BTI's Rants and Ramblings: The 2013-14 Non-Conference Schedule, Does it Stack Up?

Bryan the Internover 8 years


Aritcle written by:Bryan the InternBryan the Intern
It’s never too early to breakdown a schedule, right?  No, not the football schedule, but the basketball schedule.  UK’s non-conference slate this season looks pretty good on paper.  A true road game against a Top 25 North Carolina, a home game against the national champion, neutral site games against Michigan State and Baylor, plus tournament teams Boise State and Belmont as well.  But just how well does it stack up against the previous 4 years of John Calipari non-conference schedules?  And, I put together a little formula to determine the best.  It goes as below: +2 for every RPI Top 10 team +1 for every NCAA Tournament Team +.5 for every true road game -1 for every RPI 300+ opponent (some opponents can fall under multiple categories) Now, we are just ranking these non-conference schedules by their difficulty, not by how successful these teams were against those schedules.  NCAA Tournament teams in bold:  2012-13 (13 games, 9-4 record) RPI Top 10: at Louisville, Duke (N) RPI Top 25: None RPI 26-50: at Notre Dame RPI 51-100: Maryland (N), Baylor RPI 101-200: Lafayette, Morehead St, Long Island RPI 201-300: Marshall, Portland, Lipscomb, E.Michigan, Samford RPI 300+: None Recap: 4 NCAA Tournament Teams (1 Final Four), Five 200+ RPI opponents, 1 true road game TOTAL: 9 POINTS 2011-12 (15 games, 14-1 record) RPI Top 10: North Carolina, Kansas (N) RPI Top 25: Louisville, at Indiana RPI 26-50: None  RPI 51-100: Loyola (MD) RPI 101-200: Old Dominion (N), Lamar, St. Johns, Penn State (N), UALR RPI 201-300: Marist, Portland, Samford RPI 300+: Chattanooga, Radford Recap: 6 NCAA Tournament Teams (2 Final Four), Five 200+ RPI opponents, 1 true road game TOTAL: 8.5 POINTS 2010-11 (14 games, 12-2 record) RPI Top 10: at North Carolina, Notre Dame (N) RPI Top 25: UCONN, at Louisville  RPI 26-50: Washington   RPI 51-100: E.Tennessee St.,  RPI 101-200: Portland, Oklahoma, Boston U, Penn, Indiana   RPI 201-300: Winthrop, Coppin St, Mississippi Valley St RPI 300+: None Recap: 6 NCAA Tournament Teams (1 Final Four), 3 200+ RPI opponents, 2 true road games TOTAL: 11 POINTS 2009-10 (15 games, 15-0 record) RPI Top 10: None RPI Top 25: None  RPI 26-50: Louisville RPI 51-100: UCONN (N), Sam Houston St, Morehead St, North Carolina RPI 101-200: Long Beach St, Rider, Miami (OH), Drexel, Austin Peay, Stanford (N), Cleveland St (N),   RPI 201-300: UNC-Asheville, at Indiana RPI 300+: Hartford Recap: 2 NCAA Tournament Teams (0 Final Four), Three 200+ RPI opponents, 1 true road game TOTAL: 1.5 POINTS Let’s get the obvious out of the way.  Calipari’s first team had one of the more laughable non-conference schedules ever.  Admittedly, much of that came from their good teams having down years.  But their lone road game was against the worst Indiana team in 50 years.  The faced ZERO teams in the RPI Top 25 and their “marquee” games came against North Carolina and UCONN, both of which missed the tournament that year.  No wonder they went 15-0. Now, the other 3 schedules are fairly comparable.  But the Brandon Knight-team gets the BTI nod for the best schedule of the bunch.  2 true road games against Top 20 teams, and 2 more Top 20 games.  Plus 2 other NCAA Tournament teams and nobody above 251 in the RPI.  If I remember correctly, that team had many question marks coming out of non-conference play, but looking back, the fact they went 12-2 against that slate of game was pretty impressive.  The last 2 years have had very respectable schedules as well, although not up to the 2010-11 team.  They may have been a little heavy in the 200+ teams, but not at Gillispie levels.  This season, UK has what amount to 6 bunnies on the schedule (UNC Asheville, Northern Kentucky, Robert Morris, UT-Arlington, Cleveland St, Eastern Michigan), and 3 more opponents that should be more than beatable but inside the Top 150 (Boise State, Belmont, Providence).  And obviously the schedule is held up by MichiganState, Louisville, North Carolina, and Baylor.  So, here is the BTI prediction for this year’s schedule in terms of finishing RPI: Top 10: Michigan State, Louisville Top 11-25: at North Carolina Top 26-50: Baylor Top 50-100: Belmont, Boise State Top 101-200: Providence Top 201-299: Cleveland St, E.Michigan, Northern Kentucky, Robert Morris, UNC-Asheville Top 300+: UT-Arlington TOTAL: 9.5 POINTS Not looking too bad, eh? Follow me on Twitter @BryantheIntern.

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