The NCAA Bubble Landscape link in the upper right has been updated, and it was a good week for the cause of getting a lot of Big Ten teams into the Dance. The week opened with five teams (Michigan State, Illinois, Purdue, Minnesota, Ohio State) classified as locks. All five are still locks, and with Wisconsin moving up to #29 in the RPI standings, they join that group. Michigan's still on the bubble, but strengthened its position, moving to a #48 RPI rank. And Penn State's big road win at Illinois made them the big winner of the week. The Lions' record is now at a solid 19-8, and their RPI soared from 83 (where they would likely be left out) to #59 which puts them right on the bubble. And Northwestern's still a long shot, but that home win over Ohio State makes them a little less longer than they were a week ago.
All classifications are based on whether the season ended today, so the locks, namely Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin, can still play their way out of that status. But as we enter weekend play, Jim Delaney has reason to smile. Seven bids looks very realistic right now and even eight isn't out of the question.