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. Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten auto)
Record: 24-0 overall; 11-0 conference; 5-0 vs. RPI Top 50; 8-0 vs. RPI 51-100; 7-0 vs. RPI 150+; 8-0 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 113 Loss: 0
Last Week: def. Michigan 62-53, won at Minnesota 82-69
This Week: at Wisconsin (Sat.)
The Buckeyes picked up two more wins this past week, including their 11th straight Big Ten road triumph in a row at Minnesota, but will face perhaps their biggest test in Madison on Saturday. If they can survive the Badgers, Ohio State could make it through the regular season unscathed.
16A. Northern Colorado Bears (Big Sky auto)
Record: 11-9 overall; 9-2 conference; 0-3 vs. RPI Top 50; 0-1 vs. RPI 51-100; 10-5 vs. RPI 150+; 4-9 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 214 Loss: 131
Last Week: def. Eastern Washington 63-53, def. Portland State 85-72
This Week: at Montana State (Thu.), at Montana (Sat.)
The Bears moved back into first place after Montana lost to Weber State and Northern Arizona last week, but they have to visit the Grizzlies (and Montana State) this week, a pair of games that will have major impact on who hosts the Big Sky tournament.
16B. Northwestern State Demons (Southland auto)
Record: 12-9 overall; 6-3 conference; 0-1 vs. RPI Top 50; 0-1 vs. RPI 51-100; 12-7 vs. RPI 150+; 4-8 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 239 Loss: 156
Last Week: def. Central Arkansas 85-78, won at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 72-66
This Week: Lamar (Wed.), Southeastern Louisiana (Sat.)
This week's Southland entrant, Northwestern State, is tied with four other teams in the loss column, but appears in the bracket by virtue of owning one more conference win.
8. UCLA Bruins (Pac-10 at-large)
Last Week: 12
Record: 16-7 overall; 7-3 conference; 2-4 vs. RPI Top 50; 3-2 vs. RPI 51-100; 8-0 vs. RPI 150+; 4-5 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 157 Loss: 46
This Week: def. USC 64-50, def. St. John's 66-59
This Week: Oregon (Thu.), Oregon State (Sat.)
The Bruins took care of their archrivals then overcame a sluggish mid-morning stop to defeat St. John's in Steve Lavin's return to Westwood. This week, the Bruins, who are in the thick of the Pac-10 race, host the tricky Oregon schools, and are likely glad they're playing them at Pauley.
9. Utah State Aggies (WAC auto)
Last Week: 11
Natural 10 seed
Record: 22-2 overall; 11-0 conference; 0-2 vs. RPI Top 50; 0-0 vs. RPI 51-100; 19-0 vs. RPI 150+; 8-2 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 204 Loss: 3
Last Week: def. Nevada 67-45, def. Boise State 77-49
This Week: at Idaho (Wed.), Fresno State (Sat.)
The Aggies continue to dominate the WAC, sweeping the season series with both Nevada and Boise State, thanks to a pair of dominating wins in Logan last week.
5. West Virginia Mountaineers (Big East at-large)
Natural 6 seed
Record: 15-8 overall; 6-5 conference; 5-5 vs. RPI Top 50; 4-3 vs. RPI 51-100; 3-0 vs. RPI 150+; 6-6 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 101 Loss: 41
Last Week: def. Seton Hall 56-44, lost at Villanova 66-50, lost to Pittsburgh 71-66
This Week: DePaul (Sat.), at Syracuse (Mon.)
Leading scorer Casey Mitchell returned from his suspension on Saturday against Villanova, though his return didn't help the Mountaineers win. West Virginia also couldn't take advantage of Ashton Gibbs' absence when Pitt visited on Monday night. Bob Huggins' team should handle DePaul on Saturday, but a trip to Syracuse next Monday is another matter entirely.
12. UTEP Miners (C-USA auto)
Record: 17-5 overall; 6-2 conference; 0-2 vs. RPI Top 50; 3-1 vs. RPI 51-100; 12-1 vs. RPI 150+; 5-4 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 180 Loss: 86
Last Week: won at Rice 59-53
This Week: SMU (Sat.)
The Miners are the lone two-loss team in Conference USA, but they played just one game this week as Wednesday's home game against UCF was postponed because of weather. UTEP gets another week off before hosting SMU, a team who currently sits a game behind them in the conference race.
4. North Carolina Tar Heels (ACC at-large)
Last Week: 6
Record: 17-5 overall; 7-1 conference; 2-4 vs. RPI Top 50; 6-0 vs. RPI 51-100; 3-1 vs. RPI 150+; 6-5 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 110 Loss: 50
Last Week: won at Boston College 106-74, def. Florida State 89-69
This Week: at Duke (Wed.), at Clemson (Sat.)
Two wins this week mean the Tar Heels enter Wednesday's game at Cameron Indoor tied with the Blue Devils for the ACC lead. UNC can improve its seeding position by grabbing a win there and at Clemson this week. Kendall Marshall, who had a school record 16 assists in an ACC game against FSU on Sunday is a big reason why the Tar Heels have jumped up the S-curve so quickly.
13. Alabama Crimson Tide (SEC auto)
Record: 15-7 overall; 7-1 conference; 2-2 vs. RPI Top 50; 0-1 vs. RPI 51-100; 9-0 vs. RPI 150+; 3-7 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 201 Loss: 89
Last Week: def. Mississippi State 75-61, won at Tennessee 65-60 (OT)
This Week: at Vanderbilt (Thu.), Mississippi (Sat.)
