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.
1. Pittsburgh Panthers (Big East auto)
Record: 22-2 overall; 10-1 conference; 6-2 vs. RPI Top 50; 6-0 vs. RPI 51-100; 6-0 vs. RPI 150+; 7-0 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 119 Loss: 15
Last Week: def. Cincinnati 71-59, won at West Virginia 71-66
This Week: at Villanova (Sat.)
The Panthers' Ashton Gibbs missed the West Virginia game, and will be out for another 10-14 days, with an MCL injury. Luckily, the schedule is rather light for Pitt, as they only play once this week, on Saturday at Villanova.
16A. Long Island Blackbirds (Northeast auto)
Record: 18-5 overall; 9-2 conference; 0-0 vs. RPI Top 50; 0-1 vs. RPI 51-100; 15-1 vs. RPI 150+; 10-3 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 246 Loss: 144
Last Week: def. Sacred Heart 81-69, def. Quinnipiac 84-74
This Week: St. Francis (NY) (Wed.), at St. Francis (NY) (Sat.)
The Blackbirds continue to lead the NEC by a game with Central Connecticut State (the team LIU hosts to close the regular season on February 26th) a game behind them. This week, the Blackbirds play a rare home-and-home with their Brooklyn rivals, St. Francis College.
16B. Texas Southern Tigers (SWAC auto)
Record: 11-10 overall; 9-1 conference; 0-2 vs. RPI Top 50; 0-1 vs. RPI 51-100; 11-2 vs. RPI 150+; 6-9 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 302 Loss: 119
Last Week: def. Prairie View 63-58
This Week: at Jackson State (Sat.), at Grambling (Mon.)
After Jackson State lost to Alcorn State, the Houston Tigers jumped back into first in the SWAC, though the Mississippi Tigers and Mississippi Valley State are still a game back. This week, Texas Southern will look to sweep Jackson State when they meet on Saturday.
8. Tennessee Volunteers (SEC at-large)
Last Week: 7
Record: 15-8 overall; 5-3 conference; 6-2 vs. RPI Top 50; 4-4 vs. RPI 51-100; 5-1 vs. RPI 150+; 6-3 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 106 Loss: 82
Last Week: won at Auburn 69-56, lost to Alabama 65-60 (OT)
This Week: at Kentucky (Tue.), at Florida (Sat.)
Last week, I asked if the Volunteers had reached a level of consistency. The answer, as Bruce Pearl's suspension ends, is yes, they're back to being consistenly inconsistent. Pearl returns for a pair of huge road tests, a game at Rupp Arena, where Kentucky simply plays far better than they do on the road and a visit to Florida, who defeated the Vols in OT in Knoxville.
9. Florida State Seminoles (ACC at-large)
Record: 16-7 overall; 6-3 conference; 2-4 vs. RPI Top 50; 3-2 vs. RPI 51-100; 10-1 vs. RPI 150+; 6-5 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 183 Loss: 70
Last Week: def. Wake Forest 85-61, lost at North Carolina 89-69
This Week: at Georgia Tech (Thu.), Virginia (Sat.)
The Seminoles hang on, despite falling at North Carolina on Sunday afternoon. They can improve their position thanks to three winnable games, with two of them (Georgia Tech and Wake Forest) on the road. After that stretch, FSU's fate could be sealed by a trip to Maryland a home games with Miami and the Tar Heels.
Denver Pod #1
5. Missouri Tigers (Big 12 at-large)
Last Week: 4
Record: 17-6 overall; 4-5 conference; 4-5 vs. RPI Top 50; 2-1 vs. RPI 51-100; 9-0 vs. RPI 150+; 4-6 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 156 Loss: 35
Last Week: lost at Oklahoma State 76-70, def. Colorado 89-73, lost at Kansas 103-86
This Week: Oklahoma (Sat.)
The Tigers drop out of the top four lines, thanks to three losses in their last four games. Look for them to stop the skid, as three winnable games are in their immediate future, starting with two in a row at home.
12. St. John's Red Storm (Big East at-large)
Last Week: 8
Natural 11 seed
Record: 13-9 overall; 5-5 conference; 4-7 vs. RPI Top 50; 2-0 vs. RPI 51-100; 4-1 vs. RPI 150+; 5-6 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 104 Loss: 59
Last Week: def. Rutgers 58-56, lost at UCLA 66-59
This Week: Connecticut (Thu.), at Cincinnati (Sun.)
After knocking off Duke, the Red Storm didn't have the best week, struggling to get by Rutgers at home, then losing at UCLA in a game plagued by an incredible foul shot differential (41 for UCLA, 7 for the Johnnies). A visit from UConn and trip to fellow bubble team Cincinnati provides St. John's a pair of opportunities to further bolster their resume.
4. Purdue Boilermakers (Big Ten at-large)
Last Week: 3
Record: 18-5 overall; 7-3 conference; 2-4 vs. RPI Top 50; 8-1 vs. RPI 51-100; 5-0 vs. RPI 150+; 5-5 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 122 Loss: 27
Last Week: lost at Wisconsin 66-59
This Week: Indiana (Tue.), at Illinois (Sun.)
For a time, it looked like the Boilermakers would take advantage of an ugly contest and win at Wisconsin, but that didn't happen. This week, a visit from improving Indiana and trip to struggling Illinois provide a pair of chances for Matt Painter's team to boost its seed.
