Last week was meaty for conference play and rivalry games across the country in college basketball. As the season comes to a close, each game takes on more importance.
While some teams battle for conference seeding and possible early round byes, other programs continue to fight an uphill battle for the rare mid-major NCAA Tournament at-large berth.
Nevada, Boise State, Saint Mary's and Louisiana all lost in conference play this week. For Nevada and Saint Mary's, they have earned enough credit over the season to withstand the occasional defeat.
Louisiana and Boise State, on the other hand, do not have a lot of wiggle room to play with, if at all. The Broncos have been living on the bubble all year, and after losing to Utah State and its 126 RPI, they will probably fall out of Bracketology and this Top Ten.
Same can be said for Louisiana. Going undefeated in any conference is almost impossible, but the Ragin' Cajuns were a top-50 team before last week. Losing to a Georgia State team ranked near the lower half of Divison 1 basketball is not a good look.
East Tennessee State has already made its presence known, making HERO Sports' Cinderella Watchlist. The Bucs are undefeated in conference play with only five more games remaining. It won't be easy though, four of their five final games are against those directly below them in the standings.
The rest of the rankings can be found below.
|RANK||TEAM||RECORD||LAST WEEK||THIS WEEK|
|2||Rhode Island||20-3||4||RU, @SBU|
|3||Saint Mary's||24-3||1||@USF, @PU|
|5||Middle Tennessee||20-5||5||@SMU, @LT|
|6||New Mexico State||22-3||6||@UVU, @SU|
|9||East Tennessee State||22-4||NR||@UNCG, @WCU|