Monday, April 6, 2015

Aztecs, Bulldogs both in the 30s of the latest RPI

For the first time since the 2010 season, the Mountain West has a pair of teams ranked in the top 40 of the Ratings Percentage Index (see full list). 

In the latest RPI release out Monday morning, San Diego State and Fresno State are neck-and-neck at Nos. 36 and 39, respectively.  The Bulldogs took two of three games from the Aztecs on the road in San Diego last weekend to win that key series.

Last week, SDSU was No. 35, so losing to the Bulldogs twice ended up costing the Aztecs just one spot in the rankings.  Fresno State had been flirting with the top 40 in each of the past two RPI releases, coming in at Nos. 42 and 43 before climbing four spots to the No. 39 position this week.

The last time the Mountain West had two teams in the RPI top 40 was 2010.  (See the 2010 RPI)  That year, San Diego State was 28, while former member BYU was 31.  Both teams reached the NCAA Tournament.  Fresno State, then a member of the Western Athletic Conference, received an at-large NCAA berth that season with an RPI of 41.

The Aztecs have been in the 30s all three weeks of this season's RPI, but have fallen slightly each week, going from 30 to 35 to 36.  The Bulldogs find themselves in the 30s of the RPI for the first time since the 2011 season, the last year of a national-record, 30-year string of NCAA Tournament bids.

San Jose State is 59th this week in the RPI and has hardly fluctuated in the three weeks the RPI has been released this year.  The Spartans have been 59th, 58th and now 59th again this season.

UNLV, which held at 67 the past two weeks, fell to 78, despite winning two of three at Utah State.  Colorado State, up 15 spots to 106, made the biggest rise in the conference this week after winning two of three at San Jose State.  The Rams are at a season-high.  Also reaching a season peak is New Mexico.  The Lobos are up four to 135 after taking two of three from Nevada last weekend.

Utah State (198), Nevada (203) and Boise State (219) round out the RPIs for Mountain West teams.