WOMEN'S NEWS ... It's not too early for teams to be evaluating their chances of making the NCAA Tournament. Win their conference and they're in. Otherwise? The following teams could be categorized as bubble teams. Based on this week's NCAA Women's Division I RPI index, they would just miss out on the 34 at-large berths. But there's still three weeks to go for these teams to improve their position before the NCAA Women's Committee gets down to work and must pick the 64-team field.
* ON THE BUBBLE:
45. Duke (6-5-4)Takes 290-minute shutout streak into Thursday's game against Virginia.
46. Memphis (11-5-0) Wins at Top 25 teams LSU and UCF work in Tigers' favor.
47. San Diego State (9-3-5) Unbeaten in their last 10 games.
48. St. John's (11-4-1) Fell out of the Top 25 after loss to Big East rival Rutgers.
49. Auburn (6-7-3) Tigers' best result was 0-0 tie with North Carolina.
50. Charlotte (13-2-1) Unbeaten Dayton is its main rival in the Atlantic-10.
51. UAB (10-5-1)Beat Mississippi and lost to three other Top 25 teams.
52. UTEP (12-4-0) Best win was 2-1 victory over Washington State.
53. Michigan State (8-2-4)Only one win (over Penn State) in five Big Ten games hurts.
56. Virginia (6-5-3) Dragged down by poor ACC play (one win in five games).
57. Pepperdine (8-5-1) Must improve on 1-1-1 conference record.
58. N.C. State (7-7-1) Lost three straight to ACC foes Carolina, BC and Wake Forest.
59. Missouri (10-4-3) Tigers lead the Big 12 standings with 5-0-2 record.
* CROWD COUNT.Portland is on course to lead all NCAA Division I women's programs in average attendance for the fifth straight year. UP and Texas A&M are once again the only programs averaging more than 3,000 fans a game. The SEC leads all conferences with four teams averaging more than a 1,000 fans a game. The Mountain West, led by BYU, has three teams in the top 12. The surprise is first-year program New Mexico State, whose outstanding play in the WAC (4-0-1 record) has helped boost interest. The Aggies' average attendance is 1,145 fans a game.
* AVERAGE ATTENDANCE:
1. Portland 3683
2. Texas A&M 3180
3. North Carolina 2418
4. BYU 2171
5. Georgia 1591
6. New Mexico 1523
7. Notre Dame 1443
8. Stanford 1432
9. Florida 1340
10. Colorado 1283
11. Penn State 1282
12. TCU 1248
13. New Mexico State 1145
14. Virginia 1129
15. LSU 1065
16. Santa Clara 1061
17. Tennessee 1020
18. Fresno State 1017
(Averages through games played Oct. 18.)
-- Seven different players scored as Boston University (11-5-2) defeated Bryant, 7-0, at Nickerson Field. In Wednesday's only other game, Canisius beat Cleveland State, 4-0.