This is heaven. Simply. Heaven.
When it comes to creating schedules, Belmont has it mastered. A true cross-town rivalry. Great road games. Hosting an in-state, top-100 RPI opponent. Mid-major darlings VCU and Butler. Only one non-DI opponent. This is a true basketball fan’s dream.
|Last Season RPI||Travel Distance (mi)|
|14||@ Wright State||166||333|
|22||@ Western Kentucky||129||68|
|10||@ Eastern Illinois|
|15||@ Murray State|
|17||@ Austin Peay|
|24||@ Tennessee State|
|5||@ Eastern Kentucky|
|7||@ Morehead State|
|11||@ Jacksonville State|
|21||@ Tennessee Tech|
Average Non-Conference RPI: 152.6
Average Home Non-Conference RPI: 157.6
Average Non-Conference Road Travel Distance: 383.7 miles
Non-Division I opponents: 1
I’ve already waxed poetic about this slate – but here’s something else I noted: not a single 300+ RPI team from a year before. If it weren’t for Fairfield, there wouldn’t have been a 210+ team. Something else worth noting, and one of the true negatives for the team that won in Chapel Hill last year: there’s not a chance to be ‘Giant Killers’ again. Sure, winning at VCU would be impressive. But it’s not the same when it’s mid-major on mid-major, even if that mid-major is better than many of the majors. And if we’re being completely honest, Butler isn’t Butler anymore.
But that’s nitpicking. This is as good of a slate I’ve seen since I’ve been covering the OVC. Not the best, but in the top 3.
Road Trip to make
Pick one? Seriously. Making the two-mile journey to Lipscomb is a must. Bowling Green isn’t far away, and Western Kentucky is a solid opponent. Ohio is the return game of the 2012 bracketbusters, and proved to be entertaining in Nashville.
But it has to be the trip to Richmond, VA. If you’ve got the cash, and have never been to VCU — GO! Now.
Don’t waste your money…
I’m about to completely contradict myself here, and I’m okay with it. Yesterday, The Byrd Cage brought up this point on twitter: do Belmont students care about Lipscomb any more. I wholly feel they should. But if you had to miss a home game, (Trevecca Nazarene not withstanding) I’m struggling to come up with a compelling reason why this would be a terrible one to miss.
Comparing The Schools
(Will be updated as more schedules are added)
|School||Non-Con RPI||Non-Con Home RPI||Road Travel Dist.||Non-DI Opp|
|Eastern Illinois||166.3||283.7||280.7 mi||2|
|Morehead State||170.1||235.0||605.3 mi.||2|
|Tennessee State||170.5||246.3||324.4 mi||2|
|Murray State||172.5||144.5||170.6 mi.||2|
|Southeast Missouri||176.7||221.2||571.8 mi.||2|
|Austin Peay||184.3||227.7||404.9 mi.||2|
|Jacksonville State||200.0||227.0||401.7 mi.||2|
|Tennessee Tech||208.9||240.8||561.3 mi.||2|
|Eastern Kentucky||215.5||252.5||512.0 mi.||2|
|UT Martin||238.3||348.0||479.2 mi.||2|