No 'bottom feeders' boosts UT's RPI to No. 2

Tennessee crept up a couple of notches in the new men's basketball rankings that came out Monday.

The Vols are up two spots to No. 11 in the Associated Press poll and up four to No. 13 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll.

In the only college basketball ranking that matters, however, Tennessee doesn't have much room to climb.

The Vols are No. 2 in the RPI power ranking, according to collegerpi.com and several other publications on Monday.

The RPI (rating percentage index) is one of the components used for selection and seeding for the NCAA tournament in March.

Georgetown is No. 1, followed by the Vols, Ohio State, Duke and Connecticut.

"It's a compliment to the teams we've played against,'' UT coach Bruce Pearl said Monday.

"Look at Belmont, they've only lost at Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Missouri State has only lost at Tulsa and Tennessee.

"VCU beat Wake Forest and UCLA. Villanova only lost to us.''

UT's next game - Saturday at No. 3 Pittsburgh - will only enhance Tennessee's stature. UT's schedule is ranked fourth nationally.

The Vols meet the Panthers at 3:15 p.m. at the Consol Energy Center as the second half of a Big East/SEC Invitational double-header.

Auburn and Rutgers play at 12:30.

After Pitt, the Vols are back home to play Oakland University one week from today. Oakland is a respectable 105 in the RPI.

"Who's Oakland? People think of the Oakland Raiders,'' Pearl said. "Well Oakland was in the NCAA tournament last year.

"That's the other thing, we don't have any bottom feeders, teams in the 300s.

"We do look to try to play people who play people.''

Oakland has already played West Virginia and Purdue and will take on Illinois and Michigan State prior to coming to Knoxville.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive has admonished his schools to beef up their basketball schedules.

Florida (12), Kentucky (14), Vanderbilt (23), Ole Miss (47) and Georgia (58) are in the top 100.

The others are South Carolina (122), LSU (165), Mississippi State (207), Arkansas (236), Alabama (308) and Auburn (321).

Harris Honored: Tobias Harris was named SEC freshman of the week for the second time this season.

Harris scored a career-high 21 points in UT's only game last week, an 86-56 win over Middle Tennessee.

Practice: Pearl was pleased with Monday morning's practice, which included a fair amount of conditioning. Things will get more physical today.

Raymonds Dies: Former Marquette coach Hank Raymonds died Monday at 85. Raymonds' final game as coach was a 57-56 NCAA tournament loss to UT in 1983.

As Marquette's athletic director, Raymonds agreed for Marquette to be the opening-night foe when Tennessee unveiled Thompson-Boling Arena in 1987. The Vols won 82-56.

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Comments » 28

UTByrd writes:

Beat the best...as well as all the rest!
Go VOLS!!!!!

jerseydevilvol writes:

Off topic but for those of you that care, JayVaughn Pinkston The forward that Pearl and Jay Wright went head to head to get was suspended for the year for nova.

Two counts misdemeanor assault and harrassment. So maybe it was a good thing that we didnt land him due to character issues. We dont need anymore of those. Tough loss for nova though.

RoadTrip writes:

The Pitt game will tell us where we are and what we have to work on for the SEC. Top ranked team on their home court - good stuff to test the heart of the team.

lomas98 writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

The Pitt game will tell us where we are and what we have to work on for the SEC. Top ranked team on their home court - good stuff to test the heart of the team.

I believe this game is technically a neutral court and not a true road game at Pitt's gym. It is part of a double header and being played at the new Pittsburgh Penguins arena. I believe Pitt has a smaller, louder, arena on campus. Unless this is their first year in this new arena??? That being said, playing Pitt in Thompson Boling will be a tough matchup. I have respected Pitt for a number of years and thought they should have been in some final fours. THey are a great program and glad TN took the challenge. KY or FL would have been the only other teams in the SEC to take them on. The rest of the league is horrible at out of conference scheduling although SC, GA, Vandy have all stepped up this year.

VolunteerLifer writes:

So, we have a tougher schedule than Kentucky? Wow. C'mon Calipari. I thought you were the top program in the league.

Ironcity writes:

in response to lomas98:

I believe this game is technically a neutral court and not a true road game at Pitt's gym. It is part of a double header and being played at the new Pittsburgh Penguins arena. I believe Pitt has a smaller, louder, arena on campus. Unless this is their first year in this new arena??? That being said, playing Pitt in Thompson Boling will be a tough matchup. I have respected Pitt for a number of years and thought they should have been in some final fours. THey are a great program and glad TN took the challenge. KY or FL would have been the only other teams in the SEC to take them on. The rest of the league is horrible at out of conference scheduling although SC, GA, Vandy have all stepped up this year.

Pitt and UT play very similar right now. Hard nosed physical defense. This a neutral court though I think Pitt played a game their earlier this year. This will be a great test.

One good thing is Pitt usually doesn't try to press so UT should have no problem getting into the half court but if we make those silly turnovers that we have been prone to do, Pitt will finish those at the rim. Being born and raised in Pittsburgh I am really looking forward to this game.

Strap writes:

You can't tell by reading the article, but the listing of the SEC schools shows their RPI ranking not their strength of schedule.

gnm53108 writes:

Mike Slive has admonished his schools to beef up their basketball schedules....Alabama (308) and Auburn (321).

