The RPI in college basketball determines a lot of who gets in the NCAA Tournament. It takes in to account your record, your opponents record, and your opponents opponents record...and some number pops out. Right now the top five in the RPI is Duke, Miami, New Mexico, Florida, and Kansas.
The writers have them at number 14. This shows me that there is an East Coast bias to the polls and whenever a team in the Mountain West gets beat they get punished more than a team in the Big Ten, Big East or ACC.
The RPI is also a system where you can win two games and go down. Last week Boise State beat both Air Force and Fresno State and now have a downward arrow next to its name in the list. If you play a team below you, you will lose ground even if you win. But it is much worse if you lose. Wednesday night's game with Nevada is one of those games. The Broncos are 47, while the WolfPack is 159. Must win.
The next three games are where Boise State can make some hay. Colorado State is 15, UNLV is 14 (and that is road game - so a win there results in bonus points), and San Diego State is 32. Boise State will probably climb even with losses...but wins can maybe get them in to the upper 30s.
There are 68 bids to the NCAA Tournament. Thirty are for automatic conference winners. Of those 30, 19 look to be one bid leagues...leaving 11 conferences with multiple bids. The key for any team in the Broncos position is to see teams win conference tournaments that would be qualifying any way. For example, don't let Vanderbilt win the SEC. They won't be getting in without it. Cinderellas are bad for teams like Boise State.
To have a legitimate chance, the Broncos will probably have to get in to the 30s to get in.
The team is playing much better with everyone back. The defense has improved a lot over that last three or four games. With three out of four at home, Bronco Nation can help the team a lot. They are 11-1 at home and picking off a Colorado State or San Diego State or both would be huge. Every game is big starting Wednesday against Nevada.