Want some encouraging reading material in the run-up to tonight’s game?
You can call it sour grapes, but Boise State was in (and bracketologists who look at the RPI had them in), and Maryland was out, because of the funny math at the bottom of the RPI.
If you look at the teams ranked outside the Top 200 in the RPI, the Mountain West appeared to play a much tougher schedule. Their nine members combined to play 37 such teams (4.1 per team). The ACC, meanwhile, played 62 teams outside the RPI top 200 (5.17 games against weak opponents). Appeared, because the RPI doesn’t include games against non-Division I schools. The ACC only played one such excluded game (and that was North Carolina vs. Chaminade in the tournament in Hawaii). The Mountain West played fourteen!
If you add those games in, then the Mountain West teams averaged 5.67 games against teams outside the RPI top 200, and the ACC averaged 5.25.
If you think that is just funny math and will have no impact, think again. Let’s compare Maryland to Boise State, and also throw in Oregon. There is some thought that Oregon got screwed (yes, they did), but it wasn’t because of an East Coast Bias. It was a RPI bias. Oregon got seeded where the RPI dictated.
If you go by the RPI formula, Boise State played four weak non-conference opponents, and Maryland and Oregon each played six. Neither Maryland or Oregon played any non-Division I opponents. Boise State also played Corban and Walla Walla. I kid you not. They beat them by 56 and 67. Those results did not sink Boise State (nor should they, because that would make no sense).
Maryland playing Maryland Eastern Shore and South Carolina State, though, sunk Maryland. Oregon playing Idaho State and Portland State nearly did them in, and apparently meant they needed to win the Pac-12.
Two of Idaho’s wins? Western State and Panhandle State.
Here’s something else. Idaho is one of the worst rebounding teams in the country, ranked 342nd. Holden, Gabe and Goldy could have a rebound party underneath with Idaho’s 6’7 and 6’8 rebounding combo. They are actually taller than them!