If you have paid any attention to College Basketball over the past couple of weeks, you would know that the bubble has been pretty bad over that time with so many teams taking bad losses. This fact has made the bubble look like a revolving door of bad teams, as these teams are jostling for positions in the last four in and the first four or five teams out. With this recent trend, it has opened up opportunities for teams like the Rhode Island Rams to emerge as a clear NCAA Tournament team, by way of taking care of business in league play.
Looking at the Rams resume, there isn’t a ton to like or dislike at this point in time. They have lost five games, but three of those games have been against quadrant 1A opponents, with the other two losses coming at home against Richmond, and at Brown (insert: Not great Bob gif). They do back that loss at Brown up with a quadrant 1A win at VCU, which is the Rams lone quadrant 1 win but is obviously really good. Rhode Island also has three quadrant 2 wins, with their most notable win out of that group being a home game against Alabama.
The Rams NET ranking is 45, which is decent at this point in time and will probably improve as they look to continue to win games. Overall, this resume isn’t going to stand out at this moment in time but I do think given the current state of the bubble, would be good enough to get the Rams into the NCAA Tournament.
Moving forward though, the Rams have some great opportunities to improve upon that resume as well. First off, tonight they will play VCU, which is an opportunity to add what could be either a quadrant 1 or quadrant 2 win onto the resume. Rhode Island also will play Dayton twice, giving themselves two opportunities to beat a current Top-5 team in the NET. A win against Dayton would obviously provide that second quadrant 1A win and would only add to what should be a pretty good resume. The Rams will have a couple of minefield games in Atlantic 10 play but if they avoid taking one of those losses that would just add to their resume.
Rhode Island right now is playing as good as any team in the Atlantic 10, so picking up a win or two against the VCU and Rhode Island duo would not be surprising given their recent seven-game win streak, as well of the play of Fatts Russell, Jeff Dowtin, Tyrese Martin, and Cyril Langevine. The path is clear, pick up a win either tonight against VCU or against Dayton, while continuing to avoid taking losses to the landmine teams in the Atlantic 10. If the Rams do that, they will be dancing for the first time under Head Coach David Cox.