UTEP Men’s Basketball Team Ranked 74 In RPI
The UTEP men's basketball team has been rolling in Conference USA. The team is on an eight-game winning streak, including a 4-0 start conference road wins for the first time since 1956. The Miners (18-6, 8-1 C-USA) have also seen their Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) jump up to 74, according to CBS.com's Jerry Palm. With two home games this week against Florida Atlantic and Florida International, they have an excellent chance of winning 20 games by this time next week.
As great at Tim Floyd's team is playing, do not expect UTEP to receive an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. It is clear that C-USA is a one-bid league this season, with the conference's RPI ranked 13th best in the nation. To put this into perspective, the Mid American, Missouri Valley, Mountain West, and West Coast Conference are all ranked ahead of C-USA. Since Southern Miss (34) and Louisiana Tech (72) are the only schools ahead of UTEP, it is hard for the Miners to move up in RPI when they feast off of teams with a high RPI, like Old Dominion (173) and East Carolina (201). Still, this should take nothing away from the job the team and coaching staff have done over the last six weeks this season. It is nothing just of amazing. It just confirms the belief that many of us have held since the season began: UTEP will need to win the C-USA Tournament next month to punch their ticket to the Big Dance.