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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Updated Big Ten Locks and Bubble Teams - Buckeyes Reclaim #1Spot -Top 5 NFL Picks According to Peter King -

Updated Big Ten Locks and Bubble Teams
Locks: Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin | Should Be In: None | Bubble: Illinois, Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State
Illinois (18-11 | 8-8) | RPI: 40 | SOS: 17 | - Illinois avoided major problems by taking care of Iowa at home Saturday. Up next is a trip to Purdue – a very difficult challenge. Then, it’s home to Indiana. As long as the Illini take care of the Hoosiers at home, their propsects are favorable heading into the Big Ten Tournament. A loss would put a lot of pressure on Illinois to win a couple of games in Indy. Good wins include N. Carolina, at Gonzaga, Wisconsin, and Michigan State. If it’s a close call among Big Ten teams, the Illini beat both Michigan and Minnesota – teams they played only once in the Big Ten rotation. The loss at UIC is a major sore point.
Michigan State (15-12 | 8-8) | RPI: 38 | SOS: 5 | The Spartans were dominated at home Sunday by Purdue after winning two straight. That makes the last two games (Iowa, at Michigan) very important. Michigan State is now just 3-9 vs. Top 50 teams – thanks to Minnesota’s free-fall. Can MSU get to 10 league wins? That might be what it takes to have a chance heading into the Big Ten Tournament. A strong schedule will help, but MSU is squarely on the cutline as we move into March.
Michigan (17-12 | 8-9) | RPI: 57 | SOS: 20 | Winning at Minnesota wasn’t a great win, but it knocked the Gophers off the bubble and keeps the Wolverines in the conversation. While there’s not a lot to love about the Wolverine’s profile (2-8 vs. Top 50 teams), they have won 7 of 10 and were a last-second banked-in three pointer at the buzzer from beating Wisconsin. Michigan closes at home against Michigan State. A weak bubble continues to help. Much like Marquette, Michigan has several close losses and a solid strength of schedule. On another note, Michigan lost to Illinois in its only matchup with the Illini; just something to keep in mind. On the flip side, the Wolverines swept Penn State.
Penn State (15-12 | 8-8) | RPI: 56 | SOS: 9 | Surprisingly, Penn State gained some bubble ground with its win at Northwestern. For one, it was the Lions’ second road win. It also moved them back to .500 in league play. Penn State has three solid victories at home (Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan State). That’s more than some other teams at the cutline. The flip side is that PSU was swept by Michigan and is still just 2-8 in road games. Up next is a visit from Ohio State, followed by a trip to Minnesota. A split would keep PSU in the conversation heading to the Big 10 Tournament. A pair of losses probably ends the Lions’ run.





ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll for the week of March 1st 2011
RK TEAM RECORD PTS PREV
1 Ohio State (17) 27-2 760 3
Last Week: Def Illinois 89-70 (2/22), Def Indiana 82-61 (2/27)
This Week: 3/1 at Penn State (15-12), 3/6 vs. No. 10 Wisconsin (22-6)  Tickets
2 Kansas (14) 27-2 756 2
Last Week: Def Oklahoma State 92-65 (2/21), Def Oklahoma 82-70 (2/26)
This Week: 3/2 vs. No. 22 Texas A&M (22-6), 3/5 at No. 24 Missouri (22-7)  Tickets
3 Brigham Young 27-2 690 7
Last Week: Def Colorado State 84-76 (2/23), Def No. 4 San Diego State 80-67 (2/26)
This Week: 3/2 vs. New Mexico (18-11), 3/5 vs. Wyoming (10-18)  Tickets
4 Duke 26-3 671 1
Last Week: Def No. 24 Temple 78-61 (2/23), Lost to Virginia Tech 64-60 (2/26)
This Week: 3/2 vs. Clemson (19-9), 3/5 at No. 13 North Carolina (22-6)  Tickets
5 Pittsburgh 25-4 622 6
Last Week: Def West Virginia 71-58 (2/24), Lost to No. 16 Louisville 62-59 (2/27)
This Week: 3/2 at South Florida (9-20), 3/5 vs. No. 19 Villanova (21-8)  Tickets
6 Purdue 24-5 612 8
Last Week: Def Indiana 72-61 (2/23), Def Michigan State 67-47 (2/27)
This Week: 3/1 vs. Illinois (18-11), 3/5 at Iowa (10-18)  Tickets
7 Notre Dame 23-5 584 9
Last Week: Def Providence 94-93 (2/23), Def Seton Hall 60-48 (2/26)
This Week: 2/28 vs. No. 19 Villanova (21-8), 3/5 at No. 16 Connecticut (21-7)  Tickets
8 Texas 24-5 574 5
Last Week: Def Iowa State 76-53 (2/22), Lost to Colorado 91-89 (2/26)
This Week: 2/28 vs. Kansas State (20-9), 3/5 at Baylor (18-10)  Tickets
9 San Diego State 27-2 542 4
Last Week: Lost to No. 7 Brigham Young 80-67 (2/26)
This Week: 3/1 at Wyoming (10-18), 3/5 vs. Colorado State (18-10)  Tickets
10 Wisconsin 22-6 500 12
Last Week: Def Michigan 53-52 (2/23), Def Northwestern 78-63 (2/27)
This Week: 3/3 at Indiana (12-17), 3/6 at No. 1 Ohio State (27-2)  Tickets
11 Louisville 22-7 457 16
Last Week: Def Rutgers 55-37 (2/22), Def No. 6 Pittsburgh 62-59 (2/27)
This Week: 3/2 vs. Providence (14-15), 3/5 at West Virginia (18-10)  Tickets
12 Syracuse 24-6 391 20
Last Week: Def No. 14 Villanova 69-64 (2/21), Def No. 11 Georgetown 58-51 (2/26)
This Week: 3/5 vs. DePaul (7-21)  Tickets
13 North Carolina 22-6 367 19
Last Week: Def North Carolina State 75-63 (2/23), Def Maryland 87-76 (2/27)
This Week: 3/2 at Florida State (20-8), 3/5 vs. No. 4 Duke (26-3)  Tickets
14 Florida 22-6 337 13
Last Week: Def Georgia 71-62 (2/24), Lost to No. 22 Kentucky 76-68 (2/26)
This Week: 3/1 vs. Alabama (19-9), 3/5 at No. 20 Vanderbilt (21-7)  Tickets
15 St. John's 19-9 284 25
Last Week: Def DePaul 76-51 (2/23), Def No. 14 Villanova 81-68 (2/26)
This Week: 3/3 at Seton Hall (11-17), 3/5 vs. South Florida (9-20)  Tickets
16 Connecticut 21-7 274 15
Last Week: Lost to Marquette 74-67 (2/24), Def Cincinnati 67-59 (2/27)
This Week: 3/2 at West Virginia (18-10), 3/5 vs. No. 7 Notre Dame (23-5)  Tickets
17 Georgetown 21-8 272 11
Last Week: Lost to Cincinnati 58-46 (2/23), Lost to No. 20 Syracuse 58-51 (2/26)
This Week: 3/5 at Cincinnati (22-7)  Tickets
18 Arizona 23-6 213 10
Last Week: Lost to USC 65-57 (2/24), Lost to UCLA 71-49 (2/26)
This Week: 3/3 vs. Oregon State (10-17), 3/5 vs. Oregon (14-14)  Tickets
19 Villanova 21-8 194 14
Last Week: Lost to No. 20 Syracuse 69-64 (2/21), Lost to No. 25 St. John's 81-68 (2/26)
This Week: 2/28 at No. 7 Notre Dame (23-5), 3/5 at No. 5 Pittsburgh (25-4)  Tickets
20 Vanderbilt 21-7 183 18
Last Week: Lost to Tennessee 60-51 (2/22), Def LSU 90-69 (2/26)
This Week: 3/1 at No. 23 Kentucky (20-8), 3/5 vs. No. 14 Florida (22-6)  Tickets
21 Utah State 26-3 178 23
Last Week: Def Idaho 84-68 (2/26)
This Week: 3/2 at New Mexico State (14-15), 3/5 at Louisiana Tech (12-18)  Tickets
22 Texas A&M 22-6 133 17
Last Week: Def Oklahoma 61-47 (2/23), Lost to Baylor 58-51 (2/26)
This Week: 3/2 at No. 2 Kansas (27-2), 3/5 vs. Texas Tech (12-17)  Tickets
23 Kentucky 20-8 131 22
Last Week: Lost to Arkansas 77-76 (2/23), Def No. 13 Florida 76-68 (2/26)
This Week: 3/1 vs. No. 20 Vanderbilt (21-7), 3/6 at Tennessee (17-12)  Tickets
24 Missouri 22-7 109 21
Last Week: Def Baylor 77-59 (2/23), Lost to Kansas State 80-70 (2/26)
This Week: 3/1 at Nebraska (18-10), 3/5 vs. No. 2 Kansas (27-2)  Tickets
25 George Mason 25-5 70 NR
Last Week: Def Northeastern 67-61 (2/24), Def Georgia State 65-58 (2/26)
This Week: No Games Scheduled  Tickets


