My daughter was all excited. First, her sister’s women’s soccer team won their conference championship at the end of October last year. The team and university members were gathered in the lower level of the Gallagher Center to watch the selection show. The team – which plays in a small Division 1 conference – was pitted against perennial powerhouse Penn State at Penn State in the first round.
Next, my daughter was all excited. The basketball team at her university won their conference tournament and was second in the conference in regular season play. They were going dancing. But are they really?
Their RPI (a term foreign to most people except those who are truly college basketball fans) is/was 136. Nothing spectacular but better by many points at least five of the tournament champions/guaranteed and the at-large bids to the dance. Their opponent – 64/65 play-in game – is Florida A&M whose RPI is 171. Those teams who had worse RPIs then Niagara University were their opponent in Dayton tomorrow, Florida A&M and Jackson State – a 16 seed, Weber State – a 15 seed, North Texas – a 15 seed, and Central Connecticut State – a 16 seed.
Niagara is in a different class than these other five teams with low RPIs. They have won their last 11 games. They lost a lot of games at the beginning of the season when many of their starters were serving multiple game suspensions for an off-season incident involving another student-athlete at the university.
Unfortunately for Florida A&M, this lack of real consideration for the Niagara University Purple Eagles is going to make them more determined than ever. Watch out Kansas!