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Monday, February 17, 2003
Updated: February 18, 3:31 AM ET
Bracket outlook: West Region

By Charlie Creme
Special to ESPN.com

Editor's note: Teams preceded by their conference name are expected to win their league's automatic bid.

March 22/Norfolk, Va.
(1) LSU vs. (16) NEC/St. Francis (Pa.)
(8) DePaul vs. (9) WCC/Pepperdine
March 23/Norman, Okla.
(5) Boston College vs. (12) Oklahoma
(4) Mississippi State vs. (13) MID-CONTINENT/Western Illinois
March 22/Stanford, Calif.
(3) Stanford vs. (14) OVC/Austin Peay
(6) Virginia Tech vs. (11) Tulane
March 23/Lubbock, Texas
(7) George Washington vs. (10) Florida International
(2) Texas Tech vs. (15) MEAC/Hampton

TEAM THUMBS UP THUMBS DOWN
1. LSU Six wins vs. RPI Top 25 No. 31 in SOS
2. Texas Tech No. 5 in RPI Two losses in last 7 games
3. Stanford 11-1 conference record No. 57 in SOS
4. Mississippi State 10-6 vs. RPI Top 100 2-6 vs. RPI Top 25
5. Boston College 8-4 on road/neutral sites 1-4 vs. RPI Top 25
6. Virginia Tech 8-4 conference record 3-5 vs. RPI Top 50
7. George Washington 11-1 conference record 2-4 vs. RPI Top 50
8. DePaul 9-4 vs. RPI Top 100 Three sub-100 RPI losses
9. Pepperdine No. 35 in RPI Lost to UConn by 61
10. Florida International 8-2 in last 10 games Two sub-150 RPI losses
11. Tulane 6-4 on road/neutral 2-5 vs. RPI Top 100
12. Oklahoma No. 6 in SOS 4-6 vs. RPI Top 100
Note: SOS refers to strength of schedule; CollegeRPI.com used as reference; teams expected to be invited solely by virtue of their conference's automatic bid are not included in this analysis.

Charlie Creme was a writer and editor at Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook for 11 years. Click here to send him a question about his bracket projections.