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Dancing with a Hottie: Villanova (2)
Wallflowers: Creighton (9), Butler (10), Xavier (12a), St. John's (12b), Georgetown (third team out)
There's nothing wrong with losing a game on the road against the No. 2 team in the country. Following its loss at Syracuse, Villanova is sixth in the RPI and holds neutral-court wins over Kansas and Iowa.
Creighton scored an impressive nonconference win over Cal on Dec. 22. The Bluejays have won five in a row to climb into the RPI top 50.
Butler has won four straight against D1 competition to climb into the field at 33rd in the RPI. The Bulldogs' two losses to Oklahoma State and LSU were each by only two points at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando around Thanksgiving.
Another Big East team on a roll is Xavier, which has claimed five consecutive victories while moving its RPI and strength of schedule numbers into the top 50.
On Tuesday, the Musketeers play St. John's, which doesn't have a top-100 win, but barely sneaks into the field because of its solid computer numbers (RPI 41, SOS 31) and strong play in a five-point loss to Syracuse back on Dec. 15.
Georgetown falls out of the field after getting blown out by 22 in an opportunity game at Kansas. The loss to No. 187 Northeastern still stings.
All five of Marquette's losses have come against top-62 competition, but an 8-5 record and a 123 RPI have removed the Golden Eagles from the radar.