The Crimson Tide are picked up a second top 50 win, knocking off Scotty Hopson-less Tennessee in Knoxville, which helps a weak at-large resume that's still damaged by a couple of bad losses. They still don't have enough, but they're in this week anyway as the overall SEC leader.
6. Vanderbilt Commodores (SEC at-large)
Natural 5 seed
Record: 16-6 overall; 4-4 conference; 3-4 vs. RPI Top 50; 4-0 vs. RPI 51-100; 7-0 vs. RPI 150+; 5-5 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 134 Loss: 49
Last Week: lost at Florida 65-61 (OT), def. South Carolina 78-60
This Week: Alabama (Thu.), Kentucky (Sat.)
Vanderbilt followed up a tough OT loss at Florida by avenging an early loss to South Carolina. This week, the Commodores close out a three-game homestand by welcoming SEC leader Alabama and a Kentucky team that is struggling away from Lexington.
11. Kansas State Wildcats (Big 12 at-large)
Record: 15-8 overall; 4-5 conference; 0-7 vs. RPI Top 50; 6-1 vs. RPI 51-100; 8-0 vs. RPI 150+; 4-7 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 145 Loss: 31
Last Week: def. Nebraska 69-53, won at Iowa State 86-85
This Week: at Colorado (Sat.), Kansas (Mon.)
After handling Nebraska in Manhattan, the Wildcats needed some Jacob Pullen heroics to escape Ames on Saturday. Still, Kansas State, despite all of the departures surrounding the program, is in their best position for quite some time, and they can improve their chances with a pair of big wins this week.
3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Big East at-large)
Last Week: 2
Record: 19-4 overall; 8-3 conference; 7-3 vs. RPI Top 50; 3-1 vs. RPI 51-100; 6-0 vs. RPI 150+; 5-4 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 124 Loss: 29
Last Week: won at DePaul 83-58, def. Rutgers 76-69
This Week: Louisville (Wed.), at USF (Sat.)
The Irish showed little signs of rust in their first game back after a week and a half layoff, as they handled DePaul in Chicago; however, they struggled three days later at home against improving Rutgers. This week, they'll look to grab another nice win at home, as they welcome Louisville to Purcell Pavillion on Wednesday.
14. Oakland Golden Grizzlies (Summit auto)
Last Week: 13
Record: 16-9 overall; 12-1 conference; 1-5 vs. RPI Top 50; 1-4 vs. RPI 51-100; 13-0 vs. RPI 150+; 10-8 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 207 Loss: 48
Last Week: won at Western Illinois 88-65, lost at IUPUI 100-88
This Week: IPFW (Sun.)
The Golden Grizzlies finally lost a conference game, falling at IUPUI by 12 on Saturday; however, Oakland still owns a two-game loss column lead on the Jaguars.
7. UNLV Runnin' Rebels (Mountain West at-large)
Last Week: 8
Record: 17-6 overall; 5-4 conference; 2-5 vs. RPI Top 50; 4-0 vs. RPI 51-100; 9-1 vs. RPI 150+; 8-3 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 159 Loss: 40
Last Week: def. Utah 67-54, lost at BYU 78-64
This Week: at TCU (Wed.), San Diego State (Sat.)
After Saturday's loss at BYU, it seems that UNLV is destined to sit in the middle of the bracket, in no real danger of falling out, thanks to the quality of this year's bubble, but having no real chance to move up either. That can change with a home win over San Diego State Saturday.
10. Wichita State Shockers (Missouri Valley auto)
Last Week: 11
Record: 19-4 overall; 11-2 conference; 0-3 vs. RPI Top 50; 1-1 vs. RPI 51-100; 13-0 vs. RPI 150+; 8-2 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 188 Loss: 31
Last Week: won at Indiana State 70-54, def. Illinois State 74-57
This Week: Southern Illinois (Tue.), at Northern Iowa (Sat.)
The Shockers own a one-game lead over Missouri State in the Valley, and a two-game advantage over Saturday's opponent, Northern Iowa. Keep in mind, that a win over the resurgent Panthers would only be Wichita State's second over a top 100 opponent this season.
2. Connecticut Huskies (Big East at-large)
Record: 18-4 overall; 6-4 conference; 6-4 vs. RPI Top 50; 4-0 vs. RPI 51-100; 6-0 vs. RPI 150+; 7-2 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 128 Loss: 15
Last Week: lost to Syracuse 66-58, won at Seton Hall 61-59
This Week: at St. John's (Thu.), at Providence (Sun.)
The Huskies have hit a bit of a midseason swoon, falling at home to Syracuse, then nearly losing at Seton Hall. UConn hits the road for two more tricky contests.
15. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (Big South auto)
Record: 18-2 overall; 13-0 conference; 0-1 vs. RPI Top 50; 0-1 vs. RPI 51-100; 15-0 vs. RPI 150+; 8-2 Road/Neutral
Average RPI win: 183 Loss: 40
Last Week: def. Liberty 77-71, def. VMI 99-86
This Week: at Presbyterian (Thu.), at Winthrop (Sat.)
The Chanticleers have won 20 in a row and own a two-game lead on Liberty in the Big South race, so expect to see them in this projection from now until the end of the regular season, and likely beyond, as they'll likely have homecourt advantage for the conference tournament.
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