After such a valiant effort against Kentucky, and losing in overtime after a controversial no-call, I have a tough time leaving Mississippi State out. Minnesota’s thrashing at the hands of Ohio State shouldn’t take away from its wins over Michigan State and Purdue in back to back days, and they should still have the upper hand on conference rival Illinois despite finishing a game behind them in league play. Looking closer at Wake Forest, their 7 wins over the RPI top 50 is hard to overlook, so I’ve decided to keep them in as well, which means that Virginia Tech must also be in as discussed in yesterday’s post. That means that the final spot comes down to yesterday’s losers UTEP and Utah State. It has simply come to the point where these mid-major conference runner-ups can’t both be included over conference runner-ups like Minnesota and Mississippi State who beat stronger teams in their tourneys. In fact, the only thing keeping Utah State in the discussion at this point has to be their win over BYU, but their losses to teams like Utah, Northeastern and Long Beach State nearly nullify that. UTEP, on the other hand, had a better conference record and doesn’t have any bad losses besides to Houston, and importantly, has a road victory over New Mexico State…the team that knocked Utah State off last night. So, as much as I think Utah State and Illinois have strong arguments to be in, they are my last 2 out.

Last 4 in: Wake Forest, UTEP, Minnesota, Mississippi State

Last 4 out: Utah State, Illinois, Florida, Rhode Island

1 Kentucky Kansas Duke Syracuse
2 Kansas State Georgetown West Virginia Ohio State
3 New Mexico Villanova Temple Purdue
4 Tennessee Michigan State Pittsburgh Baylor
5 Texas A & M Vanderbilt Wisconsin Butler
6 Maryland Richmond Gonzaga BYU
7 Marquette Texas Xavier Northern Iowa
8 Oklahoma St St. Mary’s SDSU Louisville
9 Florida State Missouri Notre Dame Clemson
10 UNLV Virginia Tech Old Dominion California
11 Georgia Tech UTEP Wake Forest Washington
12 Cornell Mississippi State Minnesota NMSU
13 Wofford Murray State Siena Oakland
14 Sam Houston State Houston Montana Ohio
15 North Texas UCSB Winthrop Morgan State
16 Vermont Robert Morris ETSU Lehigh/ Texas Southern
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