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When I first looked at Tennessee State’s schedule, I was prepared to hate it. First 6 games on the road; few home games at all, really. But then I started looking at the teams they play, and while they’re not big names, there’s a lot of really good basketball programs on it.

6-top 100 RPI opponents, including one heading to Nashville. An overall schedule strength among the toughest in the conference. Other than a soft middle, this is a solid slate of teams.

It’s just a shame that so many of those games will be played on the road.

DateOpponentRPIValue Points* 
​Average RPI: 164.0​Schedule Difficulty Points: 8Last Year's Score: 14​Total Schedule Score: 28
Nov. 9@ BYU462
Nov. 13@ South Dakota State422
Nov. 15@ Minnesota901
Nov. 19vs South Alabama169
Nov. 20@ Georgia State138
Nov. 21vs Monmouth234
Nov. 26FiskN/A
Dec. 1@ Alabama A&M342
Dec. 4Drexel666
Dec. 8@ Missouri103
Dec. 16LeMoyne-OwenN/A
Dec. 18@ Middle Tennessee State561
Dec. 21South Carolina Upstate1404
Feb. 23Bracketbusters (Home Year)N/A1

The first 6 games are especially grueling for the Tigers. 3 road games with short travel time against great competition, then 3 games in 3 days, which is always difficult.

The biggest concern from a fan’s point of view is just 4 home games, 2 of which happening after finals, meaning some students won’t be around campus. (although it should be noted TSU is somewhat of a commuter campus anyway) Half of their home games are against non-Division I competition.

It will be a challenge for the Tigers to enter December, or even January with a winning record. But there’s no doubt the Tigers should be prepared for anything the OVC can throw at them after this slate.

 

Final Rankings

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:

RPI 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 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.

Tournaments
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.

Tiebreaker
For ties, I found the best home game based upon last year’s RPI. The team with the best game won the tie breaker.


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OVC Ball
Predicting the OVC race…in mid-December

2016-17 Basketball Standings

OVCOverall

EAST

Belmont8-014-4
Morehead State6-310-12
Tennessee Tech5-39-14
Jacksonville State5-413-11
Tennessee State4-413-8
Eastern Kentucky2-69-14

WEST

UT Martin5-315-8
Murray State5-311-11
SEMO5-310-13
Austin Peay3-57-15
Eastern Illinois1-79-12
SIUE0-85-17
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