College Basketball Bubble Watch
Siena Saints go marching in ... but what about Saint Mary's?
Editor's note: This file has been updated to include all games through Monday, March 9. However, RPI and SOS numbers will not be updated until Tuesday morning.
College basketball's championship week is hitting its stride, and the early results from mid-major tournaments have been favorable for bubble teams from the six major conferences.
Siena beat Niagara 77-70 in the championship game of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament in Albany, N.Y., on Monday night, earning the Saints an automatic NCAA bid. With a top-25 RPI rating, Siena might have grabbed an elusive at-large spot on Selection Sunday even if it had lost to the Purple Eagles, but that's a moot point now.
At the same time Siena was ensuring its berth, Gonzaga routed Saint Mary's 83-58 in the finals of the West Coast Conference tournament in Las Vegas. The Bulldogs were getting into the NCAA tournament no matter what. The Gaels still might get an at-large bid, but their lack of high-quality wins -- and, more importantly, star point guard Patty Mills' injured right hand -- puts them in a very precarious spot.
Next on the radar for the two dozen teams sitting on the NCAA tournament bubble: Tuesday night's Horizon League championship game between Butler and Cleveland State. Butler has earned a spot in the NCAA's 65-team field, but it will earn an automatic bid by beating the Vikings on its home floor at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. That would be very, very good news for all those current residents of the bubble.
Here's the latest Bubble Watch:
|Atlantic Coast Conference|
|Teams that should be in: Boston College|
Work left to do: Miami, Virginia Tech, Maryland
Five ACC teams can breathe easy going into this week's ACC tournament in Atlanta's Georgia Dome. Boston College could become the sixth ACC team to lock up an at-large bid, as long as the Eagles don't lose their first-round game against Virginia. Maryland, Miami and Virginia Tech might each need at least two victories in Atlanta to feel somewhat confident on Selection Sunday. The Terrapins are the No. 7 seed and will play No. 10 seed NC State in the first round. If Maryland beats the Wolfpack, it would play No. 2 seed Wake Forest in the second round. The No. 8-seeded Hokies will play the No. 9-seeded Hurricanes in the first round, and the winner will advance to play No. 1 seed North Carolina.
Boston College [21-10 (9-7), RPI: 57, SOS: 70] The Eagles avoided potential disaster on Saturday, after Rakim Sanders made an off-balance 15-footer to beat Georgia Tech 67-66 at home. A loss to the lowly Yellow Jackets would have been a big blow to Boston College's at-large hopes, but it managed to escape with its third win in its past seven games. BC has probably done enough to earn a spot in the 65-team field, and would all but lock up an at-large bid by winning its first-round game against Virginia in the ACC tournament. The Eagles have beaten three of the ACC's best teams -- Duke and Florida State at home and North Carolina on the road -- and are 4-4 against RPI top-50 opponents. The Eagles are 8-8 against the RPI top 100 and 8-4 in their last 12 games.
Miami [18-11 (7-9), RPI: 53, SOS: 26] The Hurricanes beat NC State 72-64 at home on Saturday, but they still have a lot of work to do in the ACC tournament if they're going to earn an at-large bid. The Hurricanes will play Virginia Tech in the first round, which is essentially a bubble elimination game. Miami's RPI rating is higher than Boston College and fellow bubble teams Virginia Tech and Maryland, but a 7-9 finish in ACC play leaves some doubt about its chances. The Hurricanes swept two games against BC and split games with Maryland, but they lost to the Hokies at home. Miami has two really good home victories over Wake Forest and FSU, but it is 2-7 against RPI top-50 foes and 7-10 against the top 100.
Virginia Tech [17-13 (7-9), RPI: 62, SOS: 23] The Hokies are reeling going into this week's ACC tournament, losing six of their last seven games, including a 63-53 loss at Florida State on Sunday. In its defense, Virginia Tech's last four losses came against teams that are headed to the NCAA tournament -- Florida State (twice), North Carolina and Duke. While it has lost to some good teams over the last couple of weeks, Virginia Tech was unable to add another signature victory to its resume. The Hokies have two really good road victories at Wake Forest and Clemson, but they're only 2-8 against RPI top-50 opponents and 6-11 against the top 100. Virginia Tech has a pair of RPI sub-100 losses (at Georgia and at Virginia) and it lost games at fellow ACC bubble teams Maryland and BC. The Hokies beat Miami on the road, and will play the Hurricanes in the first round in the ACC tournament.
