With Bill Schweizer and Bill Mecca appearing on Teeing It Up this week we had 0 time for Luke Mauro’s weekly segment on the air. Here it is:
My fluke this week comes out of college basketball and the Missouri Conference Valley. That’s right, the MVC and their first place team, Northern Iowa. The Panthers are, some how, ranked 22nd in the country, but will most likely drop out of next week’s rankings. Granted, NIU is 24-4 on the year, and 14-3 in the MVC, but it’s a wonder how they cracked the top 25 when their biggest win was at home against (13-13) Boston College. Meanwhile, they lost at home to (8-18) Depaul, the last place team of the Big East, a conference that has many bubble teams and a few that deserve the ranking more than NIU. The Panthers just suffered a lost at the hands of (8-20) Evansville, who is in last place in a weak MVC conference with a 2-15 conference record. This lost, as well as others to Wichita State and Bradley, will most likely knock them out of the rankings. However, it’s a fluke that they’ve even been ranked for this long. Imagine Northern Iowa being a five or six seed in the tournament while other teams, like UConn and Louisville, may have to settle for the NIT. I’m all for small conferences being represented and getting a fair shot, but it’s odd to see NIU at number 22 while Virginia Tech (21-5), 8-4 in a good ACC conference, is on the outside looking in like many other talented teams. In my mind, NIU being ranked as high as 22 is a real fluke and they should consider themselves lucky.