I side with TMH on this one.
Scheduling a D-II or D-III every now and then to either fill an open date or, as I imagine was in this case, to build good will and community interest (Muhlenberg is located in nearby Allentown), isn’t a sin. In fact, some basketball minds in the Valley might call it smart or praise-worth. What’s the big deal? The game stats- positive or negative – do not affect our RPI. And, we’ll probably play 13 or more D-I contests and, with a bit of luck in scheduling, continue the upward trend (see below) in our OOC RPI.
Season / OOC RPI
09-10 / 341
10-11 / 274
11-12 / 224
12-13 / ?
Some might say that LU scheduling a D-II or D-III game is like……..
#1 Kentucky scheduling and beating Radford (RPI 309)
#2 Ohio State scheduling and beating Jackson State (RPI 336)
#3 Michigan State scheduling and beating Nebraska-Omaha (RPI 327)
#4 Kansas scheduling and beating Howard (RPI 320)
Yes, it all happened last year. I guess the only real difference is that the results of those games were factored into the schools’ RPI and each of the losers made buckets of money.
Oh yeah, in case you didn’t know, six teams in the Nation’s Top 30 (Pomeroy) last year played a game against either a D-II or D-III school. So, Lehigh isn’t alone -or for that matter so isn’t Bucknell, Navy, or Army who each also played “down” against W. Alabama, Penn St. – Altoona, and Marywood, respectively. Back to the six in the Top 30, they were:
#9 Wichita State vs. Newman
#13 Georgetown vs. Chaminade
#14 St. Louis vs. Illinois – Springfield
#17 Baylor vs. Paul Quinn
#23 Belmont vs. Trevecca Vazarene
#29 Michigan vs. Ferris State
Let’s sit tight for awhile and see what happens.