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Team N: 16-10 overall, 6-7 in conference, RPI 72, SOS 34, 7-5 vs. RPI Top 100
Team O: 16-9 overall, 8-5 in conference, RPI 53, SOS 33, 6-9 vs. RPI Top 100
Team P: 16-10 overall, 7-6 in conference, RPI 60, SOS 27, 6-8 vs. RPI Top 100
Team Q: 16-10 overall, 8-6 in conference, RPI 56, SOS 28, 5-7 vs. RPI Top 100
One and only one of these four teams were in Monday night’s projected field. Can you identify that team from this list?
Team N has the most wins against the RPI Top 100, and at 58 percent is the only team in the group winning more than 43 percent of those games. However, Team N has the worst RPI and SOS of the bunch.
Team O has the best RPI by a slim margin, has played the most games against the RPI Top 100 and is the only member of the group without 10 losses. There’s just something aesthetically pleasing about a single-digit number in the loss column.
Team P has the best SOS—though is there really any difference between the best and worst of these four SOS?—and the second best record against the RPI Top 100. Nothing great, but nothing awful either.
Team Q is essentially the average of the other three computer profiles with a less impressive record against the RPI Top 100, but they’ve done their damage against the best of the four conferences.
What you don’t get from the blind resumes is the momentum these teams have established in the past three weeks, which winds up being the deciding factor.
Team N (Texas A&M) has lost three of its last six, Team P (Baylor) has lost five of its last seven, Team Q (St. John’s) has lost three of its last five, but Team O (California) has won five of its last six games. Cal made it into all of the experts’ most recent brackets.
Baylor and St. John's have been in the field or at least on the cusp of it in recent weeks, but don't sleep on Texas A&M. Someone from the SEC is bound to make a mini-run over the final few weeks, and as Cal has proven that a middling RPI in a sub-par conference can go from afterthought to tournament team in no time.