RPI and schedule data from Basketball State (subscription), accessed on February 7, 2011. RPI information only reflects games played against Division I opponents through Monday, February 7, 2011. Records only reflect games played against Division I opponents through Tuesday, February 8, 2011.
First Eight Out
38. VCU Rams
Record: 19-6 overall; 11-2 conference; 2-2 vs. RPI Top 50; 3-1 vs. RPI 51-100; 13-2 vs. RPI 150+; 9-6 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 177 Loss: 109
Last Week: lost at Northeastern 91-80, won at James Madison 70-66
This Week: at Delaware (Wed.), Old Dominion (Sat.)
The Rams would own sole possession of first place in the CAA right now, if they hadn't lost to Northeastern in their first game last week. Now, they're tied with George Mason at the top of the standings. VCU's biggest test this week is a visit from Old Dominion, another potential top 50 win, needed at this point to bolster their at-large chances.
39. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Record: 14-9 overall; 5-3 conference; 2-6 vs. RPI Top 50; 5-1 vs. RPI 51-100; 7-1 vs. RPI 150+; 4-6 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 162 Loss: 56
Last Week: won at Portland 67-64, lost to Memphis 62-58
This Week: at Loyola Marymount (Thu.), at Pepperdine (Sat.)
The Bulldogs will likely need to win the WCC tournament after Saturday's home loss to Memphis, their last real chance to make noise out of the conference. The good news is the Bulldogs are in good position to finish second in the conference after knocking off Portland on Thursday, but they can't slip up in the LA area this week.
40. Colorado State Rams
Record: 15-7 overall; 6-3 conference; 2-3 vs. RPI Top 50; 2-2 vs. RPI 51-100; 8-1 vs. RPI 150+; 8-3 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 155 Loss: 68
Last Week: lost to San Diego State 56-54, won at Wyoming 59-56
This Week: New Mexico (Sat.)
The Rams week was a mixed one, as they lost a heartbreaker at home to San Diego State on Wednesday, then won a close one in Laramie. A win in Saturday's home game against New Mexico, a team the Rams lost to in the Pit, would be a boost to Colorado State's profile (and damaging to the Lobos').
41. New Mexico Lobos
Record: 15-7 overall; 4-4 conference; 2-2 vs. RPI Top 50; 2-3 vs. RPI 51-100; 9-1 vs. RPI 150+; 5-6 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 161 Loss: 90
Last Week: won at Air Force 75-61
This Week: Wyoming (Wed.), at Colorado State (Sat.)
The Lobos picked up a big win at Air Force midweek, but can really help their at-large case by grabbing a sweep of Colorado State this week.
42. Washington State Cougars
Record: 16-7 overall; 6-5 conference; 1-4 vs. RPI Top 50; 3-2 vs. RPI 51-100; 9-0 vs. RPI 150+; 7-5 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 179 Loss: 59
Last Week: lost at Oregon 69-43, won at Oregon State 61-55
This Week: Stanford (Thu.), California (Sat.)
The Cougars did what their archrivals couldn't, win a game in Oregon, but a victory over Oregon State wasn't enough to offset a bad loss to Oregon. That drops Washington State out of the field. They can't afford any more stumbles against bad teams if they want to jump back in at some point.
43. Colorado Buffaloes
Record: 14-9 overall; 4-5 conference; 4-3 vs. RPI Top 50; 0-4 vs. RPI 51-100; 9-0 vs. RPI 150+; 3-8 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 190 Loss: 64
Last Week: def. Iowa State 95-69, lost at Missouri 89-73
This Week: Texas A&M (Wed.), Kansas State (Sat.)
The Buffaloes sit outside the field, since they've only won once in their last six games (with three of the losses being completely avoidable). Three big early wins in the Big 12 help their case, but late inconsistency and a weak non-league slate hurt the Buffs, but they can improve their stock at home this week.
44. Michigan State Spartans
Record: 12-10 overall; 5-6 conference; 3-7 vs. RPI Top 50; 3-2 vs. RPI 51-100; 5-0 vs. RPI 150+; 3-8 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 132 Loss: 36
Last Week: lost at Iowa 72-52, lost at Wisconsin 82-56
This Week: Penn State (Thu.)
The Spartans have lost five of six, which sees them slip out of the bracket, much like their opponent Thursday, Penn State. After a game at Breslin, Michigan State plays four against teams whose tournament prospects are a little more secure.
45. Cleveland State Vikings
Record: 19-5 overall; 10-4 conference; 0-3 vs. RPI Top 50; 3-1 vs. RPI 51-100; 10-0 vs. RPI 150+; 9-4 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 159 Loss: 39
Last Week: def. Valparaiso 76-65, lost to Butler 73-61, lost at Detroit 81-78
This Week: Youngstown State (Sat.)
The Vikings at-large chances took two major hits this week, as they dropped consecutive games, at home against Butler, then at Detroit. The second was especially costly, as it dropped the Vikings behind Valparaiso in the Horizon standings. Plus, Cleveland State doesn't have the non-conference wins to boost their candidacy.
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