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|Welcome to TSLMail #118 - Friday, February 27, 2004||
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Hokie Fans: Thanks for the Support of Advance Auto Parts
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com
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After last week's look at our comparison of RPI ratings for the Big East and the ACC, a reader requested that we look at the same data for the women. Our wish is your command.
The results are at least as interesting as they were with the men. On the men's side, there was no denying that ACC expansion was watering down the basketball league, but on the women's side, the opposite is true: expansion will strengthen the women's side.
This time around, I used CollegeRPI.com (instead of RPIratings.com), mainly because the information is current through last night's games.
Overall, CollegeRPI.com ranks the ACC as the 3rd best conference and the Big East as the 5th best conference, but when you start to drill down into the numbers, there is no doubt -- none -- that the Big East is the superior conference at the top. But much like the men's side, the BE's RPI rating gets dragged down by a handful of horribly-rated teams at the bottom.
Again, I don't think there's any question that the BE is stronger at the top. The BE has seven teams in the top 30 of the RPI, whereas the ACC only has three in the top 50.
(And remember, those BE teams have to play RPI lightweights St. John's, Syracuse, Pitt, and Providence, which drags down their RPI ratings.)
Let's play the same game we played with the men's side last week, and scrape off the five worst teams in the BE, and treat the teams as two nine-team leagues. The Big East's average RPI is 32.2, much better than the ACC's 52.2.
If you take all 14 BE teams, their average RPI drops to 81.4. Yikes. So the BE as a whole lags behind the ACC by 29.2.
Now, let's move BC (17), Miami (28), and VT (29) over to the ACC. Several things happen:
So while expansion is bad for the men's side of things from the ACC's standpoint, it strengthens the women's side significantly, giving them more teams in the 10-to-50 range and increasing quality in the middle of the league.
For Virginia Tech, the competition within the league, and the prospect of winning the league, won't change much from what it is in the Big East. Duke is to the ACC as Connecticut is to the Big East, though the Blue Devils aren't as formidable as the Huskies from year to year and can't boast the national championships that Connecticut has won recently (four in the last nine years).
So the Hokies will still have that mountain to climb at the top of the conference, that one great team that is difficult to beat, though Duke is a notch below UConn (who isn't?).
Beyond Duke, there's a handful of tough opponents that VT can beat on any given night, but which can also beat VT: BC, UNC, and Miami, if you go on this year's RPI ratings.
But below that, there are a number of solid teams against which VT should generally be successful: Maryland (VT beat them this year), GT (the Hokies beat them in last year's NCAAs), Virginia (the home team typically wins that one), and Clemson, NC State, and FSU.
What the Hokies won't get is the nearly-guaranteed wins offered by St. John's, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Providence, against which the Hokies are 15-2 since joining the Big East. (For the record, VT is only 6-5 against Miami and BC, so they're taking two of their tougher BE opponents into the ACC with them).
All Virginia Tech alumni and fans are cordially invited to the 19th annual HOKIE CELEBRATION on Saturday, Feb. 28th in the Bowman Stadium Club at Cassell Coliseum. The Blacksburg Hokie Club serves as the hosts of the event, which is held in conjunction with Virginia Tech's home basketball games.
The men's basketball team will face BIG EAST rival West Virginia at noon and the women's basketball team will face BIG EAST rival Pittsburgh at 2:30 p.m.
Festivities will get underway at 10 a.m. and continue until approximately 6 p.m. following the women's basketball game. There will also be a canned food drive by the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and all donations will be distributed to local food banks. You may bring your canned food donations to any of the game entrances in Cassell Coliseum.
All proceeds from the Hokie Celebration benefit athletic scholarships and facilities. Last year's event netted more than $14,000 in scholarship funds.
Special guests at the HOKIE CELEBRATION will include Tech administrative and athletic officials. There will be representatives from the men's basketball team and women's basketball team following their games.
The game with West Virginia has sold out, however, there are game tickets available for the Tech women's game vs. Pittsburgh. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Virginia Tech Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-VA-TECH-4.
Admission to the HOKIE CELEBRATION is $5 per adult and $1 per
child 6 and under. There will be delicious food and a cash bar available. For more information, contact Terry Bolt,
Virginia Tech Athletic Fund at 540-231-6618.
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|TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week|
Grinding Towards the Garden
Rookie Diary #2: Busy Weekend at the Combine for Adibi
Hokies Miss Chance to Surprise BC, Fall 56-48
Turn Out the "Vick" and Put the "Beamer" Back in Beamerball
Better Seats for the Better Fans
A Gym Rat's Notebook #7: On or Off Broadway?
Hokie Hotline Notes for February 23, 2004
Recruiting Profile: George Bell
Randall's Putback Downs St. John's, 54-53
Hokie Women Smash Providence, 77-56
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