Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Creighton, Drexel, and RPIs of Top Mid Major Teams

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Watched Creighton absolutely demolish Evansville last night in a Missouri Valley Conference game on ESPNU. First thought, where was this team the past month or so? The Bluejays went 10 of 19 from beyond the arc in their 79-57 thrashing of the Aces on the Aces' homecourt. Creighton (15-5, 5-3 MVC) had lost three of their last five. The important stat of the night was that Bluejays' two leading scorers - Booker Woodfox and P'Allen Stinnett, who combined average 28 points per game, only had nine points total last night. The more involved the rest of their teammates are, the better for the Bluejays.

Drexel continues to roll after beating Delaware 79-69. The team that was picked in the preseason CAA poll (and in my preseason rankings) to finish next to last is now 5-3 in conference which is good for fourth place. Samme Givens came off the bench to score 19 points and Jamie Harris added 14 while playing the entire game. The Dragons have won four in a row and seven of their last nine.

Here are the current RPI rankings for top mid major teams. In parentheses lists their Baker's Dozen Rankings.

Butler - 9 (1)
Siena - 28 (9)
Davidson - 31 (3)
Gonzaga - 35 (4)
Miami Ohio - 37 (unranked)
Utah State - 45 (5)
George Mason - 47 (6)
Illinois State - 48 (8)
Saint Mary's -51 (2)
Boise State - 55 (unranked)
Evansville - 59 (unranked)
Western Kentucky -60 (10)
VCU - 63 (11)
Stephen F. Austin - 68 (unranked)
Bradley -71 (unranked)
Cleveland State - 72 (unranked)
Creighton -74 (unranked)
Northeastern - 77 (unranked)
Fairfield - 78 (unranked)
Wisc -Green Bay -79 (tied for 13th)
Northern Iowa - 90 (7)
Charleston - 112 (tied for 13th)
Portland State - 133 (12)

I am surprised by how low Charleston and Portland State are. Charleston's three losses are to North Carolina (RPI 7, Davidson and Temple (RPI 41). And they have a win over South Carolina (RPI 87). Guess the SOS of 316 means the rest of the teams they faced aren't very good. Portland State's is low too. The others, not really surprised. Had Miami beaten Ohio they would have been ranked.

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