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Top of the Arc - March 2, 2009

March 2, 2 a.m.: Virginia Tech and Maryland are not listed on the “last four in” list because they are safely in the field before those teams. At least for today, that’s the way it looks. Virginia Tech’s and Maryland’s resumes look pretty good right now next to the resumes of some of these other bubble teams.

If Maryland beats Wake Forest, that could lock up a bid. Otherwise, a win at Virginia and a win in the ACC tourney would be enough. Virginia Tech appears one win away, but the remaining schedule – North Carolina, Florida State – is very difficult.

Several teams are going in the wrong direction, namely Florida. The Gators are in trouble. So is Minnesota. Arizona is in danger, as well.

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 records reflect Division I competition; all data courtesy of Jerry Palm’s Web site, www.collegerpi.com)

IN
Maryland (18-10, 7-7)
Pros:
two top five victories
Cons: 2-5 on road

Virginia Tech (17-11, 7-7)
Pros:
5 road wins
Cons: 59 RPI

LAST FOUR IN
Texas A&M (20-8, 7-7)
Pros:
35 RPI
Cons: 1-3 vs. top 25

Penn State (20-9, 9-7)
Pros:
3-2 vs. top 25
Cons: 64 RPI, 10-0 vs. top 200 or worse

Florida (21-8, 8-6)
Pros:
49 RPI
Cons: 2-6 on road, 2-6 vs. top 50

Miami (16-10, 6-8)
Pros:
10 SOS, 44 RPI
Cons: 6-8 in ACC

FIRST TEAMS OUT
Providence (18-11, 10-7)
Pros:
10-7 in Big East
Cons: 68 RPI, 2-7 vs. top 50

Cincinnati (17-11, 8-8)
Pros:
4 top 50 wins, 19 SOS
Cons: 1-8 vs. top 25

Michigan (17-12, 8-9)
Pros:
9 SOS, 5 top 50 wins
Cons: 2-8 on road

Georgetown (15-12, 6-10)
Pros:
1 SOS, won at U-Conn.
Cons: 6-10 in Big East

Notre Dame (15-12, 7-9)
Pros:
pounded Louisville, 90-57
Cons: 69 RPI

Kansas State (19-9, 8-6)
Pros:
3-4 vs. top 50, 5-4 on road
Cons: 89 SOS, 73 RPI

San Diego State (17-8, 9-5)
Pros:
Beat Utah, UNLV
Cons: 4-8 vs. top 100

Saint Mary’s (22-5, 10-4)
Pros:
8-3 road record
Cons: 167 SOS, 3-3 vs. top 100

Temple (17-11, 9-5)
Pros:
8 road wins
Cons: 1 top 50 win

By Eric Prisbell  |  March 2, 2009; 1:51 AM ET
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