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Rankings and RPIs

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That time of the year. Time to start checking our rankings and RPIs on a weekly basis.  We inched up 1 spot on both polls. We are no. 12 in ESPN and no. 13 in AP. Not so bad. Sportsline's Doyel has us as a no. 2 seed and ESPN's Joe Lunardi has us as a no. 4 seed playing in the "Atlanta Region" in San Diego. Our RPI numbers look good:

*no. 12 per Warren Nolan,
*no. 10 per Ken Pomroy, and
*no. 12 per Mike Greenfield

So far so good. Now we are entering the most brutal stretch in our season schedule playing 5 of our last 7 regular season games on the road. If we can split our Bay Area/Washington trips, and hold serve in Southern California, I think we can lock up first Pac-10 title since 1996-97, Lavin's first season as a "head coach" of this basketball program. Damn from now waiting till Thursday game is going to be excruciating. Such a different feeling from Lavin days (or like Dorrell football) when we used to dread every single game with a pit in our stomach, but now we have all out hoops fever - not being able to wait till next game.

By the way, the guy who is making this happen, methodically restoring this once proud program is starting to get national attention. Seth Davis mentions Coach Howland as one of his top candidates for National COY:

Ben Howland, UCLA. No highly ranked team has been more decimated by injuries than the Bruins, yet Howland has done more than just keep this team together. He has it in first place in the Pac-10 and has a legit chance to make the Sweet 16. If you saw the Bruins erase that huge deficit against West Virginia a couple weeks ago before falling short, you know that few coaches teach mental toughness better than Howland does.
Not bad for a Dukee. However, I would put Coach Howland ahead of coaches like Greg McDermott (Northern Iowa WTF?), Billy Donovan, and Bruce Pearl.  Anyways... it still too early to get all fired up over this stuff. We need to think about avenging our loss to Washington this Thursday night. We will have more on Washington schools later this week - unless of course you want to chime in. If you are looking for a cheat sheet on our next 5 oppos. check out the Mid Majority Report. March Madness - this is the best time of the year. It's nice to be excited and all fired up over hoops after those dreadful years under Lavin and the annual underachievement in football. Thank God for Howland. BRUINS.