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Projected 48-team NCAA Division I men's field (2)
by Paul Kennedy, November 14th, 2007 8AM

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Five teams -- Brown, California Ohio State, Santa Clara and defending national champion UC Santa Barbara -- have clinched automatic berths in the NCAA Division I Men's Tournament, and 43 spots remain up for grabs with one week left in the regular season.

Of the remaining 43 spots, 17 will go to conference champions to be crowned this week, and the other 26 will go to at-large teams (Click here for all the conference tournament results and schedules).

Wake Forest, ranked No. 1 in the Soccer America Men's Top 25, is the top-ranked team in the final RPI index the NCAA will release before the 48-team Division I Tournament field is announced next Monday.

ACC regular-season champion Boston College is No. 2, Big Ten runner-up Indiana is No. 3, Big Ten champion Ohio State is No. 4, and Brown is No. 5.

The RPI -- Ratings Percentage Index -- is the most important of the criteria it uses to determine the 48-team field for the NCAA Division I Men's Tournament. The RPI is a mathematical formula designed to objectively compare results and strength of schedule.

On Monday, Nov. 19, the day after the end of the regular season, the NCAA will announce the selection of the 26 at-large teams to go along with the 22 automatic qualifiers. (The Atlantic Soccer Conference lost its automatic berth.)

With the RPI index as a guide, here's a look at the 48 teams that might make the NCAA Tournament.

The ACC and Big East lead all conferences with seven teams in the 48. The Big Ten has six teams in the 48, and its seventh team, Wisconsin, is ranked third among the "bubble" teams.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is two MAAC teams in the 48 -- Loyola (Md.) and St. Peter's -- and a third, Fairfield, on the bubble.

Two teams to watch this week are North Carolina (28th in the RPI index) and UCLA (29th). North Carolina has a 6-7-5 record and will be ineligible for consideration unless it finishes the ACC Tournament with an above-.500 record (shootout wins or losses count as ties). UCLA (8-8-2) will be ineligible for consideration if it loses to San Diego State tomorrow.

*=clinched automatic berth.

PROJECTED 48
RANK SCHOOL (CONFERENCE)
1 Wake Forest (ACC 1)
2 Boston College (ACC 2)
3 Indiana (Big Ten 1)
4 *Ohio State (Big Ten 2)
5 *Brown (Ivy 1)
6 Northwestern (Big Ten 3)
7 *UC Santa Barbara (Big West 1)
8 Connecticut (Big East 1)
9 *Santa Clara (WCC 1)
10 Maryland (ACC 3)
11 !Creighton (Missouri Valley 1)
12 !Akron (Mid-American 1)
13 Virginia Tech (ACC 4)
14 Notre Dame (Big East 2)
15 West Virginia (Big East 3)
16 Harvard (Ivy 2)
17 Tulsa (Conference USA 1)
18 Dartmouth (Ivy 3)
19 SMU (Conference USA 2)
20 DePaul (Big East 4)
21 Saint Louis (Atlantic 10 1)
22 South Fla. (Big East 5)
23 Louisville (Big East 6)
24 Washington (Pac-10 1)
25 Virginia (ACC 5)
26 *California (Pac-10 2)
27 UC Davis (Big West 2)
28 North Carolina (ACC 6)
29 UCLA (Pac-10 3)
30 Loyola (Md.) (MAAC)
31 Cal Poly (Big West 3)
32 Michigan State (Big Ten 4)
33 !Furman (Southern 1)
34 Duke (ACC 7)
35 !Boston U. (America East 1)
36 Providence (Big East 7)
37 Michigan (Big Ten 5)
38 St. Peter's (MAAC 2)
39 Penn State (Big Ten 6)
40 St. John's (Big East 7)
-------------------------------
49 !New Mexico (MPSF 1)
51 !Loyola (Ill.) (Horizon 1)
54 !Holy Cross (Patriot 1)
56 !Old Dominion (CAA 1)
61 !Monmouth (Northeast 1)
70 !Winthrop (Big South 1)
87 !Oakland (Summit 1)
96 !Stetson (Atlantic Sun 1)
!=lone conference representative.

Bubble teams:
41 Bradley (Missouri Valley)
42 Portland (WCC)
43 Wisconsin (Big Ten)
44 Fairfield (MAAC)
45 Binghamton (America East)
46 Gonzaga (WCC)
47 Col. of Charleston (Southern)
48 New Hampshire (America East)
50 Hartford (America East)
52 Rhode Island (Atlantic 10)



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