Photo: Courtesy of USA Today. Stephen F. Austin shocks #1 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium last week
Every season we see it – the big upset. #1 Duke upset by Stephen F. Austin, Kentucky falls to Evansville, and the University of Kansas taken into overtime by Dayton. But the reality is that most of the games are essentially predetermined before the tip-off. This is especially true if you are a lower mid-major program, like DU, taking on a Power-5 program or playing a ‘near Power 5’ program from the Big East, Atlantic 10, or American Conference.
So, how is the Summit League doing against Power-5 programs in the first half of this season’s non-conference schedule?
|Power Team||Score||Summit League||Score||Diff|
*Gonzaga is a ‘de facto’ Power-5 program
With only one win in ten tries, the Summit League has struggled against Power-5 programs in the first half of the non-conference schedule. And, when looking at Conference Rankings by RPI, the Summit League is ranked 31st out of 32 conferences, leading only the WAC at #32. The top conferences in order are BIG 12, SEC, ACC, Big EAST, Atlantic 10, PC 12 and American. So, in hoops, some conferences and teams are showing that it is possible for ‘non-power’ conferences and teams to mix it up in non-conference contests. But, despite the headline grabbing upsets, for most smaller conferences and mid-major teams these wins are extremely rare.
So, how is the Summit League doing against ‘near power’ opponents – teams from conferences that are ranked among the better non-Power-5 conferences?
|Near Power||Score||Summit League||Score||Diff|
Of the nine Summit League games against ‘near power’ programs, the Summit League is 0-8.
This season, Denver men’s basketball, 2-4, has dropped games to Colorado State (Mountain West), Utah State (Mountain West), UC Riverside (Big West) and Santa Clara (WCC). Wins came against Utah Valley (WAC) and Western State (RMAC).
Denver (2-4) is about to start the second half of their non-conference schedule today with eight games remaining before conference play. They play their second game at the Cable Car Classic today at 5:15 pm MT against Cal State Fullerton and finish with Missouri State on Saturday. Their next home game at Magness Arena is December 3rd against Jackson State. Their only Power-5 scheduled contest is December 8th against UCLA at Pauley Pavilion.