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Top of the Arc - March 6, 2009

March 6, 9:30 a.m.: Penn State got the win it needed, so the Nittany Lions are probably headed to the NCAA tournament.

Other bubble teams continued to stumble. Providence, South Carolina and Arizona all suffered damaging losses. I will update my bracket later today, and my guess is that South Carolina – which has not beaten a top 50 team – is very much on the outside looking in.

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)

LAST FOUR IN
Nevada-Las Vegas (21-8, 9-6)
Pros:
won at Louisville, swept BYU
Cons: 87 SOS

Penn State (21-9, 10-7)
Pros:
6-9 vs. top 50
Cons: 58 RPI, 10-0 vs. top 200 or worse

Maryland (18-11, 7-8)
Pros:
two top five victories
Cons: 2-5 on road

Virginia Tech (17-12, 7-8)
Pros:
5 road wins
Cons: 62 RPI

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

Miami (16-11, 6-9)
Pros:
21 SOS, 54 RPI
Cons: 6-9 in ACC

Providence (18-12, 10-8)
Pros:
10-8 in Big East
Cons: 69 RPI, 3-8 vs. top 50

Florida (21-9, 8-7)
Pros:
53 RPI
Cons: 2-7 on road, 2-6 vs. top 50

Notre Dame (15-13, 7-10)
Pros:
pounded Louisville, 90-57
Cons: 73 RPI

Cincinnati (17-12, 8-9)
Pros:
4 top 50 wins
Cons: 1-7 vs. top 25

Kentucky (19-11, 8-7)
Pros:
3 top 25 wins
Cons: Poor RPI, SOS

Kansas State (19-10, 8-7)
Pros:
Not much
Cons: 84 SOS, 74 RPI

San Diego State (18-8, 10-5)
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

By Eric Prisbell  |  March 6, 2009; 9:30 AM ET
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COMMENTS

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The UMD TERPSp absolutely deserve a berth ..I have watched countless games from all the different conferences and this young & resilient team has the resume and star power to play with anyone in the country.. almost put wake away and the same with duke.. they deserve respect for their body of work and their tough schedule.. cannot comapre an acc schedule with some of the other conferences.

Posted by: whatbull | March 6, 2009 2:02 PM

Wins at Virginia and in the first round of ACC tournament play could help shore up Maryland's poor road record. But they have to win them, and nothing can be taken for granted with this team.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 6, 2009 2:56 PM

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