Eastern Illinois website might not have their matchups for the Eastern Michigan tournament, a.k.a. the “Iceman Classic,” but I do.
And it’s just part of what might be the most winnable November schedule ever created. No teams that finished last year in the top 225 according to RPI grace the Panthers November schedule.
Although things do get a bit tougher once the calender turns to December…
|Average RPI: 244.0||Schedule Difficulty Points: 3||Last Year's Score: 11||Total Schedule Score: 13|
|Nov. 9||@ Bradley||264|
|Nov. 13||Wright State||226||2|
|Nov. 16||@ Eastern Michigan||243|
|Nov. 17||vs Texas Pan-American (Neutral)||313|
|Nov. 18||vs IPFW (Neutral)||279|
|Nov. 21||Rochester College||N/A|
|Nov. 24||Houston Baptist||323||1|
|Nov. 28||Central Arkansas||321||1|
|Dec. 1||@ Stony Brook||152|
|Dec. 5||Western Illinois||150||2|
|Dec. 19||@ St. Louis||31||2|
|Dec. 22||@ Drake||133|
|Feb. 23||Bracketbusters (Away Year)||N/A|
|Feb. 26||@ Chicago State||336|
This is pretty reminiscent of last year’s schedule, complete with Houston Baptist, who they laughingly played on the road last year. All in all, this isn’t a bad schedule for a struggling team with a new head coach. Only 1 non-DI matchup, and games that should be winnable could help the Panthers confidence heading into the conference season.
Of course, they’re also losable games. In fact, I’d say most are toss-ups.
They will play 2 brutal games on the road in late December as well, right before the start of conference play. That will get them ready for 3 straight on the road to start OVC play, which includes the Death Valley road swing. (at Morehead and EKU)
Why they insist on late season non-conference games (last year it was Illinois-Chicago) is still beyond me. (You should be focusing on the conference in late February)
There aren’t big names, and it doesn’t light the world on fire, but all in all a great set of regional matchups (road trip!) and a solid slate.
1. Morehead State (34 Points)
2. Belmont (28.5 Points)
3. Tennessee State (28 Points)
4. Murray State (21.25 Points)
5. SIU Edwardsville (17 Points)
6. Eastern Kentucky (16 Points. Tiebreaker Best Home Opp. Norfolk State – RPI 129)
7. Tennessee Tech (16 Points. TB Best Home Opp. Evansville – RPI 130)
8. Austin Peay (15 Points. Best Home Opp. Farfield – RPI 114)
9. UT Martin (15 Points. Best Home Opp. Arkansas State – RPI 221)
10. SEMO (14 Points)
11. Eastern Illinois (13 Points)
12. Jacksonville State (9 Points)
*Value Points Scoring Details
Schedule Difficulty (based upon last season’s RPI)
This is based simply on an average of last season’s RPI. I decided to give all non D-I squads a RPI of 400 for average purposes. I will give up to 10 points based on the average:
1-150: 10 points
150-175: 8 points
176-200: 6 points
201-220: 5 points
221-240: 4 points
241-260: 3 points
261-280: 2 points
281-300: 1 point
Quality Home Games (based upon last season’s RPI)
Every home game is worth up to 5 points (and one bonus) based upon difficulty. This is simply to reward teams that bring quality opponents in front of their home crowd.
RPI of Home Game
1-100: 5 points
101-150: 4 points
151-175: 3 points
176-200: 2 point
Any D-I: 1 point
Higher than team’s own RPI from last year: 1 Bonus Point.
Quality Road / Neutral Games (based upon last season’s RPI)
I feels teams should get some credit for scheduling tough opponents regardless, but only up to 3 points available here, and only for truly challenging games.
RPI of Road / Neutral Game
1-25: 3 points
26-50: 2 points
51-100: 1 point.
So, this complicates things, being that we know the team’s schedule in some tournaments, and not others. For games we know I added it to the RPI average. For games we don’t, I did my best to determine the average RPI of possible opponents, and added that. If I couldn’t find a field of opponents, I didn’t count the tournament at all.
For ties, I found the best home game based upon last year’s RPI. The team with the best game won the tie breaker.