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February 23, 2011 For the remainder of the regular season, the Weekly Dish will focus primarily on the bubble. The shifts and changes within the major conferences are noted while there are more mid-majors making their way to the dance. Currently, there are 24 teams that can be considered solidly in while the 32 teams leading their conference are for the time being are considered automatic bids. That means there are currently 12 spots open to schools on the bubble. Here is this week’s Weekly Dish.

Teams Solidly In: DUKE, North Carolina, Florida State

On the Bubble:

Virginia Tech (17-8, 7-5 ACC, RPI 30)
Key Wins:
Florida State
Bad Losses: Virginia (twice)
As of now: Out. Virginia Tech’s second loss to Virginia may have been detrimental to the Hokies tournament hopes. The Hokies will need to finish 3-1 or make some noise in the conference tournament to rest easily come Selection Sunday.

Boston College (16-10, 6-6 ACC, RPI 70)
Key Wins:
Texas A&M
Bad Losses: Harvard, Miami
As of now: Out. The Eagles nearly came from behind to pull one out at Chapel Hill. Boston College will have a must-win game at home against Miami on Wednesday.

Clemson (18-9, 7-6 ACC, RPI 36)
Key Wins:
Florida State
Bad Losses: Virginia, NC State
As of now: Out. The Tigers edged out a tough victory at Miami to keep their tournament hopes alive for the time being.

Maryland (17-10, 6-6 ACC, RPI 22)
Key Wins:
Bad Losses: None
As of now: Out. Games against Florida State and North Carolina this week will give the Terrapins a chance to play their way in.

Big Ten: Northwestern has fallen off the bubble while Penn State has moved on to it.

Teams Solidly In: OHIO STATE, Purdue, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois

On the Bubble:

Michigan (17-11, 7-8 Big Ten, RPI 50)
Key Wins:
Michigan State
Bad Losses: Indiana, Northwestern
As of now: Out. Michigan came from behind to avoid what would have been a devastating loss to Iowa. The win kept Michigan from falling off of the bubble.

Michigan State (15-11, 7-7 Big Ten, RPI 42)
Key Wins:
Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois
Bad Losses: Iowa
As of now: In. The Spartans picked up a huge win on Saturday night beating Illinois. This week featuring games with Minnesota and Purdue could make or break Michigan State’s tournament hopes.

Penn State (14-12, 7-8 Big Ten, RPI 51)
Key Wins:
Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota
Bad Losses: Maine
As of now: Out. Penn State will need to finish strong and probably go far in the conference tournament to reach the NCAA Tournament.

Big XII: Nebraska has moved to the bubble while Oklahoma State has fallen off of it. Baylor moves from solidly in to the bubble.

Teams Solidly In: TEXAS, Kansas, Texas A&M, Missouri

On the Bubble:

Kansas State (18-9, 6-6 Big XII, RPI 38)
Key Wins:
Baylor, Kansas
Bad Losses: Oklahoma State
As of now: In. With the impressive win over Kansas, the Wildcats are looking more and more like a team that will be in the field of 68.

Baylor (17-9, 6-6 Big XII, RPI 59)
Key Wins:
Texas A&M
Bad Losses: Iowa State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech
As of now: In. The Bears looked relatively safe prior to its home-loss to Texas Tech. Baylor has suddenly racked up a handful of bad losses.

Colorado (16-11, 5-7 Big XII, RPI 63)
Key Wins:
Missouri, Kansas State (twice)
Bad Losses: San Francisco, Harvard
As of now: Out. The Buffaloes have lost seven of nine after a 2-0 start in Big XII play.

Nebraska (18-8, 6-6 Big XII, RPI 41)
Key Wins:
Texas A&M, Texas
Bad Losses: Davidson, Texas Tech
As of now: In. Nebraska’s win over Texas on Saturday has the Cornhuskers in. The victory snapped an 11-game-winning-streak for the Longhorns.

Big East: St. John’s moves from the bubble to solidly in after upsetting Pittsburgh.

Teams Solidly In: PITTSBURGH, Notre Dame, Villanova, Louisville, Syracuse, Georgetown, Connecticut, West Virginia, St. John’s

On the Bubble:

Cincinnati (21-6, 8-6 Big East, RPI 27)
Key Wins:
Xavier, Louisville
Bad Losses: None
As of now: In. Cincinnati is very close to being a NCAA lock. If the Bearcats beat Georgetown on Wednesday, Cincinnati will be in the NCAA Tournament.

Marquette (16-11, 7-7 Big East, RPI 32)
Key Wins:
West Virginia, Notre Dame, Syracuse
Bad Losses: None
As of now: In. Marquette looks relatively safe as it will be favored in three of its four remaining regular season games.

Pac-10: California has fallen off of the bubble.

Teams Solidly In: ARIZONA, UCLA, Washington

On the Bubble:

Washington State (17-10, 7-8 Pac-10, RPI 54)
Key Wins:
Bad Losses: USC, California, Oregon, Stanford, Arizona State
As of now: Out. Losses to two of the conference’s bottom three teams may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back in Wazzu’s bid to reach the big dance.

SEC: Tennessee shifted from a team solidly in to a bubble team. Alabama moved from the bubble to a team that is solidly in.

Teams Solidly In: FLORIDA, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Alabama

On the Bubble:

Tennessee (16-11, 6-6 SEC, RPI 52)
Key Wins:
Villanova, Pittsburgh, Memphis, Vanderbilt
Bad Losses: Charlotte, USC, College of Charleston
As of now: In. Despite losing three of four, the Volunteers are still in with stronger non-conference wins than any other bubble team.

Georgia (18-8, 7-5 SEC, RPI 58)
Key Wins:
Bad Losses: None
As of now: In. Georgia picked up a big win at Tennessee on Saturday. The Bulldogs will have a huge opportunity to solidify their resume’ at Florida on Thursday.

Mississippi (17-10, 5-7 SEC, RPI 73)
Key Wins:
Bad Losses: Dayton, Miami, Mississippi State (twice)
As of now: Out. The Rebels loss at Mississippi State on Saturday has Mississippi on the cusp of falling off the bubble.

Arkansas (16-10, 5-7 SEC, RPI 98)
Key Wins:
Alabama, Vanderbilt
Bad Losses: LSU, South Carolina, Mississippi State
As of now: Out. The Razorbacks face a must-win at home against Kentucky on Wednesday night.

The Mid-Majors

Teams Solidly In:
BYU, Temple

On the Bubble:

Mid-Majors In:
Old Dominion, Butler, UNLV, Gonzaga

Mid-Majors Out: Duquesne, Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth, UAB, Memphis, Southern Mississippi, Wichita State, Colorado State, New Mexico

As of now: Butler and UNLV are in primarily due to strong performances in the non-conference. Butler has wins over Florida State and Washington State in the Diamond Head Classic and two victories over current Horizon leader Cleveland State. UNLV notched wins over Wisconsin, Virginia Tech and Kansas State early in the year. Old Dominion has wins over Xavier, Clemson, Richmond and George Mason. Gonzaga is currently the last team in with wins in six of its last seven games. The Bulldogs have wins over Marquette, Baylor and Xavier. Richmond is currently the first team out.

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