Notre Dame Drops Into New Breitbart Sports Middle 20 Prior to Tip-off at Pitt

Notre Dame Drops Into New Breitbart Sports Middle 20 Prior to Tip-off at Pitt

Notre Dame is the only team to be ranked in the AP Top 25 today while also ranking in Breitbart Sports Middle 20 announced just before their tip off Monday at Pitt. After being drubbed by Providence, the Irish are one of the 20 teams fighting for the last seven to 10 bids. While the Irish are picked as 6th seed on ESPN, they have barely stayed above water with three overtime wins and two losses in the last five games, and if they keep playing like that in the brutal 5-game stretch that starts tonight they could drop out of the RPI top 50 and to .500 in the Big East by the end of the year. St. Mary’s also dropped into the Middle 20, while Oregon and St. Louis moved above it. Here is the breakdown of the Middle 20 and their bid chances: 

Middle 20 Last week Middle 20 Team 1st through 7th of Middle 20 deserve last spots in tournament, though four would need play-in game.
1 in Notre Dame They are ranked after blowout at Providence, and underdogs in 4 of last 5 starting tonight at Pitt.
2 in St. Mary’s After getting destroyed at home by Gonzaga, need to at least win one at home this week against BYU or Creighton.
3 3 La Salle Wed. won 69-66 in OT at #111 St. Bonaventure, Sat won vs. St. Joe’s 76-64
4 6 Mississippi Late rally to beat Georgia in OT may have saved season.
5 4 Baylor Lost to last 4 top 100 teams they’ve faced and face 2 more this week (Iowa St. and at Oklahoma)
6 20 California 3-game winning streak by 8 points or more over Arizona, UCLA and USC have them charging into Oregon on the rise.
7 5 Kentucky Sat lost at Tennessee 58-88 – need to prove they can win without Noel or it will be NIT.
Last week Middle 20 Team 8th through 10th place in Middle 20 could lose their bid to the average three surprise tourney winners that grab a spot.
8 7 Iowa St. May be eliminated if they Wed to Baylor to go 2-8 on the road, with both wins against non-top 250 teams.
9 16 Virginia Blow out at Maryland looks a lot better now after Maryland beat Duke, so they have a better shot despite loss at UNC.
10 13 Southern Mississippi CUSA’s 2nd place team should be top 40 RPI and despite lack of big wins, has played Arizona and Wichita St. close on the road and beated Georgia, so we believe deserve strong consideration.
Last week Middle 20 Team 11th through 20th place still have hopes of a bid, but need more big wins.
11 9 Temple Huge 1-point win at Massachusettes may save season after terrible 83-84 loss vs. #233 Duquesne.Sat
12 11 Boise St. If they can get to .500 in the brutal Mountain West with wins over Air Force and Fresno this week, need strong consideration for 4-pt loss to Michigan St, blowout win at Creighton, OT loss to New Mexico, 1-pt loss at SD State and win over UNLV.
13 17 Maryland Beating #2 Duke gives them an outside shot, but home loss the UVa the game before makes it tough.
14 18 Villanova Sat win at UConn 70-61 gives them a chance if they handle Rutgers Monday and can beat Marquette, Pitt and/or Georgetown down the stretch.
15 19 Arizona St. Huge overtime win at Colorado Saturday gives them a chance – must win this week vs. both Washington teams to stay alive before 3 tough road games to end season.
16 8 Stanford Home losses at USC and UCLA this week may have killed chances unless they can pull upset at Oregon Saturday.
17 12 Brigham Young Home loss to non-top 100 San Fran really hurt, and probably need to win at St. Mary’s Thursday or vs. Gonzaga next week to recover.
18 15 St. John’s Lopsided losses at Syracuse and Louisville last week expected, but may need to go 5-0 down stretch against USF, Pitt, Prov, ND and Marquette.
19 out Eastern Kentucky 5-straight wins have them 2nd to Belmont in OVC, and an upset at Valpo Saturday should get them consideration.
20 out Alabama 3 straight wins to move into 2nd place in the SEC give them a pulse after embarrassing 37-49 loss at Auburn, but probably need upsets at Florida and/or Mississippi.

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