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Top of the Arc - February 27, 2009

Feb. 27, 2 a.m.: Cincinnati and Michigan were the two biggest winners tonight. The Bearcats earned their first win of the season over a top 25 team by beating West Virginia. They have a respectable resume but little margin for error. Michigan, meantime, has plenty of work to do, but a victory over Purdue puts the Wolverines in the discussion.

Temple suffered a bad loss to La Salle. Minnesota is back on the bubble and its regular season finale against Michigan could serve as an elimination game. Miami stayed alive but needs to win out. Southern California lost to California in overtime and missed a chance to get people’s attention.

Each morning, I will post my last four teams in the field and my first teams out. As you can tell, it is very difficult to separate one team from another, and selection committee members often differ on which credentials they value most. (SOS means strength of schedule; all data courtesy of Jerry Palm’s Web site, www.collegerpi.com)

LAST FOUR IN
Virginia Tech (17-10, 7-6)
Pros:
5 road wins
Cons: 52 RPI

Cincinnati (18-10, 8-7)
Pros:
5 top 50 wins, 21 SOS
Cons: 1-7 vs. top 25

Penn State (19-9, 8-7)
Pros:
5-5 on road, 2 Top 25 wins
Cons: 61 RPI, 81 SOS

Oklahoma State (18-9, 7-6)
Pros:
15 SOS, 32 RPI
Cons: 2-8 vs. top 50

FIRST TEAMS OUT
Maryland (17-10, 6-7)
Pros:
two top five victories
Cons: 1-5 on road

Michigan (18-11, 8-8)
Pros:
11 SOS, 5 top 50 wins
Cons: 2 road wins

Miami (17-10, 6-8)
Pros:
10 SOS, 44 RPI
Cons: 6-8 in ACC, 2-7 vs. top 50

Notre Dame (16-11, 7-8)
Pros:
pounded Louisville, 90-57
Cons: 73 RPI

Providence (17-11, 9-7)
Pros:
9-7 in Big East
Cons: 71 RPI, 2-6 vs. top 50

Texas A&M (20-8, 6-7)
Pros:
34 RPI
Cons: 0-3 vs. top 25, 6-7 in Big 12

Kansas State (19-9, 7-6)
Pros:
3-4 vs. top 50, 5-4 on road
Cons: 97 SOS, 77 RPI

Temple (17-10, 9-4)
Pros:
8 road wins
Cons: 1 top 50 win

San Diego State (18-8, 8-5)
Pros:
Beat Utah, UNLV
Cons: 4-8 vs. top 100

Saint Mary’s (23-5, 9-4)
Pros:
7-3 road record
Cons: 143 SOS, 3-3 vs. top 100

Southern California (16-11, 7-8)
Pros:
16 SOS
Cons: 2 road wins, 0 top 25 wins

Georgetown (14-12, 5-10)
Pros:
1 SOS, won at U-Conn.
Cons: 5-10 in Big East

By Eric Prisbell  |  February 27, 2009; 2:00 AM ET
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