As originally posted here.
Kansas State has gone from bad to worse over the past over the past month. The Wildcats started the season relatively well, with wins against Virginia Tech and Gonzaga, along with a respectable loss to Duke. A lot has changed since then.
In its past seven games, Kansas State has dropped four of them. Coincidentally, these four losses were against teams with an RPI that didn't hover around the 200 mark (UMKC, North Florida, Savannah State). Embedded in these four losses is an 0-2 start in the Big 12. Oklahoma State and Colorado are both above average teams that will be on the bubble or above for the rest of the season, but they are no Missouri, Texas, Texas A/M or Kansas.
To make matters worse, Jacob Pullen had to open his mouth and make the bold statement that he will not play in the NIT if Kansas State doesn't make the NCAA tournament. Hey Jacob, you won't even make the NIT if your team keeps playing like it has.
The only good news for Kansas State is that they are still in the field of 68 as we speak, the following three teams are not.
Memphis was once considered the C-USA favorite and a lock at-large team if they happened to slip up in the C-USA tournament. Not any more.
The Tigers have struggled mightily over their past eight games. Close wins over Austin Peay and Texas A/M Corpus-Christi were certainly foreshadowing of a larger problem. However, a win is a win. The struggles against two cupcakes reared their ugly head against Georgetown, who went to Memphis and put a 17 point sha-lacking on Memphis. A loss to a Top 25 Georgetown isn't that a bad sign though, right? Wrong.
After a win over Lipscomb and a close win over Tennessee State, Memphis lost to Tennessee by 20, beat East Carolina by only 3, and lost to Southern Methodist by 6. Yes... Southern Methodist. Shortly after that embarrassing loss, Wesley Witherspoon was suspended indefinitely.
Something is clearly afoot in Memphis. The Tigers are no longer the C-USA favorite and no longer an at-large team. Memphis might have to win C-USA tournament if they want to Dance.
Richmond has lost three of their last eight, which doesn't sound too bad until you hear who the losses were against. The rough patch started nearly a month ago, when Richmond lost to ACC bottom feeder, Georgia Tech. Things continued smoothly until January 3rd when there was a Christian Laettner sighting in Richmond, sort of.
Since Bucknell, Richmond started their Atlantic-10 schedule 2-0, but dropped their last game against Rhode Island. With an RPI in the 80s, and a SOS in the mid 100s, Richmond isn't in a position to drop many more conference games. In fact, RPIForecast.com says Richmond's RPI would only be 40 in they won the rest of their A-10 regular season games. That isn't a good sign.
Was Richmond's win over Purdue merely a fluke? Time will tell.
The at-large hopeful Ole Miss Rebels have dropped 4 of their last 8. Included in those losses are a seven point loss to Colorado State on a neutral court, a 5 point loss to woeful Mississippi State at home, and most recently, a 22 point home loss to Georgia.
Ole Miss hasn't beaten a Top 50 opponent all season, and their last notable win came on December 4th against Southern Miss. The SEC doesn't have many opportunities for signature wins, so Ole Miss better play very well in their toughest stretch of games coming up: @Vanderbilt, @LSU, Tennessee, Kentucky @Arkansas.