NCAA Final Four picture clears up slightly. Here's how six remaining hopefuls stand
San Beda and Letran have the inside track in the race to the NCAA Final Four, but streaking JRU has put itself in a good position while Perpetual, Arellano, and Mapua can't be counted out. Graphics by Jaime Campos

THE NCAA Final Four picture remains muddled with six teams still in the thick of the hunt no more than two games apart from each other, but things became a bit clearer after Tuesday's doubleheader.

Here's what we know right now.

Jose Rizal University’s win over Lyceum, coupled with University of Perpetual Help’s loss to San Sebastian, has given the Heavy Bombers an inside track on a Final Four berth and a chance to get a playoff at a Top Two spot and the twice-to-beat advantage that goes with it.

Struggling midway through the season with a 6-6 record, JRU’s five-game winning streak have put the Heavy Bombers in third place with an 11-6 (win-loss) card, one-and-a-half games behind joint leaders San Beda and Letran.

San Beda and Letran (12-4) are both in a position to secure places in the Final Four, which they can earn with one more victory. However, the two leaders still will face each other as well as a pair of Final Four contenders to round out their eliminations stint - the Red Lions take on the Arellano while the Knights faces Perpetual.

Two losses by either San Beda or Letran will open the door for JRU to take a twice-to-beat spot, provided the Bombers beat San Sebastian in their final elimination-round game.

The Bombers, however, can't afford to take San Sebastian lightly since the also-ran Stags own upset victories over San Beda, Letran and, just last Tuesday, Perpetual Help.

No thanks to its upset loss to the Stags, the Altas may find themselves out of the Final Four picture if they don't get their act together.

A Perpetual Help loss to Letran can open the door for either Mapua or Arellano (both 10-6), which can stay in the hunt for a semis berth with a sweep of their last two games.

From the two, Mapua has the easier path with remaining games against ousted teams Emilio Aguinaldo College and College of St. Benilde. Arellano still has to play San Beda and EAC in its final elims assignments.

Here are the teams' stand:

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports