Congrats to Duke and Memphis! They have been upgraded to LOCK status in the Lockbox. No team ever achieving LOCK status at TBB has ever missed the Dance. Duke has 10 ACC wins, leads the conference by two games, yada, yada, yada. Memphis is STILL undefeated in mid-February.
You might scoff and say, "Duh!", regarding Duke and Memphis being LOCKS. But, the term "lock" is thrown around SOOOOOO casually these days. TBB means it. A team does get LOCK status until they can lose out the rest of the way and still get into the bracket. These two have done that.
Do you like horses that come off the pace? This is your hoss, right 'cheer. They are tied with Saint Joseph's for 2nd in the loss column, one game ahead of Rhode Island, two over UMass, and three over Dayton. While they had a rough stretch early on and their 13-10 overall record is not that impressive, they have won 7 of 9. Further, they have played the #22 toughest slate in the country. Their RPI is currently 63, but they have room to grow. Have a look at their remaining games.
at St. Bonaventure
at Saint Joseph's
If they can snip flailing Dayton on the road on Saturday, they will be at 14-10 with six games left. From there, it's defend the home court, win expectedly vs St. Bonnie and LaSalle, and maybe take their medicine at Saint Joe's. That's going to give them a 19-11 record, a healthy RPI, multiple top 50 RPI wins, a top 2 or 3 finish in the A10, and a 10-2 record in their last 12...if they can pull it off.
It must begin with a win at Dayton this weekend, and the Flyers are desperate. Can they do all of this? Maybe not. But, their recent play and their position in the A10 suggests that we should keep one eye on Fran Dunphy's bunch.
--at Alabama 76, Mississippi 67. Welcome to Sweatyville, Rebs.
--Xavier 62, at Charlotte 60. X escapes a tough road test.
--at UConn 84, Notre Dame 78. This puts G'town alone in first and creates a 3-way tie for second (UConn, ND, Louisville).
--at Duke 77, Maryland 65. That's just Duke being Duke.
--Wisconsin 68, at Indiana 66. Hoosiers have much larger worries than a 2-point home loss to Wiscy.
--at Memphis 68, Houston 59. Tigers trailed at half before remembering that they are a junior NBA team.
--New Mexico 73, at San Diego State 63. Lobos are still a very long shot for an AL.
--at SIU 65, Drake 62. My money would have been good (see yesterday's GOI). Like grandma always says, "Never count out an Egyptian dog."
--at Temple 92, Rhode Island 89 (OT). Has anyone noticed that Temple is becoming a viable AL team?
--at Tennessee 93, Arkansas 71. The SEC has one legit Final Four threat. Also, with Kentucky, Florida, and Mississippi faltering badly this week, their bid count could take a monster hit depending on the weekend games.
--Cal at Arizona. Both could really use, but Cal needs it more.
--Stanford at Arizona State. Devils are likely playing for a spot in Monday's bracket.
--NC State at Boston College. Pack has to win these kind at this stage.
--South Alabama at Middle Tennessee. Raiders are playing better and host Belt brass USA and WKU this week. Jags better be careful here.