Maryland [18-12 (7-9), RPI: 67, SOS: 29] Honestly, who didn't see Maryland's 68-63 loss at Virginia on Saturday coming from a mile away? Over the past few seasons, these are the kind of games the Terrapins have been unable to win. A victory over the Cavaliers, who had lost 12 of their past 14 games, would have secured an 8-8 record in ACC play for Maryland, which would have greatly enhanced its at-large chances. Instead, the Terps limp into the ACC tournament with a 7-9 record in league play after dropping three of their past four games. Worse, they have the worst RPI rating (No. 65) among the league's bubble teams. Maryland has two high-end victories -- over North Carolina at home and over Michigan State on a neutral court. The Terps split games with Miami and beat Virginia Tech at home, but lost to Boston College. Maryland is 3-8 against RPI top-50 foes and 8-10 against the top 100. They also have a pair of RPI sub-100 losses, losing to Morgan State at home and Virginia on the road. Maryland might have to beat NC State in the first round and upset No. 2 seed Wake Forest in the second round to have a chance at an at-large bid.
|Big 12 Conference|
|Teams that should be in: Oklahoma State|
Work left to do: Kansas State
Kansas wrapped up its fifth consecutive Big 12 regular-season championship -- and its ninth in the 13-year history of the league -- by beating Texas 83-73 on Saturday. But Texas A&M was another big winner on Saturday, upsetting Missouri 96-86 at home in a game that was never very close. With their fourth victory over an RPI top-50 opponent, the Aggies probably locked up an at-large bid, becoming the fifth Big 12 team to do so. Oklahoma State seems pretty close to doing the same, but the Cowboys might need to win at least once in this week's Big 12 tournament in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma State [20-10 (9-7), RPI: 25, SOS: 6] The Pokes still have a great computer profile -- they're ranked 26th in the RPI ratings and their schedule is ranked eighth-toughest in the country. But Oklahoma State can't afford to lose to Iowa State in the first round of the Big 12 tournament on Wednesday. With a victory over the Cyclones, the Cowboys would play rival Oklahoma in Thursday's quarterfinals. The Sooners beat the Pokes 82-78 in Norman, Okla., on Saturday. Oklahoma State has three RPI top-50 victories, beating Siena (neutral court), Texas A&M (home) and Texas (home). It is 3-9 against RPI top-50 opponents and 8-10 against the top 100. Nine of the 10 teams that beat the Pokes are ranked No. 36 or higher in the RPI ratings.
Kansas State [21-10 (9-7), RPI: 76, SOS: 111] The Wildcats are actually the No. 4 seed in the Big 12 tournament -- seeded ahead of Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State. But those three teams each have better resumes than Kansas State. The Wildcats have a pretty mediocre computer profile -- No. 77 in the RPI ratings and No. 112 in strength of schedule. Kansas State is 3-5 against RPI top-50 opponents, beating Missouri at home and Texas A&M and Texas on the road. But Kansas State's best nonconference victories came against RPI No. 67 Cleveland State and No. 125 Oakland. Kansas State won't play until Thursday's quarterfinals and would face the winner of the opening-round game between Texas and Colorado. It might take a victory over the Longhorns -- and even more -- to get them back into serious at-large consideration.
|Big East Conference|
|Work left to do: Providence|
No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament will be on the line when the Big East begins its conference tournament in New York on Tuesday. Top seeds Louisville, Pittsburgh, Connecticut and Villanova won't play until Thursday's quarterfinals, but the top three seeds could all be in contention for top lines in the NCAA bracket. Three other Big East teams -- Syracuse, West Virginia and Marquette -- have locked up at-large bids, but Providence can enhance its chance by winning a couple of games in Madison Square Garden. Three other teams -- No. 9 seed Cincinnati, No. 10 seed Notre Dame and No. 12 seed Georgetown -- would probably have to make an unlikely run to the tournament's championship game to have even a remote chance on Selection Sunday.
