Falcons flying high on RPI

Nick Hurm and Nick Hurm

The Bowling Green men’s basketball team is ranked seventh in the country, at least according to the RPI.

The Falcons, who are off to the same 6-1 start as BG’s 1999-2000 Mid-American Conference Championship team, hold the highest ranking in the MAC. Ball State is ranked just behind the Falcons at eighth.

The six teams ahead of the Falcons include Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Massachusetts, Wake Forest and Missouri. The RPI is a mathematical formula that measures teams by strength of schedule, wins, margin of victory and where the game is played.

“It’s really unbelievable,” freshman guard Kris Wilson said. “We’ve really worked hard and to see us ranked up there with some of the top teams in the country is a great achievement.”

BG’s ranking is so high because the Falcons are beating programs with solid records who play solid opponents. Of the seven games that the Falcons have played, Michigan is the only Division I program whose RPI ranking has been lower than 70.

The Falcons could boost their RPI rating higher Monday with a win over UNC-Wilmington, which is ranked 70th according to the RPI. “Coach Dakich set up our schedule so we would play strong teams,” junior guard Corey Ryan said. “We definitely like the recognition, but we’re not going to worry about rankings and polls. We have to worry about our next opponent. If we keep winning, then everything will fall into place.”

Of the RPI top 10, BG joins Massachusetts and Georgia as the only teams not ranked in either the ESPN/USATODAY or AP Top 25 poll.

“We’re just going to keep working harder,” Wilson said. “Hopefully we can achieve our goals and make it into the NCAA Tournament.”

“This year we are all together,” Ryan said. “We have been using good teamwork and we are all on the same page.”