13. Princeton Tigers (Ivy auto)
Record: 15-4 overall; 4-0 conference; 0-1 vs. RPI Top 50; 3-2 vs. RPI 51-100; 10-1 vs. RPI 150+; 7-4 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 173 Loss: 97
Last Week: def. Harvard 65-61, def. Dartmouth 68-53
This Week: Penn (Tue.), at Columbia (Fri.), at Cornell (Sat.)
The Tigers took control of the Ivy race by beating Harvard at home, an annual event. Now, they just need to keep winning to earn the conference's automatic bid to the tournament. Princeton visits Cambridge on March 5th.
6. Arizona Wildcats (Pac-10 auto)
Last Week: 8
Record: 20-4 overall; 9-2 conference; 1-3 vs. RPI Top 50; 4-0 vs. RPI 51-100; 8-1 vs. RPI 150+; 7-4 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 143 Loss: 67
Last Week: won at Stanford 78-69, won at California 107-105 (3OT)
This Week: at Arizona State (Sun.)
Thanks to a sweep of the Bay Area schools, capped by an epic triple OT win over Cal, and Washington's pair of losses in Oregon, the Wildcats are your new Pac-10 favorite, especially with four of their last seven at home.
11. Richmond Spiders (A-10 at-large)
Last Week: 12
Record: 18-6 overall; 7-2 conference; 1-2 vs. RPI Top 50; 5-2 vs. RPI 51-100; 12-1 vs. RPI 150+; 9-3 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 177 Loss: 85
Last Week: def. St. Joseph's 62-52, won at Fordham 77-60
This Week: at George Washington (Wed.), Saint Louis (Sat.)
The Spiders handled A-10 strugglers St. Joseph's and Fordham this week and should pick up another pair of league wins this week, though a trip to the Smith Center and visit from the Billikens will each provide a unique challenge.
3. Villanova Wildcats (Big East at-large)
Record: 19-4 overall; 7-3 conference; 6-3 vs. RPI Top 50; 3-1 vs. RPI 51-100; 7-0 vs. RPI 150+; 6-3 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 124 Loss: 35
Last Week: def. Marquette 75-70, def. West Virginia 66-50
This Week: at Rutgers (Wed.), Pittsburgh (Sat.)
The Wildcats picked up a pair of home wins to remain two games behind Pitt in the Big East race, and Nova hosts the Panthers on Saturday, but they cannot overlook a visit from Rutgers, coached by Mike Rice who nearly coached Robert Morris to a win over the Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament last year.
14. Fairfield Stags (Metro Atlantic auto)
Record: 18-5 overall; 11-2 conference; 0-0 vs. RPI Top 50; 1-1 vs. RPI 51-100; 14-2 vs. RPI 150+; 9-3 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 230 Loss: 128
Last Week: def. Iona 75-71, lost to Rider 96-87
This Week: at Manhattan (Fri.), at St. Peter's (Sun.)
Fairfield split with Iona and Rider last week, but still own a two-game lead over the Broncs and St. Peter's at the top of the league, The Stags' next big test will come Sunday, when they visit the Peacocks. Sunday's loss to Rider ended a six-game win streak.
Denver Pod #2
7. Illinois Fighting Illini (Big Ten at-large)
Last Week: 6
Record: 15-8 overall; 5-5 conference; 3-4 vs. RPI Top 50; 5-2 vs. RPI 51-100; 5-2 vs. RPI 150+; 4-7 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 128 Loss: 78
Last Week: def. Penn State 68-51, lost at Northwestern 71-70
This Week: at Minnesota (Thu.), Purdue (Sun.)
If Illinois stock was a commodity, I'd be selling it after Saturday's disappointing loss at Northwestern, the Illini's fifth in seventh games. Things don't get easier this week, as a trip to the Barn and visit from Purdue are on the slate.
10. Georgia Bulldogs (SEC at-large)
Last Week: 9
Record: 16-6 overall; 5-4 conference; 2-6 vs. RPI Top 50; 2-0 vs. RPI 51-100; 10-0 vs. RPI 150+; 6-4 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 174 Loss: 18
Last Week: won at Arkansas 60-59, def. Auburn 81-72 (OT)
This Week: Xavier (Tue.), at South Carolina (Sat.)
The Bulldogs struggled with two SEC West opponents last week, needing overtime to defeat lowly, but improving Auburn on Saturday. This week, Georgia can bolster their case with a win over A-10 co-leader Xavier and a road victory against tricky South Carolina.
2. BYU Cougars (MWC at-large)
Record: 21-2 overall; 8-1 conference; 7-1 vs. RPI Top 50; 3-1 vs. RPI 51-100; 7-0 vs. RPI 150+; 10-2 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 113 Loss: 51
Last Week: won at Wyoming 69-62, def. UNLV 78-64
This Week: at Air Force (Wed), Utah (Sat.)
The Cougars keep rolling to their rematch with San Diego State late in the month, thanks to a near miss at the Arena-Auditorium at midweek and an easy win over UNLV back at home Saturday. This week offers a pair of unique challenges, a trip to Clune Arena to play an improved Air Force and the final MWC Holy War (barring a meeting in Vegas at the tournament).
15. Murray State Racers (Ohio Valley auto)
Record: 16-6 overall; 10-3 conference; 0-2 vs. RPI Top 50; 0-1 vs. RPI 51-100; 13-1 vs. RPI 150+; 10-4 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 207 Loss: 113
Last Week: won at Tennessee State 74-65, won at Austin Peay 67-58, won at Eastern Illinois 66-53
This Week: Tennessee Tech (Thu.), Jacksonville State (Sat.)
The Racers took care of Tennessee State and Austin Peay to take a game lead (in the loss column) over the Governors and Morehead State in the OVC race.
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