Missouri State, no stranger to weak non-conference basketball scheduling, has outdone themselves this time with the addition of Avila.
Missouri State’s non-conference basketball schedule includes a regular season game against Avila, from Kansas City. The spin doctors were hard at work explaining this atrocity. Apparently, those gullible enough to take this hook, line and sinker, are led in the direction, by way of tortured thinking, that this is preferable scheduling because, since Avila is a NAIA school, the game will not count in the RPI and, thus, will not dilute Missouri State’s non-conference RPI.
The Weak Sister Bogus Non-Conference Schedule Witch Hunt Patrol casts its Evil Eye upon you, Missouri State. It is enough to make the lovely ladies at the Little Sisters of the Poor blush.
For the moment, let us humor those aforesaid spin doctors and look at just what that non-conference schedule offers in the way of real RPI hardening competition. There is only one Power 5 conference team that Missouri State will definitely play. That is at Texas Tech. The only other Power 5 combatant is a possible tournament match-up with Washington State. Oy.
The best team on the non-conference schedule otherwise, and possibly overall, is Colorado State in the Great Alaska Shootout. The rest of the tournament match-ups could be Pacific, Alaska-Anchorage, Washington State, Mercer, UC-Santa Barbara and Rice. The rest of the non-conference games are Tulsa, which is pretty good, an Oral Roberts home and home, no less, Eastern Michigan, Eastern Illinois, Southeast Missouri State, and Arkansas-Little Rock. Well, you get the point. All those directionals and hyphenateds will get your head spinning, doctor.
That non-conference schedule is not a resume builder for the NCAA Tournament. There is nary a quality win there, in the sense of the phrase as it pertains to the NCAA Tourney, that would get you to the Big Dance short of possibly a fantastic season by CSU. It is an axiom of physics that water cannot be watered down by water.
Then there is the annual Missouri State whining and crying over the fact that major-majors won’t come to Springfield to play the Bears. The Ozarks basketball sages nod in agreement at the yearly pronouncement that the major-majors are scared.
News Flash to Missouri State: That non-conference schedule cannot be further diluted. If you want a non-conference tournament resume, you have to go to the major-majors and play them at their place. And win. And, oh yeah, stop crying all the time. Somehow this smacks of desperation.
Missouri State better hope the Missouri Valley is extremely tough this year. Better yet, they better win the Missouri Valley Tournament. The non-conference schedule is not going to get them anywhere near March Madness.