Top 5 NFL Picks According to Peter King


1. Carolina. Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson. I agree with my buddy Don Banks, who had Bowers here in his latest mock. I think the Panthers will be sorely tempted to go quarterback here, and may well do that. But another mulligan of a season, I think, is too much for Jerry Richardson to take, and you're almost consigning yourself to a mulligan by picking a quarterback if there's no new CBA 'til September. Having said that, do not be surprised, at all, if Carolina picks Blaine Gabbert here. He's the kind of guy I've seen fly up draft boards in past seasons. The draft's 59 days away. Lots of time left to fall in love.
2. Denver. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU. Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers return healthy, so the front seven won't be a disaster. Peterson's a franchise corner who John Fox can pair with Champ Bailey from opening day.
3. Buffalo. Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama. "Everyone saw what [Ndamukong Suh] did last year,'' Dareus told me Saturday. "My attitude is, 'Why can't I do that?' I think I can.'' Dareus has climbed over Nick Fairley in many teams' eyes. I think one of those teams is Buffalo.
4. Cincinnati. Cam Newton, QB, Auburn. Mike Brown loves drafting quarterbacks. He also loves gambling on them. That's what this is, of course. A gamble. And it allows Marvin Lewis, who will be coaching with the security of a new contract, to not worry about 2011 and be secure in jettisoning Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco and starting a new era. Or error.
5. Arizona. Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri. Of all the picks I'm making here in this top 10, I feel best about this one. Cards need a quarterback with singular dedication and focus, and they'll find Gabbert's their guy.
6. Cleveland. A.J. Green, WR, Georgia. One of the most pro-ready receivers to come out in a while. The Browns have not a soul on the offense side of the ball to strike fear -- or even slight trepidation -- into foes. And remember one thing: The 2001 Seahawks, with Mike Holmgren running the draft, had needs all over the roster when they picked number nine in the first round. They bypassed Dan Morgan, Casey Hampton and Jeff Backus, all at positions of need (Backus to pair with Walter Jones), to pick a big wide receiver, Koren Robinson.
7. San Francisco. Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M. As much as the Niners want to force a quarterback here, they run to the podium to turn this pick in. Pro-ready pass-rusher, right now.
8. Tennessee. Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn. Though Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett wouldn't surprise me in this spot if his background checks come back relatively clean.
9. Dallas. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska. The Cowboys will be tempted by the tackles here, but ultimately understand they can get a pretty good one in the second round. Cowboys gave up 33 touchdowns last year.
10. Washington. Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas. Mike Shanahan's a dice-roller at quarterback, as you know. In the last eight years, he's gambled with Jake Plummer, Jay Cutler and Donovan McNabb -- and I believe he would have drafted Sam Bradford even after acquiring McNabb last year if the Rams hadn't taken Bradford. Wouldn't be surprised either if the Redskins traded down here and took Christian Ponder or Jake Locker.

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