Get em Mike.

crappieking writes:

in response to WEAREBETTERTHANVANDY:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Attention!!! Dshbag TROLL Alert!!

RockyTop1_old writes:

GBO...right way to schedule!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Pitt and UT play very similar right now. Hard nosed physical defense. This a neutral court though I think Pitt played a game their earlier this year. This will be a great test.

One good thing is Pitt usually doesn't try to press so UT should have no problem getting into the half court but if we make those silly turnovers that we have been prone to do, Pitt will finish those at the rim. Being born and raised in Pittsburgh I am really looking forward to this game.

Agree completely about the "silly turnovers"! In addition to Scotty getting stripped entirely too often by phantom defenders, Golden and even Goins too often seem to just "oomph" the ball in the general direction of team-mates who aren't even looking for the ball, no matter how many defenders are in the way. That is just NOT the way top-level teams do it, and they had better get over that PDQ if the team is to reach its true potential.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to WEAREBETTERTHANVANDY:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ha. Ha. Silly troll!

pj_ladyvolnMI writes:

in response to Strap:

You can't tell by reading the article, but the listing of the SEC schools shows their RPI ranking not their strength of schedule.

Thanks for pointing that out. I was assuming it was their SOS from the flow of the article. Here are the SEC RPI ranking/SOS according to realtimerpi.com.

UT - 2/4
UF - 12/2
UK - 14/10
VU - 23/58
UM - 47/25
UG - 57/76
LSU - 165/230
MSU - 206/296
UArk - 236/337
UAla - 308/329
AubU - 317/255

Go Vols!!

murrayvol writes:

in response to gnm53108:

Mike Slive has admonished his schools to beef up their basketball schedules....Alabama (308) and Auburn (321).

Get em Mike.

Neither program really gives a rip about roundball.

Bama had an uptick with Newton and Sanderson for awhile but Aubie has been middlin' for a long time.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

What pll was this? BS what???
anyhow makes us look good....I like us playing top teams especiall winning against the best... We WANT PITT. GBO! Go Vols. Go UT. Go Tennessee. Go Pearl!, Go Harris and young men(I said gang first but was afraid of trolls).

mocsandvolsfan writes:

poll what poll not "pll"

HarryHood writes:

Someone needs to repost this story on the Commercial Appeal's GoMemphisTigers.com; if I hear one more Memphis fan claim UofM has a tougher schedule I might snap...

pj_ladyvolnMI writes:

in response to HarryHood:

Someone needs to repost this story on the Commercial Appeal's GoMemphisTigers.com; if I hear one more Memphis fan claim UofM has a tougher schedule I might snap...

Good idea! Tiger High is ranked 48th with a SOS of 216!! Seriously. (Thus their low ranking in the RPI.)

MusicCityVol writes:

I'll be tweeting live from Pitt this Saturday if you care to follow

Twitter:
@CheckerbChatter

volsunited writes:

cool article mostly about tobias harris on si

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010...

JDL211 writes:

I was curious about this collegerpi.com thing so I took a look. North Carolina State is ranked 18th after losing 3 of their last 4. One of them was to Wisconsin by 40, which is ranked 44th. North Carolina is 5-3 and ranked 26th, ahead of 8-1 Illinois (32nd), which dominated Carolina in the ACC - Big Challenge within the past week. The Tar Heels did beat Lipscomb by 14 at home, so they have that going for them. Florida is 12th after getting crushed by Ohio State at home. But it seems to make a lot of people here happy that Belmont and Middle Tennesse are not bottom feeding, so knock yourself out.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to volsunited:

cool article mostly about tobias harris on si

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010...

Very good article. Thanks for the link.

mytrifecta writes:

I love what I'm seeing from this team so far. Great individual play and if they can find a little more chemistry they will go far. Can't wait for Saturday's game.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

Very good article. Thanks for the link.

Awesome read.

DC_Vol writes:

"SEC commissioner Mike Slive has admonished his schools to beef up their basketball schedules".

Hey Mike Slive when are you going to admonish Florida and Meyer for continuously caking their out of conference football schedule ever since Meyer became the head coach of Florida. Every year Meyer and the AD get together to figure out the next two patsy, usually Division Two apponents, to begin the season. Then Meyer and the Florida AD select another patsy in the middle of the year. Everyone knows it and this has been going on for years.

jerseydevilvol writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Im about 40 mins from wildwood. I live in a small town named elmer. It's about ten mins from Vineland and about 30 mins from philly. Basically in the middle of wildwood and philly. Takes about the same time to get to both places

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to DC_Vol:

"SEC commissioner Mike Slive has admonished his schools to beef up their basketball schedules".

Hey Mike Slive when are you going to admonish Florida and Meyer for continuously caking their out of conference football schedule ever since Meyer became the head coach of Florida. Every year Meyer and the AD get together to figure out the next two patsy, usually Division Two apponents, to begin the season. Then Meyer and the Florida AD select another patsy in the middle of the year. Everyone knows it and this has been going on for years.

Slive will never win a consistency award will he?

gnm53108 writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Neither program really gives a rip about roundball.

Bama had an uptick with Newton and Sanderson for awhile but Aubie has been middlin' for a long time.

Thats true.

But it's no secret that Mike's "pets" are bama and fl. Not suprised they dont have to heed his word.

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