Does anyone here remember the RPI rankings of Ohio and NMSU the last time the Aggies got a TV BracketBuster game? From what I hear, it carries a lot of weight when making the pairings so here are four possibilities in no particular order with RPI rankings in parenthesis according to RealTimeRPI.com
NMSU moved up to an 82 with a 97 Strength of Schedule.
Pacific (95) SOS Rank 198 (14-6, 7-1 Big West)
Record against NMSU: Aggies 29-8 (NMSU won last meeting 76-74 in 2006)
Key Games: 11/25 a 71-63 home loss to San Diego State (36); 12/8 a 61-58 win at home vs. Nevada (65); 12/8 a 80-65 loss at St. Mary's (35); 1/10 a 68-67 loss at UC Santa Barbara (175)
Katz thinks this game makes sense and regionally it's closer than other games if that is a factor for ESPN. I'm not a big fan of the Big West though this year while the WAC is having a good year in terms of RPI rankings. (NMSU (82), Utah State (53) La. Tech. (76), Nevada (65), San Jose State (128). Pacific is the only team in the Big West in the top 100. Long Beach State is at 125 and UCSB is 175 and then the rest of the league is 208 and higher.
Missouri St. (83) SOS Rank 132 (15-7, 5-6 Missouri Valley)
Record against NMSU: 1-0 Missouri St. (64-54 in 1950)
Key Games: 11/28 a 83-75 win vs. Tulsa (58); 1/3 a 84-76 loss to Northern Iowa (18); 1/6 a 65-62 loss vs. Wichita State (49); 1/19 a 99-92 win vs. Indiana State (87)/ a 55-54 loss vs. Northern Iowa (18)
Wouldn't it be cool to return to the MVC? The MVC's RPI rank is 9 while the WAC is ranked 10th
Iona (85) SOS Rank 167 (16-6, 8-3 Metro Atlantic Athletic)
Key Games: 11/29 a 63-55 win vs. Creighton (111); 12/7 a 73-60 loss vs. Siena (42); 12/12 a 82-73 win at Providence (98); 1/4 a 77-65 loss at Canisius (189)
Iona has won its last seven games but the MAAC is ranked 15th
Murray State (90) SOS Rank 313 (18-3, 11-0 Ohio Valley)
Record against NMSU: 1-7 (Murray won 72-69 in 1964)
Key Games: 11/9 a 75-70 loss at Cal (21); 12/15 a 87-81 loss at La. Tech (76); 12/22 a 83-72 loss at West. Kentucky (153)
Could Murray be the best team on this list?
Murray State is blowing people out. They are ranked sixth nationally with an 18.4 margin of victory. They are second in field goal percentage at 51.2 percent and 23rd in FG defense (39 percent) and second behind Missouri with 11.3 steals per game.