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This week in the RMAC

December 3rd, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

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As all of the teams have completed their early season non-conference schedules and get ready for RMAC play this weekend, 3 teams remain undefeated and the RMAC has 2 teams ranked nationally with 3 others garnering votes in the polls. There are 2 major polls in NCAA DII ranks, the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the Media Poll.

In the Media poll, Metro State is ranked #6 this week, dropping from #3 in last week’s poll. No other RMAC teams are ranked but UC Colorado Springs is the first team out with 34 points and Mines is receiving votes. In the South Central Region poll, Metro and Tarleton State are tied atop the rankings with Mines and Springs tied at #4, Mesa and Ft. Lewis tied at #8 and Pueblo tied with UT Permian Basin at #10. Those rankings are huge for post season berths.

In the coach’s poll, UCCS is ranked #8, moving up from #9, just one spot ahead of Metro State who fell from #3. Mines is also the first team out in that poll but Ft. Lewis and Mesa are also receiving votes in the poll.

There are 3 teams remaining undefeated after the ‘pre-season’ non-conference schedule of play concludes: Adams State (3-0), Colorado Mines (4-0), and UC Colorado Springs (6-0). Likewise three teams have 1 loss; Ft. Lewis, Metro State, and Colorado Mesa are all 5-1. Pueblo is 5-2 followed by Christian at 3-3 with everyone else having records below .500. The 2 New Mexico schools are the only winless teams in the RMAC at this stage.

Looking at the unbeaten teams, Adams State is likely the biggest pretender as they played a very weak schedule highlighted by a 40 point win over Northern NM; not to mention all of their games have been at home.

Colorado Mines had a bit tougher schedule that included a home win over DI UC San Diego and a road win at former RMAC foe UN-Kearney. But they also got a close home win over Mid-America Nazarene, which is not quite as impressive. Again, 3 of their 4 wins are at home.

UC Colorado Springs has also played more games at home than not and their 6-0 record has some dominating wins over lesser schools. Their wins include Northern NM, Johnson & Wales, Colorado College along with a neutral site win over AK-Ft. Smith in OT. They are doing what good teams do to lesser competition.

Metro State has played some of the same teams as Springs and beat Ft. Smith by 13. What’s interesting about Metro is they haven’t beaten some of the lesser teams, such as Langston College by as much as other RMAC schools have beaten them; their win over Langston was only 8 points. Their one loss comes to Florida Southern, at FSU, by 5 points. FSU is ranked in the top 5 in this week’s polls.

Ft. Lewis is a bit of conundrum; their one loss came to UC San Diego by 13 on a neutral floor. Bu they have a solid home win over ranked UT-Permian Basin and a 30 point win over Eastern New Mexico. They only beat Northern NM by 13, 105-92. It looks like FLC is going to play like Loyola Marymount-all offense and no defense.

Mesa has probably played a bit tougher schedule than most of the other RMAC teams with winning records and they have some impressive wins, including at home over then #15 Angelo State and a road win against Dallas Baptist. But they only beat Colorado College by 1; Northern NM by 2 and they lost to a good St. Edward’s team on the road by 13. Four of their six games have been away from home. The jury is still out on them.

The schedules for the barely above .500 or those that are below .500 is scattered with some really good teams. I’d say those teams have played a bit tougher schedule than most of the teams with winning records. Not by a lot, but still a bit tougher.

Opening play in the RMAC this weekend will feature some potentially interesting games. Adams State will have to hit the road as they take on CSU-Pueblo. While Pueblo is 3-2 and ASU is 3-0, it will be the first road game of the regular season for ASU and their first real test. Ft. Lewis will also leave the friendly confines of Durango as they take on UC-Colorado Springs in easily the biggest game on Friday night.

Saturday night will feature Ft. Lewis taking on Pueblo and Adams at UCCS. I would expect both Pueblo and Springs to come out 2-0 after weekend play although it would not be a big surprise to see FLC take Pueblo down on Saturday. Adams will drop both games on the road but will probably give Pueblo a tougher game on Friday than their Saturday contest at Springs.

Most of the other games being played this weekend feature top tier teams going against lesser teams in the standings. It will be interesting to see how Christian and Mines take to the road into NM this weekend. I think for Mines, playing in Silver City first is best for them as they really don’t do well at Silver City to begin with but especially when it’s the second game of their road trip. Christian will always play tough both nights and Highlands hasn’t played at home yet this season so watch for Christian to go O-fer on the weekend. Mines won’t trip up and will come out of the tough road trip unscathed.

Metro and Regis have just one game, against each other. Easy opening weekend for Metro. Mesa and Western State make the Chadron/Black Hills swing. Mesa will open at Chadron which is probably best for them as BHSU us the weaker of the two teams. Western State will drop both games and Mesa should come away with 2 wins but again, they haven’t played well against lesser teams and their 3 players wearing striped jerseys don’t travel with them, so anything is possible. It’d be nice to see them drop two on opening weekend.

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