Providence [18-12 (10-8), RPI: 71, SOS: 49] The Friars will probably have to win at least once in this week's Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York to have a chance at an at-large bid. They'll play the winner of DePaul/Cincinnati in Wednesday's second round and, with a victory, would play No. 1 seed Louisville in Thursday's quarterfinals. Providence is coming off a 97-80 loss at Villanova on Thursday, which didn't help its at-large chances. The Friars have four blowout road losses in Big East play, losing at Connecticut by 33 points, Louisville by 18, Villanova by 17 and West Virginia by 27. The Friars upset then-No. 1 Pittsburgh 81-73 on Feb. 24 and also beat Syracuse 100-94 on Jan. 28. PC also swept games against Cincinnati and beat Rhode Island at home. Providence is 2-8 against RPI top-50 foes and 6-12 against the top 100.
|Big Ten Conference|
|Work left to do: Ohio State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Penn State|
This week's Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis probably won't earn rave reviews for its style of play and high-scoring games. But there might not be a more compelling league tournament in the country. Only three Big Ten teams -- Michigan State, Illinois and Purdue -- have probably locked up at-large bids. But as many as six or seven (even eight?) Big Ten teams might end up in the NCAA's 65-team field, so five teams will be battling for those elusive at-large bids. Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan seem to be in better shape than Minnesota and Penn State heading into the tournament, but much can change over the course of four days.
Ohio State [20-9 (10-8), RPI: 36, SOS: 34] The Buckeyes beat Northwestern 52-47 at home on Sunday, which is probably enough to get them into the NCAA's 65-team field. Ohio State finished 10-8 in the Big Ten standings, after sweeping Michigan, beating Penn State and splitting games against Minnesota. The Buckeyes lost at Wisconsin, but can erase any doubts by beating the Badgers in the Big Ten tourney on Friday. Ohio State has five victories over RPI top-50 opponents, beating Butler, Purdue and Minnesota at home and sweeping the Wolverines. They're 5-8 against RPI top-50 foes and 9-9 against the top 100. Eight of Ohio State's nine losses came against RPI top-50 foes and they went 4-6 in road games.
Wisconsin [19-11 (10-8), RPI: 38, SOS: 15] The Badgers crushed Indiana 85-61 on Sunday night and seem to be in pretty good shape for an at-large bid. Even after a six-game losing streak at one point, UW finished 10-8 in Big Ten play. It swept games against fellow Big Ten bubble teams Michigan and Penn State, but lost twice to Minnesota. Wisconsin has four RPI top-50 victories, beating Illinois and Ohio State at home and sweeping the Wolverines. The Badgers are 4-9 against RPI top-50 opponents and 9-10 against the top 100.
Minnesota [21-9 (9-9), RPI: 41, SOS: 43] The Gophers left themselves some work by blowing a 12-point lead in a 67-64 loss to Michigan at home on Saturday. Minnesota lost six of its last nine games going into the Big Ten tournament, so it probably needs at least a couple of wins in Indianapolis to feel confident on Selection Sunday. The Gophers have five RPI top-50 victories, beating Louisville (neutral court), Illinois (home), Wisconsin (home and road) and Ohio State (home). Along with sweeping fellow Big Ten bubble team Wisconsin, Minnesota split games against both Ohio State and Penn State, but lost twice to Michigan. The Gophers are 5-7 against RPI top-50 foes and 8-9 against the top 100.
Michigan [19-12 (9-9), RPI: 42, SOS: 10] The Wolverines probably went a long way in wrapping up an NCAA at-large bid by beating Minnesota on the road on Saturday. They might still need a victory in the Big Ten tournament -- another loss to Iowa is not advisable -- but the Wolverines seem to be in OK shape because of their high-end victories and strength of schedule (No. 10 nationally). Michigan beat six RPI top-50 foes, including impressive nonconference victories over Duke (home) and UCLA (neutral court). It also beat Illinois (home), Purdue (home) and Minnesota (home and road). Along with sweeping the Gophers, the Wolverines split games with Penn State, but were swept by both Wisconsin and Ohio State. Michigan won four of its last six games and went 6-9 against RPI top-50 foes and 10-11 against the top 100. The road win at Minnesota was important because Michigan lost eight of its first 10 games played away from Ann Arbor.
