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Posted at 8:16 AM ET, 02/ 7/2011

NCAA tournament 2011: Michigan State on outside looking in

By Eric Prisbell

This wasn't the weekend of upsets. But the weekend brought some clarity across the country. A few random observations and then a look at the ever-growing bubble:

The Big East is not going to get 11 teams into the NCAA tournament. It would if the season ended today, but someone is going to fade. St. John's has played the nation's toughest schedule, but the loss at UCLA gave the Red Storm nine overall losses. They can't afford to lose more than three more games during the regular season. Watch Cincinnati, which played the 284th-strongest non-conference schedule. The Bearcats have lost four of six games and still must play Georgetown twice.

A combination of several factors - including a win over Wake Forest (RPI: 244) and Penn State's loss to Michigan - contributed to Maryland's RPI dropping to 80.

George Mason is rolling, having won its ninth straight game and most significant game of the season: a 17-point win over Old Dominion.

Ohio State remains undefeated, but the Buckeyes still have two regular season games against Wisconsin left, including a trip to Madison looming on Saturday.

Michigan State, losers of five of its last six games, is 12-10 and not in the NCAA tournament as of today.

Washington has lost three straight, all on the road and all against teams that rank outside the RPI's top 50. The loss to Oregon State (226) is a crusher.

Here is a look at the current bubble. As of today, seven of the following teams would likely make the NCAA tournament: (All records reflect games only against division I teams.)

Oklahoma State (16-7)
Kansas State (15-8)
Virginia Tech (15-7)
Maryland (15-8)
Clemson (16-7)
Duquesne (15-6)
Baylor (15-7)
Michigan State (12-10)
Penn State (12-10)
Virginia Commonwealth (19-6)
Memphis (17-6)
Alabama-Birmingham (16-6)
Valparaiso (15-7)
Northern Iowa (17-7)
Missouri State (18-6)
Colorado State (15-7)
Washington State (16-7)

By Eric Prisbell  | February 7, 2011; 8:16 AM ET
 
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Next: NCAA tournament 2011: Where do Georgetown, Maryland, Virginia Tech, George Mason stand?

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