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First team out: Nevada Wolf Pack
16-5, NET: 33, RES: 32.5, QUAL: 61.3
Nevada clinched an important home win against AP No. 25 New Mexico, but only after it was routed in Boise State on Tuesday. The net result is pretty much a wash as Nevada slipped down from our penultimate team to our first team.
What we need to see from the wolf pack is a respectable win outside of Reno. They’ve beaten Boise State, Utah State, Sam Houston State and now New Mexico at home, which is great. But they are winless in five tries away from NET top 100 opponents. A win at UNLV on Saturday night would be huge.
Second elimination: Memphis Tigers
15-5, NET: 37, RES: 21.0, QUAL: 35.7
The numbers are solid, and Memphis gets a serious “atta boy” for playing 10 non-conference games (of which he’s won seven) against KenPom top 100 teams. But boil down the résumé to wins against the projected field and losses against teams not in the projected field, and the Tigers sit 1-4 each. While that one win (against Auburn in Atlanta) was great, that ratio isn’t. If they don’t win one of their two games against Houston, they may have to win every other game that’s left on the list.
Third Team: Penn State Nittany Lions
13-6, NET: 48, REPRODUCTION: 47.5, QUAL: 44.3
Jalen Pickett and co., who rank around 50th on all metrics, just keep hanging on to the projected intersection line. The Nittany Lions haven’t suffered any bad losses, but they haven’t put in any notable performances in nonconference play either. They are 4-4 in the Big Ten and expect to remain on the bubble as long as they are within a .500 game (either way) in league play.
Fourth team out: Pittsburgh Panthers
13-7, NET: 65, RESOLUTION: 56.0, QUAL: 65.0
There were a string of tough bubble team losses over the weekend, but none worse than Pittsburgh’s home loss to Florida State, who otherwise go 11-0 against KenPom’s top 150 this season. The Panthers still have a nice record of solid wins, including four wins over scheduled tournament teams. But they also have four losses to teams likely to miss the dance, as well as two home losses to bubble teams (Clemson and West Virginia). The upcoming three-game stretch (vs. Wake Forest, vs. Miami in North Carolina) is gigantic for Pitt.
Fifth Team Out: Oklahoma State Cowboys
11-8, NET: 42, RES: 57.5, QUAL: 33.3
After home wins against Oklahoma and Iowa State, the Pokes are back in the hunt for an offer at large. But they hadn’t beaten a surefire NCAA tournament team before Saturday’s win over the Cyclones, and they suffered three losses to teams that wouldn’t be in the field if the tournament started today (Southern Illinois, UCF and Virginia Tech). You may have to go 7-5 the rest of the way, which isn’t very likely with the Big 12 loaded.