Penn State [21-10 (10-8), RPI: 63, SOS: 99] Iowa spoiled Penn State's football season in 2008, knocking the Nittany Lions out of the BCS national championship race. The Hawkeyes might have ruined Penn State's basketball season, too, after beating the Nittany Lions 75-67 in double overtime in Iowa City on Saturday. Penn State's gut-wrenching defeat came only two days after it beat Illinois 64-63 on Talor Battle's off-balance shot with only 0.3 of a second to play. Penn State still has a chance to earn an at-large bid, but it might need at least two victories in the Big Ten tournament because of its mediocre computer profile. The NCAA selection committee will ultimately have to decide if Penn State's performance in the Big Ten -- a 10-8 finish and six victories over RPI top-50 foes -- outweighs its somewhat laughable nonconference schedule (ranked No. 309 nationally). The Nittany Lions are 6-8 against RPI top-50 foes and 7-9 against the top 100. But their best nonconference victory came against RPI No. 119 Mount St. Mary's.
|Mountain West Conference|
|Work left to do: San Diego State, UNLV, New Mexico|
Few leagues in the country were as hotly contested as the Mountain West, where for the first time in history, three teams (BYU, Utah and New Mexico) shared the regular-season title with identical 12-4 records. San Diego State was only one game back, and even fifth-place UNLV remains in contention for an NCAA at-large bid. Much will be decided during this week's MWC tournament in Las Vegas. BYU is the No. 1 seed in the MWC tournament based on tiebreakers, and the Cougars and No. 2 seed Utah have locked up NCAA at-large bids.
San Diego State [21-8 (11-5), RPI: 44, SOS: 63] The Aztecs won a very important game Saturday night, beating UNLV 57-46 at home. It is San Diego State's second victory over the Runnin' Rebels, which might be important on Selection Sunday. Those teams will play again in Thursday's quarterfinals of the MWC tournament in Vegas. The Aztecs have only one victory over an RPI top-50 opponent, beating Utah 72-63 at home on Jan. 10. They also split games with New Mexico. The Aztecs have the highest RPI ranking (No. 44) among the MWC bubble teams, but lack the high-end victories on UNLV's resume. But unless the Aztecs lose badly to UNLV in the MWC tournament, it will be hard for the committee to ignore their winning record against the Rebels.
UNLV [21-9 (9-7), RPI: 56, SOS: 87] The Rebels really needed to avoid getting swept by fellow MWC bubble team San Diego State, but they'll have a chance to avenge that loss in the league tournament. UNLV has more high-end victories than San Diego State and New Mexico, after winning four games against RPI top-50 opponents. UNLV will get a lot of mileage out of its 56-55 victory at Louisville on Dec. 31, and it also swept BYU and beat Utah at home. The Rebels do have three road losses against RPI sub-100 opponents, losing at No. 107 Wyoming, No. 156 TCU and No. 196 Colorado State. UNLV will have to beat San Diego State to have any chance at an at-large bid. The NCAA selection committee won't bypass the Aztecs in the standings for a team it beat three times.
New Mexico [21-10 (12-4), RPI: 58, SOS: 84] The Lobos closed the regular season with a five-game winning streak, which very much puts them in the bubble discussion heading into the MWC tournament. New Mexico has three victories over RPI top-50 opponents, beating Utah, BYU and San Diego State at home. The Lobos lost road games against those three opponents, too, and also split games with UNLV. New Mexico is 3-4 against RPI top-50 opponents and 5-7 against the top 100. It also has three RPI sub-100 losses, losing to No. 130 Texas Tech (road), No. 141 Central Florida (home) and No. 165 Drake (neutral court). The Lobos won 10 of their last 12 games and are 6-6 in road games. New Mexico plays Wyoming in Thursday's quarterfinals of the MWC tournament and would potentially play No. 2 seed Utah in the semifinals.
|Work left to do: Arizona|
Unless a team like USC or Washington State makes an unexpected title run in the Pac-10 tournament, there won't be much at stake other than a handful of teams trying to improve their seedings in the NCAA tournament. Arizona might still need a victory or two to earn an at-large bid. After evening its record at 9-9 in Pac-10 play, the Trojans -- their nonconference schedule bereft of anything remotely noteworthy -- would probably have to beat California in the quarterfinals and potentially UCLA in the semifinals to have a chance.
