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There were 349 teams ranked by the NCAA RPI last season. Both of UT Martin’s home games against Division I teams are against teams ranked LAST and SECOND TO LAST. That’s it — those two games, and two non Division I opponents. How is that even possible?

  Last Season RPITravel Distance (mi)
November
14@ Marquette94520
17@ Arkansas State185138
20Champion Baptist--329
25@ Bethune-Cookman343830
28@ Nebraska53635
December
3@ Northern Kentucky310381
6@ Longwood336689
15@ Illinois-Chicago317430
17@ Illinois State133345
20Presbyterian349538
22@ Butler154347
30Maryland-Eastern Shore347938
January
1Crowley's Ridge--124
8Eastern Kentucky
10Morehead State
15@ Tennessee Tech
17Jacksonville State
22@ Belmont
24Southeast Missouri
29Eastern Illinois
31@ Murray State
February
5@ Austin Peay
7SIUE
12@ Southeast Missouri
14Austin Peay
19@ Eastern Illinois
21@ SIU Edwardsville
26@ Tennessee State
28Murray State

 

Key Numbers:

Average Non-Conference RPI: 238.3

Average Home Non-Conference RPI: 348.0

Average Non-Conference Road Travel Distance: 479.2 miles

Non-Division I opponents: 2

 

Thoughts

This is my third year of breaking down non-conference schedules. I’ve never been at such a loss for words. There are 11 non-conference games against Division I opponents. More than half had an RPI of 300+ last year.

I’m not going this entire post bashing this schedule — you don’t have to get past the first two “Key Numbers’ to understand. (Again, 349 ranked teams. The average home RPI is…348.) So, what’s the silver lining here?

UT Martin should, for the first time in a long time, could enter conference play at or over .500. There is a realistic chance of that happening, even with such a road-heavy slate. Every home game is 100% winnable. And three of the first five games should be on TV or the internet. So, there’s that.

 

Road Trip to make

The two game Illinois road swing is intriguing if you can spare a few days — it’s in the middle of December (and an extended spell away from Martin Tennessee) against two teams they really should compete against, at least, they should if they’re taking a step up in the league under new head coach Heath Schroyer. While Butler has fallen from their perch, it’s still a great school to visit, if you don’t mind a long drive to Indy.

 

Don’t waste your money…

…sigh. There are so few home games, and so far apart, that you have to go those, right? So, um…I got nothing here. You’ll save money simply by making just three trips in November and December combined to the Elam Center.

 

Comparing The Schools

(Will be updated as more schedules are added)

SchoolNon-Con RPINon-Con Home RPIRoad Travel Dist.Non-DI Opp
Belmont152.6157.6383.7 mi.1
Eastern Illinois166.3283.7280.7 mi2
Morehead State170.1235.0605.3 mi.2
Tennessee State170.5246.3324.4 mi2
Murray State172.5144.5170.6 mi.2
Southeast Missouri176.7221.2571.8 mi.2
Austin Peay184.3227.7404.9 mi.2
SIUE197.5177.5856.8 mi.2
Jacksonville State200.0227.0401.7 mi.2
Tennessee Tech208.9240.8561.3 mi.2
Eastern Kentucky215.5252.5512.0 mi.2
UT Martin238.3348.0479.2 mi.2

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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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