Congratulations to the teams who moved up in RPI this week. Oregon is the team of the week with two PAC-12 wins, including a 69-58 edge against No. 9 Utah. The wins have to secure a NCAA Tournament spot for the Ducks as they improved them to 20-8 on the year.
Tulsa is also building quite a case for a decent seed with a win over Temple to rise up 11 spots in the RPI. Non-conference play was a mixed bag for Tulsa but it made up for it with a 12-2 mark in the American Athletic Conference.
Here are notable risers in both men’s and women’s RPI.
Tying your school to a celebrity is neat, making fun of a celebrity through your school mascot is awesome. Shoutout to the Big West Conference and California State University, Northridge (CSUN) with what might be the meme of the year so far in college sports. Congratulations Matty the Matador, you defeated Madonna.
There are quite a few intriguing games going on Saturday that are outside the Top 25. Here are some mid-major contests with plenty at stake.
2 p.m. – Western Michigan at Central Michigan
Toledo may be in first place in the MAC West at 6-3 but these two directional Michigan schools are right behind at 5-4. Both the Broncos and Chippewas are hovering near the RPI top 100 and did I forget to mention they hate each other. Buckle up for a pure rivalry in the MAC.
4 p.m. – UNLV at Colorado State
UNLV is 13-9 and still has a chance at the tournament thanks to a quality win at Arizona, but the Rebels need this one. A win at Colorado State, No. 29 RPI, will rocket UNLV up. A loss means UNLV is running out of chances to make its move.
7 p.m. – Vermont at Stony Brook
Vermont is currently second in the American East and Stony Brook is third. First place Albany appears unreachable at a perfect 10-0 but this battle for second place is important. Stony Brook is a game and a half back of Vermont and needs this one to catch up.
7:30 p.m. – Louisiana Monroe at Georgia Southern
The No. 2 team in the Sun Belt at the No. 1 team in the Sun Belt. Yeah it’s a kind of a big game here. Especially for ULM who lost the first meeting at home 57-53.
8 p.m. – Louisiana Tech at Middle Tennessee State
Among mid-major conferences, Conference USA is extremely competitive. Louisiana Tech is 17-6 but with a No. 92 RPI is a bit of a stretch for the NCAA Tournament. A win a Middle Tennessee State should be a boost though as the Blue Raiders are 13-10. A loss will put any at-large dreams to bed and damage NIT hopes too for the Bulldogs.
Not many changes occurred in the top 100 of the men’s rating percentage index this week so the biggest jumper with the best ranking was actually California.
The Golden Bears came into the week 1-6 in PAC-12 play and was expected to end the week 1-8 with two road games. Yet California came away with wins at Washington State and Washington. The latter was far more unexpected. We’ll see if this was the week Cal needed to turn its season around who have a salvageable 13-9 record. The Bears have a ways to go to get back into NCAA tournament conversation but at least they are still alive for it.
On the women’s side Seton Hall moved up to No. 32 thanks to a home win against St. John’s, another team who moved up. The Pirates scored their 20th victory of the season tying the program record for fastest to ever reach that mark in a season. Look for Seton Hall to crack the top 25 in the coming weeks.
Damyanti Biswas is an author, blogger, animal-lover, spiritualist. Her work is represented by Ed Wilson from the Johnson & Alcock agency. When not pottering about with her plants or her aquariums, you can find her nose deep in a book, or baking up a storm.