Arizona [19-12 (9-9), RPI: 52, SOS: 31] The Wildcats split home games against California and Stanford this week, losing to the Bears 83-77 on Thursday night and beating the Cardinal 101-87 on Saturday. But Arizona might need to win at least one game in the Pac-10 tournament to feel confident about its at-large chances. The Wildcats play rival Arizona State in Thursday's quarterfinals and potentially No. 1 seed Washington in the semifinals. The Sun Devils swept games against Arizona this season, beating the Wildcats 53-47 in Tucson on Jan. 21 and 70-68 in Tempe on Feb. 22. Arizona still has a compelling case with five RPI top-50 victories, beating Kansas, Washington, UCLA and San Diego State at home and Gonzaga on a neutral court. The Wildcats are 5-8 against RPI top-50 foes and 9-11 in the top 100. Worse, Arizona is only 2-9 in road games.
|Work left to do: Florida, South Carolina, Auburn|
Last season proved anything can happen in the SEC tournament. Georgia won only four SEC games during the 2007-08 regular season, but then won four games in less than four days to win the league's automatic NCAA bid. The SEC seems as unpredictable this season, with only two teams locking up NCAA at-large bids. South Carolina and Florida still seem one or two victories away from doing so, and Auburn would probably need at least two wins in Tampa to have a chance on Selection Sunday.
Florida [22-9 (9-7), RPI: 48, SOS: 90] The Gators moved closer to the right side of the bubble by beating Kentucky 60-53 in Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday. But Florida still has much work to do because of its dearth of signature victories and woeful 2-7 road record. The Gators play Arkansas in Thursday's first round and would play Auburn in Friday's quarterfinals. They probably need to win them both. Florida has two RPI top-50 victories, beating Washington (neutral court) and South Carolina (home). The Gators are 2-6 against RPI top-50 foes and 9-8 against the top 100. They have one very unsightly loss, falling 88-86 at RPI No. 188 Georgia on Feb. 14.
South Carolina [21-8 (10-6), RPI: 51, SOS: 96] The Gamecocks finished 10-6 in SEC play by beating woebegone Georgia 68-51 on the road on Saturday. South Carolina lost badly at home to Tennessee 86-70 on Thursday night, so it was important for it to gain momentum heading into the SEC tournament. The Gamecocks still only have one victory over an RPI top-50 opponent, beating No. 49 Florida 70-69 on Jan. 21. They're 1-5 against RPI top-50 foes and 7-7 against the top 100. South Carolina probably needs to win at least one game in the SEC tournament to have a good chance for an at-large bid. The Gamecocks will play the winner of a first-round game between Georgia and Mississippi State in Friday's quarterfinals.
Auburn [21-10 (10-6), RPI: 65, SOS: 67] The Tigers are probably still a fringe bubble candidate at best, but their 8-1 finish in the regular season at least gets them in the discussion heading into the SEC tournament. Auburn has two RPI top-50 victories, beating Tennessee 78-77 at home on Feb. 7 and LSU 69-53 at home on Saturday. The Tigers are 2-5 against RPI top-50 foes and 5-9 against the top 100. The Tigers did absolutely nothing during their nonconference season -- their best victory came against RPI No. 106 Virginia (their next-best non-SEC win came against No. 204 George Washington). Auburn has a first-round bye in the SEC tournament and plays the Arkansas/Florida winner in Friday's quarterfinals. It probably needs at least two wins in Tampa to have a chance on Selection Sunday.
|Other at-large contenders|
|Teams that should be in: Dayton|
Work left to do: Utah State, Temple, Creighton, Saint Mary's, Rhode Island
Creighton and Davidson suffered bubble-bursting losses this weekend, as the Bluejays were crushed by 24 in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference on Saturday. Davidson, which came within one victory of reaching the Final Four in 2008, lost to College of Charleston 59-52 in the semifinals of the Southern Conference on Sunday. Unless the NCAA selection committee really, really wants to watch Stephen Curry play in the NCAA tournament again, Davidson won't make the 65-team field. Siena booked its own ticket to the Big Dance by winning the MAAC on Monday night, but Saint Mary's most certainly did not, losing 83-58 to Gonzaga in the WCC finals. What in the world does the committee do with the Gaels?
Dayton [25-6 (11-5), RPI: 24, SOS: 91] The Flyers were routed at Xavier 76-59 on Thursday night, but bounced back to beat Duquesne 74-61 on Saturday. They'll play the winner of the first-round game between Richmond and St. Bonaventure in Thursday's quarterfinals. Dayton can probably get in without a win at the A-10 tournament in Atlantic City, but it might as well not take any chances. Dayton has four RPI top-50 victories, beating Xavier, Temple and George Mason at home and Marquette on a neutral court. The Flyers also beat Auburn on a neutral court. Dayton is 4-2 against RPI top-50 opponents, 8-3 against the top 100 and 5-6 in road games. Dayton has three sub-100 losses, losing at No. 131 Saint Louis, No. 139 Massachusetts and No. 203 Charlotte.
Utah State [27-4 (14-2), RPI: 27, SOS: 132] The Aggies closed the regular season with an 89-77 victory over San Jose State on Saturday, but they might need to win the WAC tournament in Reno, Nev., to make the field. The Aggies are ranked in the top 30 of the RPI, but are still in a precarious situation. They have only one RPI top-50 victory, having beaten Utah 66-64 at home on Dec. 22. The Aggies have lost three of their past six games and, worse, 23 of their 26 victories came against opponents ranked outside the RPI top 100.
Temple [19-11 (11-5), RPI: 39, SOS: 37] If Rhode Island is on this page, why not Temple? The Owls split the season series, have the same Atlantic 10 record (11-5) and are more than 20 spots higher on the RPI. They also own a nonconference win at fellow bubble Penn State and a blowout victory over Tennessee. The negative? Temple is just 1-5 against the RPI top 50 and has losses to Buffalo, La Salle, UMass and Long Beach State. The Owls will almost certainly need a run to the A-10 finals, which would likely include a win over Xavier in the semis, to have any at-large shot.
Creighton [26-7 (14-4), RPI: 40, SOS: 110] The Bluejays will have a week full of anxiety after getting routed 73-49 by Illinois State in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference. Creighton has a pretty good argument for an at-large bid, with three victories over RPI top-50 victories, having beaten Dayton, George Mason and Illinois State at home. The Bluejays also have victories over New Mexico (home) and MVC champion Northern Iowa (road). They're 3-2 against RPI top-50 foes and 9-5 against the top 100. They'll also get help from their more than respectable 8-4 record in road games.
Saint Mary's [25-6 (10-4), RPI: 46, SOS: 151] The Gaels can't feel really confident about their at-large chances after getting routed by Gonzaga 83-58 in the West Coast Conference championship game Monday night. The WCC tournament was supposed to be a showcase for Gaels point guard Patty Mills, who came back from a nine-game layoff after breaking his right hand against Gonzaga on Jan. 29. Mills was shaky at best in two games in the WCC tournament, combining to shoot 5-for-28 from the field and 2-for-16 on 3-pointers. Mills will have one more chance to show the NCAA selection committee that he's knocking off the rust. SMC coach Randy Bennett recently scheduled a home game against Big Sky opponent Eastern Washington for Friday night. Mills might have to show the committee he's closer to recovery than he looked in Las Vegas. The Gaels were a very good team when Mills was healthy, winning 18 of their first 19 games. They went 6-3 without him, and beat Portland 71-61 after he returned for the WCC tournament semifinals Sunday. The Gaels beat two RPI-top 50 opponents, defeating Utah State 75-64 at home and San Diego State 67-64 on a neutral court. Saint Mary's also beat fellow bubble team Providence 81-75 in Anaheim, Calif. But 20 of their 23 victories against Division I opponents came against teams ranked outside the top 100 of the RPI. It's a tough call. We don't envy the selection committee for having to decide on this one.
Rhode Island [22-9 (11-5), RPI: 64, SOS: 139] The Rams' bubble chances took a big blow Saturday, when they lost to Massachusetts 72-71 on Chris Lowe's winning layup with sixth-tenths of a second to play. The loss ended Rhode Island's six-game winning streak and left it with three losses to RPI sub-100 opponents. The Rams are the No. 2 seed in this week's Atlantic 10 tournament in Atlantic City and will play the winner of the first-round game between Duquesne and UMass in Thursday's quarterfinals. The Rams will have to win that game and maybe another to have a chance on Selection Sunday. Rhode Island has two victories over RPI top-50 opponents, having beaten Dayton 93-91 in overtime at home and Temple 67-59 at home. The Rams also beat Virginia Commonwealth at home and Penn State on a neutral court.