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Just how good was the UK non-conference schedule

Seriously, this picture has no significance other than it’s humor

If you ask non-UK fans what their main criticism towards UK this season is, many of them will tell you the Cats played a weak non-conference schedule, thus bloating their record.  Right now, The Cats have a 52 SOS, but when the non-conference season ended, it was closer to 100-125.  But from my perspective, I don’t really care what our opponent’s RPI is.  That’s because in the end, if a team has an RPI of 300, but makes the NCAA Tournament, I consider that a good opponent.  So, while many if not most of UK’s non-conference opponent’s are not sporting a nice RPI, that doesn’t mean that many of them also don’t have a good shot at the NCAA Tournament.  Take a look:

MOREHEAD ST. (13-6, 9-1)
RPI: 116
Conference Rank: 2nd in the Ohio Valley

MIAMI, OH (8-13, 5-3)
RPI: 151
Conference Rank: 3rd in MAC East (4th overall)

SAM HOUSTON ST. (10-5, 6-0)
RPI: 78
Conference Rank: 1st in the Southland

RIDER (13-11, 6-6)
RPI: 132
Conference Rank: 6th in the MAAC

CLEVELAND ST. (8-12, 6-4)
RPI: 149
Conference Rank: 4th in the Horizon

STANFORD (10-11, 4-5)
RPI: 140
Conference Rank: 5th in the Pac-10

UNC-ASHEVILLE (7-12, 7-4)
RPI: 231
Conference Rank: 4th in the Big South

NORTH CAROLINA (13-7, 2-3)
RPI: 62
Conference Rank: 9th in the ACC

CONNECTICUT (13-8, 3-5)
RPI: 44
Conference Rank: 12th in the Big East

INDIANA (9-11, 3-5)
RPI: 214
Conference Rank: 8th in the Big 10

AUSTIN PEAY (10-10, 6-4)
RPI: 126
Conference Rank: 3rd in the OVC

DREXEL (12-10, 7-3)
RPI: 100
Conference Rank: 4th in the Colonial

LONG BEACH ST. (8-11, 4-4)
RPI: 125
Conference Rank: 4th in the Big West

HARTFORD (6-15, 4-4)
RPI: 295
Conference Rank: 6th in the America East

LOUISVILLE (13-8, 4-4)
RPI: 47
Conference Rank: 7th in the Big East

TEAMS IN BOLD RANK IN THE TOP 4 OF THEIR LEAGUE

So, out of UK’s 15 non-conference opponents, 8 of them rank in the Top 4 of their league.  And that DOESN’T include UNC, UCONN, Indiana, Stanford, or Louisville.  So, I would consider 13 of UK’s 15 opponents to be “quality”.  Doesn’t mean the selection committee would look the same way, but from a fan’s perspective, we were taking on some of the mid-major conferences top teams this season.  You can also see that only 3 of UK’s opponents have RPI’s over 200 (including Indiana), which Gillispie had a habit of scheduling 5 or 6 a year.  All I am saying is when one of our rival fans comes at you about a weak UK schedule, tell them BTI says “shove it” and then kick them in shins or another appropriate area.

Article written by Bryan the Intern