The Saints Marched In…

So I was thinking a little about scheduling over the weekend–specifically nonconference scheduling and how a mid major can best earn an at large berth.

Keeping in mind this is a scheduling discussion, not an at large discussion, here’s where I landed:

1. Yes, this is only a tangent: it’s hysterical that the selection committee has come out and said they will not strictly enforce “last 12 games” in evaluation. Everything is subjective, and they will trot out a measure when they need it, specifically RPI. We all know that. Bank on it–somebody will be left out next March, major or mid major, and the quote will surround “didn’t finish strong.”

2. The bottom of the conference has to schedule wins. There is no ground to make up when conference season rolls around, so get business done early. It is vital to have no (4-14, 7-24) teams.

3. Schedule aggressively. This is my main point.

Last season Siena took on all comers. The Saints played–and lost to–Tennessee, Wichita State, Oklahoma State, Pitt, and Kansas.

Had Siena not won the MAAC championship, they would’ve been a very interesting at large study, because they had zero top 50 wins but still sported a top 20 RPI, a gaudy record, and recent history of success as a conference champion.

We’re not going to debate at large here. No, the point is scheduling: Siena beat nobody of significance in its nonconference season. Nobody. But they still scheduled them, lost, and maintained a very good RPI despite that fact.

Is the message play as many good teams as you can, because a loss to a good team isn’t exactly a death knell?


~ by mglitos on August 3, 2009.

2 Responses to “The Saints Marched In…”

  1. Siena would have been an interesting case study, because I don’t think they’d have gotten in with that schedule. The RPI is nice, but as the MVC proved – you can manage the math of the RPI.

    The only thing we would have debated would have been “who got screwed worse by the NCAA – Hofstra in 2006 or Siena in 2009.”

    At the end of the day, Siena didn’t beat anybody in that gaudy list of names. To quote Dennis Green “you play to win the game”, not to get RPI points.

    I do agree that the “responsibility” of the bottom third of the league is to stock up on USC-Upstate, Maine, Hartford, Winston Salem State, Savannah State, etc. to all extent possible, to help the RPI – either that or go out and play 5 Top 25 Money Games to help the RPI.

    A loss to a good team isn’t a death knell, 2 or 3 aren’t – ALL of them are.

  2. While Siena didn’t beat any of those teams, check the scores. They were all very close and they had a shot to win many of them. So scheduling them, and playing those teams tough…on the road…is a good combination

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