Craig has five teams that he is keeping his eye on because all of these teams have work left to do if they want to find themselves in the NCAA tournament. Tough to project exactly where teams stand for the NCAA men's basketball tournament because most teams still have 6-8 games remaining, but we do know which teams are in danger of being left out if they don't improve their résumés.
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Now let's see who has work left to do.
1. Oklahoma State
Strength of schedule is No. 5 in country, so if they can string some victories together, they should be a lock. Current record is 14-8 with a RPI of 30. Cowboys have a pretty strong case if they can get to 20 wins—can't imagine they would be left out.
Looks like they will need 20 wins to get in the tourney. With 16 wins currently and No. 5 in the strong Big East conference, they just need to win their remaining four home games and they can punch their ticket. Currently No. 50 in the RPI, but a top eight finish in the Big East with 20 overall wins would be very strong argument.
Key wins versus Duke and UCLA are keeping this team's hopes alive. Lately, though, this team has been on a slide and need to finish with at least 19 wins to have a chance. Currently the Wolverines have 15 wins with a brutal schedule left, playing MINN twice, MSU, and finishing at Wisconsin. If they can win four of those, they have definitely earned their berth to the dance.
Sixteen wins looks impressive, but once you examine them, you only see two quality victories. Best victory is at home versus Gonzaga. They need to get to at least 21 wins to feel really strong about their chances this year. RPI and SOS both over 50, which usually equals being left out come Selection Sunday. Lucky for them they have three ranked teams left on their schedule. Must get another signature win to help their tourney résumé!
Another record that looks impressive until you look at who they are playing. Only two good wins with Utah State and San Diego State. RPI and SOS are both average, but if they can get to 23-24 wins, they would feel really good about their chances. Key game left is at UNLV, with the loser most likely being left out of the tournament!
Always tough to predict what the selection committee is going to use in choosing the final couple teams' résumé strengths and weaknesses. All these five teams though can play their way in if they take care of business. Last thing you want to do is be on the bubble come Selection Sunday.
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