Yes, the football championship is on the horizon, but let us not forget out hardwood brethren who've been slogging through Thanksgiving weekend at curious tournaments and venues. To catch up on what we've missed in turkey-related comas, here's our men's basketball rankings through today.
|1.||Ohio||5-0||RPI: 84||KenPom: 23||BBState: 8|
|Over the week they remained perfect with a 75-67 win over Hampton and a 73-48 destruction of Richmond. There are no surprises thus far; everybody is playing their roles to near-perfection and the record reflects that. They still have a handful of AP Poll votes but will need to double that record before getting profound top 25 consideration.
Next game: Wednesday vs. St. Bonaventure
|2.||Western Michigan||4-1||RPI: 106||KenPom: 197||BBState: 81|
|They haven't played since that win at South Florida, so not much has changed other than to reaffirm the impressive start by freshman Darius Paul.
Next game: Thursday vs. High Point
|3.||Kent State||4-2||RPI: 143||KenPom: 151||BBState: 150|
|Bethune-Cookman would've been a weird loss but they escaped with the win in the final seconds. But going to Nebraska and winning 74-60, handing this Big Ten team their first loss, was a whole another statement. The team has a slightly different dynamic than previous years: Chris Evans is emerging as "the guy," given that in six games he's led the team in points four times and rebounds five times. Next game: Wednesday at Youngstown State|
|4.||Akron||3-2||RPI: 115||KenPom: 55||BBState: 173|
|Going on a limb here because those first two losses are on the hands of the compliance department. The Penn State and Asheville wins — and it's a two-game sample size — is all we have to go on at this point.
Next game: Sunday vs. Middle Tennessee
|5.||Eastern Michigan||5-1||RPI: 112||KenPom: 264||BBState: 79|
|The record looks good, but ... but ... why were they up three points on Madonna at halftime? Nevertheless, the new transfers that didn't get kicked out for felony assault are doing quite well: Daylen Harrison and Glenn Bryant's contributions to the team are being realized. Champions are not determined in November but right now the EMU-WMU games are looking mighty fine.
Next game: Monday at Syracuse
|6.||Miami (OH)||3-2||RPI: 90||KenPom: 232||BBState: 169|
|After failing to scrape 40 points from Louisville, the RedHawks did some Colonial hunting with blowouts of William & Mary and James Madison. Count them as yet another surprising team playing well and getting a good balance from their starting five. Next game: Saturday at Fort Wayne|
|7.||Central Michigan||3-2||RPI: 88||KenPom: 310||BBState: 129|
|They were railed at Utah but played a close 54-52 victory against Idaho State. We thought this young team was going to be fun and gun? And yet that win came with just 54 possessions. So maybe the key to their victory is more of a halfcourt game after all.
Next game: Wednesday vs. Bradley
|8.||Ball State||2-2||RPI: 204||KenPom: 268||BBState: 166|
|They lost 101-53 to Indiana, as would make sense. The nice story thus far has been South Sudanese-Australian juco transfer Majok Majok and his 15 points/nine rebounds a game. Yet another reason I think I'll stop trying to guess who the best player on each team will be; for teams finding their way, it's usually someone unexpected.
Next game: Wednesday vs. Cleveland State
|9.||Toledo||1-4||RPI: 289||KenPom: 187||BBState: 282|
|The road woes got more woeful with a 72-66 loss to Florida Gulf-Coast, but it was played Thanksgiving night, and that's just strange. Rian Pearson and Juice Brown continue to be the go-to tandem, but if they're going to play the role of division champion-cum-APR pariah, they'll need more contributions from the others.
Next game: Wednesday vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
|10.||Bowling Green||2-3||RPI: 345||KenPom: 208||BBState: 258|
|Two wins, both against non Division I teams. It's tough to say that it's completely unexpected, but other than the overtime loss to Cleveland State the other two games were underwhelming, to say the least. With five straight home games, endcapped with a trip by Michigan State, they should return to a better record.
Next game: Tuesday vs. Detroit
|11.||Buffalo||2-5||RPI: 294||KenPom: 176||BBState: 284|
|They added a blowout win against Division II Mansfield University. The good news is that Javon McCrea is being his habitually awesome self. The bad news is: this really looks like a team that misses Mitchell Watt. Turnovers and an inability to score has been the theme thus far.
Next game: Wednesday vs. Temple
|12.||Northern Illinois||1-3||RPI: 333||KenPom: 323||BBState: 323|
|Hard to say where this team is at given they've played but four games, three against D1 stock. They fell to Loyola (IL) 52-46 after an ugly 16-15 halftime deficit. And as far as we know, Abdel Nader continues to not exist.
Next game: Tuesday vs. UIC