their biggest issue has been winning their up games (UNLV and Purdue in particular). A win over FSU Saturday would likely push them in over the Seminoles.
Record: 9-6 overall; 1-1 conference; 2-2 vs. RPI Top 50; 1-0 vs. RPI 51-100; 5-1 vs. RPI 150+; 2-4 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 154; Loss: 104
Last Week: lost to Washington 73-67 (OT), def. Washington State 60-56
This Week: vs. UCLA (Sun.)
The good: The Trojans have beaten Texas and Tennessee, and came close against Kansas. Those results make them a contender, especially with Jio Fontan on the roster.
The bad (and why they sit outside): They've also lost to Rider, TCU, Bradley, and Nebraska before Fontan became eligible.
Record: 10-4 overall; 1-0 conference; 1-4 vs. RPI Top 50; 1-0 vs. RPI 51-100; 7-0 vs. RPI 150+; 1-3 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 199; Loss: 28
Last Week: lost at Vanderbilt 77-76, def. West Virginia 79-74
This Week: at Rutgers (Wed.), at Pittsburgh (Sat.), vs. Notre Dame (Mon.)
While the win over West Virginia was a good one, the Golden Eagles really need to grab some road victories to get real consideration.
Next Four Out
Record: 9-3 overall; 0-2 conference; 0-3 vs. RPI Top 50; 0-0 vs. RPI 51-100; 7-0 vs. RPI 150+; 3-2 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 214; Loss: 9
Last Week: lost at Purdue 82-69, lost to Michigan State 65-62
This Week: at Illinois (Thu.), vs. Indiana (Sun.)
Monday's close loss to the Spartans hurt twice: 1) it was at home and 2) it was against a legit contender. Bill Carmody's team really needs to pull off the upset on Thursday to stay in view.
Record: 8-4 overall; 0-0 conference; 1-3 vs. RPI Top 50; 0-0 vs. RPI 51-100; 4-0 vs. RPI 150+; 2-3 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 159; Loss: 54
Last Week: def. Albany 88-64; lost at Florida 71-67
This Week: at Cincinnati (Thu.), at Rhode Island (Sun.)
Like Virginia Tech, the Musketeers are staying in the frame while dealing with a depleted roster. If they can hand the Bearcats their first loss of the season on Thursday, look for X to rise.
44. New Mexico
Record: 10-3 overall; 0-0 conference; 0-1 vs. RPI Top 50; 0-2 vs. RPI 51-100; 8-0 vs. RPI 150+; 4-3 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 193; Loss: 58
Last Week: won at Texas Tech 61-60, lost at Dayton 76-73 (2OT)
This Week: vs. Cal State Bakersfield (Wed.), at Wyoming (Sat.)
The Lobos may regret only going 1-1 in Vegas, losing the final to Northern Iowa, at the end of the season, provided they don't pull a few surprises in MWC play.
45. Southern Mississippi
Record: 9-2 overall; 0-0 conference; 0-0 vs. RPI Top 50; 1-2 vs. RPI 51-100; 5-0 vs. RPI 150+; 4-2 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 144; Loss: 68
Last Week: def. Mississippi Valley State 91-46, def. Savannah State 64-54
This Week: vs. Houston (Wed.), at Marshall (Sat.)
Like UNM, the Golden Eagles may regret a tournament final loss (in their case, against Colorado State in Cancun) on Selection Sunday.