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MRI 2008 - Rankings Week 13

March 2, 2009  |  By Benjamin Miraski

North Carolina, basketball
Tyler Hansbrough is concentrating
on keeping his team flying high in
the MRI (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

With just two weeks to go before the tournament, it appears thing have gotten quite interesting in the MRI.

Pittsburgh stumbled against Providence to knock it back down from challenging North Carolina, who became the first team this season to break the 200-point mark. Pittsburgh is now back within striking distance of other challengers Memphis, Duke and Connecticut, making the run to the Final Four very dependent on how the final bracket pairings turn out.

After those five and potentially Kansas, the rest of the league drops off quickly. So at this point, do we have a six-team race for the title?

I think so. While we can see teams like Oklahoma, Michigan State and dark horse West Virginia going to the Elite Eight, I think the Final Four will only come from the top six teams in the MRI.

Of course, in two weeks, things could be a lot different, but right now, I can't see it any other way.

You might say that Oklahoma with Blake Griffin back is a real challenge. But without Griffin, Oklahoma has looked pedestrian and against the better teams, easily beatable. Shut down Griffin, win the game -- it seems a simple formula.

And past them, I can't see another team that can really challenge. Maybe Marquette before the loss of Dominic James. Maybe Louisville if they didn't have the tendency to implode. Maybe someone from the Pac-10 if I didn't doubt that the strength of the league beyond the first three.

Basically, there is no one.

And even the contenders have their issues so the race is anywhere but finished. But this is a big change from just a few weeks ago when any of the top ten could have made a run for the title.

If you go straight by the MRI, the cut-off for an at-large bid (at least a more likely chance at one) would have been at No. 50.

The computer predicted 69.00 percent of the games this week putting it at 70.56 percent of the games on the season. All-time the computer is 71.51 percent correct.

Check out all the rankings in week 13 of the MRI:

MRI Top 25 Rankings

RankTeamRecordMRILW
1North Carolina24-3203.571
2Pittsburgh25-3195.512
3Memphis26-3186.663
4Duke24-5182.534
5Connecticut27-2175.325
6Kansas24-5169.297
7West Virginia20-9158.756
8Missouri23-5155.168
9Oklahoma26-3153.539
10Michigan State23-5152.8911
11UCLA22-7150.3212
12Louisville23-5145.9714
13Clemson22-6145.7310
14BYU21-6141.3918
15Marquette23-6138.6813
16Washington22-7138.5716
17LSU25-4137.7317
18Purdue22-7133.8220
19Gonzaga22-5133.2319
20Villanova23-6132.1315
21Wake Forest22-5129.1523
22Xavier23-5129.0222
23Davidson23-6125.37NR(26)
24Utah State25-4118.9725
25Arizona State21-7118.9121

Teams Dropped From The Top 25: Florida (LW #24, TW #27)

Other Teams People Might Care About

RankTeamRecordMRILW
26Texas19-9116.7927
27Florida21-8116.5024
28Butler24-4116.0132
31Illinois23-7114.4429
33Syracuse20-8111.4447
39Kentucky19-10104.1833
40Dayton24-5103.1939
47Wisconsin17-1096.8044
52Miami16-1094.5549
57Auburn18-1089.2268
58Maryland18-1086.9158
62Boston College20-982.1866
63Florida State22-781.9363
69Notre Dame15-1278.6669
71Ohio State18-977.2870
72Arizona18-1176.3062
78Michigan17-1271.8686
83Vanderbilt17-1170.1282
84Northern Iowa19-1069.8487
101Northwestern16-1160.99103
108Drexel15-1356.49105
134Illinois-Chicago14-1442.87141
137Iowa14-1541.82127
150Georgia Tech10-1736.62144
159Ohio14-1433.53179
182Wofford14-1325.28198
204Texas Tech11-1716.29194
206Ball State12-1414.05204
243Pennsylvania9-16-2.68243
277Indiana5-22-17.23268
279Valparaiso7-21-18.06277
Last Place this week: NJIT (1-28) at -149.30. 2nd week in a row.
Biggest Gain this week: Syracuse gained 16.57 points. (Beat St. John's (87-58) and Cincinnati (87-63))
Biggest Loss this week: Kennesaw State lost 17.65 points (Lost to East Tennessee State (46-81) and USC Upstate (51-80))
Conference rankings this week: ACC, Big 12, Big East, PAC-10, Big Ten, SEC, Mountain West, C-USA, MVC, Atlantic 10, WAC

The MRI Rankings are copyright 2009 by MRISports.com. Ben Miraski is a freelance reporter, edits and writes for MRISports.com and is a featured blogger on FanIQ. He also is the Northwestern Wildcats Examiner for Examiner.com. Readers can contact Ben at bmiraski@mrisports.com

   

Posted March 2, 2009 2:09 PM