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Road to Selection Sunday: Beastly B1G Living Up To Its Billing, But Expect A Tight ACC Challenge

11/26/2012, 12:30pm CST
By SelectionSunday

This week we're going heavy on last week's results, predictions, lists, and our first real look at some RPI numbers courtesy of Jerry Palm at With 19 of the 21 notable exempt tournaments now concluded, the RPI is gradually taking shape. RPI rankings will make even more sense next week, after the ACC/Big Ten and Big East/SEC have completed their conference challenges.
On to the notebook. ...
The Unconquered
There are 33 unbeaten teams through November 25th. Still seeking perfection are: Alabama, Arizona, Cal, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Colorado, Colorado State, Creighton, Duke, East Carolina, Eastern Kentucky, Florida, Gonzaga, Houston, Illinois, Indiana, LSU, Michigan, New Mexico, Northwestern, Ohio, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Santa Clara, Southern Miss, Stephen F. Austin, Syracuse, Temple, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech, Wichita State, Wyoming.
No Time for Losers, We are the Champions
We've completed 19 notable exempt tournaments, with just two remaining (the Diamond Head and Las Vegas classics), both at Christmastime. The Big Ten has lived up to its early-season billing, capturing five tournament titles. A who's who list of teams/conferences feeling good about bringing home championship hardware.
Big 10 (5): Illinois (Maui), Indiana (Legends), Michigan (NIT), Northwestern (South Padre Island), Ohio State (Hall of Fame)
ACC (2): Duke (Battle 4 Atlantis), Florida State (Coaches vs. Cancer)
Big 12 (2): Kansas (CBE), Oklahoma State (Puerto Rico) 
Missouri Valley (2): Creighton (Las Vegas Invitational), Wichita State (Cancun)
Pac 12 (2): Cal (Anaheim), Colorado (Charleston)
SEC (2): Alabama (2K Sports), South Carolina (Hoops for Hope)
Atlantic 10 (1): Charlotte (Great Alaska) 
Big East (1): Cincinnati (Global Sports)
Mountain West (1): New Mexico (Paradise Jam)
West Coast (1): Gonzaga (Old Spice)
The RPI Top 25 from Jerry Palm (through Nov. 25)
1. Duke (6-0)
2. Colorado (5-0)
3. UConn (5-1)
4. Michigan (4-0)
5. New Mexico (6-0)
6. Butler (3-2)
T-7. Colorado State (3-0)
T-7. Illinois (6-0)
9. Indiana (6-0) 
10. Oklahoma State (5-0)
11. Florida (5-0)
12. Syracuse (4-0)
13. Stephen F. Austin (2-0)
14. NC State (4-1)
15. Alabama (4-0)
16. Air Force (3-1)
17. Ohio State (4-0)
18. Washington (2-3)
19. Oregon (5-1)
20. Creighton (6-0)
21. Saint Louis (3-2)
22. Gonzaga (6-0)
23. Cal (6-0)
24. Vermont (3-1)
25. Northwestern (6-0)
The B1G in the RPI 
4. Michigan (4-0)
T-7. Illinois (6-0)
9. Indiana (6-0)
17. Ohio State (4-0)
25. Northwestern (6-0)
28. GOPHERS (6-1)
34. Michigan State (5-1)
T-70. Iowa (5-1)
80. Nebraska (4-1)
93. Wisconsin (4-2)
108. Penn State (3-2)
T-215. Purdue (2-3)
ACC/Big Ten Challenge Predictions
I see three games I absolutely expect the Big Ten to come out on top. ... Indiana over North Carolina, Michigan over NC State, and Wisconsin over Virginia. The other nine games I can see going either way. Expect the Challenge to be much more tightly contested this year, as most of the matchups look pretty even. The picks?
Boston College over Penn State
Clemson over Purdue
Duke over Ohio State
Florida State over Gophers
Illinois over Georgia Tech
Indiana over North Carolina
Iowa over Virginia Tech
Miami over Michigan State
Michigan over NC State
Northwestern over Maryland
Wake Forest over Nebraska
Wisconsin over Virginia
Final Tally: 6 wins apiece
Mamo-a-Mano Report: Top 8 Conferences (Nov. 19-25)
The Big Ten isn't just flexing its muscles in in-season tournaments, as it has climbed to the top spot in our report. We'll know much more about the Big Ten, for better or worse, after the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Last week's results of the top conferences going head to head: Arizona State over Arkansas; Boston College over Auburn; Butler over Marquette; Butler over North Carolina; Cal over Georgia Tech; Cincinnati over Iowa State; Cincinnati over Oregon; Colorado over Air Force; Colorado State over Washington; Duke over Louisville; Duke over Minnesota; Duke over VCU; Georgetown over UCLA; Illinois over Butler; Illinois over USC; Indiana over Georgetown; Indiana over Georgia; Kansas over Saint Louis; Kansas over Wazzu; LaSalle over Villanova; Louisville over Mizzou; Marquette over Mississippi State; Marquette over USC; Michigan over Kansas State; Michigan over Pitt; Michigan State over Boise State; Minnesota over Stanford; Mizzou over Stanford; Mizzou over VCU; New Mexico over UConn; North Carolina over Mississippi State; Northwestern over TCU; Notre Dame over George Washington; Oklahoma over West Virginia (both are Big 12); Oregon over UNLV; Rhode Island over Auburn; Saint Louis over Texas A&M; San Diego State over USC; Texas over Mississippi State; Texas A&M over Wazzu; UCLA over Georgia; UNLV over Iowa State; USC over Texas; Wisconsin over Arkansas.
1. Big Ten (15-6, 71.4%)
2. ACC (10-7, 58.8%)
3. Big East (14-12, 53.8%)
4. Big 12 (9-8, 52.9%)
5. Pac 12 (11-12, 47.8%)
6. Mountain West (4-5, 44.4%)
7. Atlantic 10 (10-16, 38.5%)
8. SEC (8-15, 34.8%)
Upset Special
Record: 0-3
Last Week: Texas A&M over Saint Louis (L, Billikens in a rout, 70-49)
This Week: Saint Joseph's over Creighton (Saturday)

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