Posted by greenhawks on 5/13/2013 12:24:00 PM (view original):
#2 Bellarmine, 19-1, is doing it with smoke and mirrors. A team that lost 102-69 shouldn't be ranked that high
A team in a quality conference that is outscoring conference opponents by 21.6 ppg is hardly smoke and mirrors. Here's how it looks for the top five conferences:
Conference Point Differential Team
CVAC 19.1 ppg Belmont Abbey
Heartland 14.3 ppg Incarnate Word
California 15.2 ppg CSU, Chico
Great Lakes Valley 21.6 ppg Bellarmine
Mid-America 24.6 ppg Washburn
A few words on each (in reverse order):
There are four very good conferences in D-II Iba. The Mid-America Conference is currently 5th. There are only 4 human teams in the conference, with Washburn by itself with 5 Sims in the West. There are 3 NT-quality teams here and Washburn has losses to the other two. Their best non-con win was a ten point win over Felician (RPI 52). Non-con losses include margins of 16 to West Georgia (RPI 7), 29 to Hillsdale (RPI 5), and a 92-39 loss to Belmont Abbey. There are some bad sims in the Mid-America conference.
They are currently #2 with the one bad loss to Concord (RPI 23). They couldn't do anything right that game, but have a pair of notable 6 point wins over top 20 RPI teams Incarnate Word and U of Indianapolis. Indy gets their rematch, plus a matchup against Wisconsin, Parkside looms on the schedule. Greenhawks team hangs it hat on defense and athleticism and are a threat to beat anybody with their pressing style. Concord and the prior Indy game were the only times this season they've met their match in those areas. The two remaining tough games will tell us more about Bellarmine.
The twelve upperclassmen of CSU, Chico surprisingly suffered through a 6-4 non-con with losses to Belmont Abbey, Fairmont State, U of the Sciences, and West Georgia. All 4 teams are top 25 RPI squads (2 are exceptional) so no shame in that. They did close non-con with a nice victory over U of Indy, which appears to have set the tone for conference play. Wins over San Francisco St, Grand Canyon, and a split with CSU, Stanislaus have been the notable games in conference play. It remains to be seen if Chico is the Man and carries over strong conference play into the post-season.
Where to begin with this team. 6-1 versus Top 25 teams. 8-6 versus everybody else. Wins over Longwood, U of Indy, and St Mary's (TX). Lost to a 7-16 Erskine team. Is there any better example (except for maybe greenhawks loss) why people grow to hate the press? Buddy Schoen has stepped up his game in conference play after begging his coach to shoot more. And yes I did this post just to write about how much we've improved in conference play. I actually like us now, but the next 4 games are against NT teams.
Absolutely killing people with their defense. #1 ranking, #1 RPI, SOS 20 and still holding opponents to 39.9% from the floor?!?! Ridiculous. Wins over CSU, Chico, Wayne State, Lander, and St Edwards in non-con. An undefeated run through conference with a really good win over Pfeiffer. Longwood looms, but a 12-0 start in the toughest conference is worthy of respect. Bow down to the NT favorite, bow down.