Tuesday, January 17, 2012 | Women's Basketball
Women's Basketball Weekly Notebook (Jan. 17)

A total of six leagues, including the Valley, can boast at least 80-percent of its teams in the top half of the RPI (a rank of 171 or better).  The Valley's top eight teams have RPI rankings ranging from 51-154.  The other five leagues are the top-five rated RPI conferences, including the Big 12, Big East, SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12. 

The Valley is above one BCS league, the ACC, which has only nine of its 12 teams (.750) in the top half of the RPI.

AND THEN THERE WAS ONE
Wichita State won its eighth straight game and improved to 5-0 in MVC play following a tight 53-51 win over visiting Missouri State on Saturday.  The Shockers remain as the lone perfect team in the league standings, as Indiana State, which also entered Saturday’s game with a perfect 4-0 MVC record, suffered its first loss in league play at the hands of Bradley.

SECOND-BEST EVER SHOCKER RPI
Wichita State reached No. 67 in the latest NCAA RPI report, marking the second-highest RPI in Shockers history.  WSU was ranked No. 65 on Feb. 20, 2000, when the team posted a 20-win season and finished second in the MVC with a 14-4 conference record.

BEST STARTS IN THE MVC?
Below is a look at the best league starts for current MVC members (includes each school's top performance only):

Team (Year) Loss Final Record
12-0 MSU (1995-96) at Illinois State 1st (16-2)
12-0 INS (2005-06) at Missouri State 1st (16-2)
10-0 DU (1997-98) Missouri State 1st (17-1)
9-0 ILS (2006-07) Evansville 2nd (13-5)
8-0 CU (1993-94) at Missouri State 2nd (14-2)
6-0 UNI (2000-01) at Missouri State 3rd (12-6)
5-0 WSU (2011-12)
4-0 UE (1999-00) at Missouri State T-2nd (14-4)
4-0 BU (2008-09) at UNI 4th (11-7)
3-0 SIU (1993-94) Creighton T-3rd (9-7)

TV TREAT
The second Valley women’s basketball telecast of the season will hit the air on FSMidwest on Friday, Jan. 20 at 7:05 p.m. CT when Bradley heads to Cedar Falls, Iowa, to take on UNI.  Scott Warmann and Laura Leonard will have the story from the McLeod Center. 

HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
Since 2002, home teams have won at least 55 (.611) of the 90 league contests in all but two seasons (2003-04 and 2006-07).  The most wins by home teams in league play came in 2008 (61-29 at home in conference play).  The league was 57-33 (.633) at home in league play last year, and has compiled a 18-9 (.667) mark so far in 2011-12, including a perfect 5-0 slate on home last Saturday.

VALLEY HOME WINNING STREAKS
Illinois State currently holds the longest active home winning streak in Valley contests at 18, dating back to Jan. 21, 2010.  The Redbirds were a perfect 9-0 at home in league play last season, and have won their two home contests so far in 2011-12.  Illinois State will put its Valley home winning streak on the line this week when the Redbirds host Creighton and Drake.  Below is a look at the longest home Valley winning streaks of all-time (minimum of 10 consecutive wins):

Valley Home Winning Streaks
66 – Missouri St. (Mar. 3, 1989 – Jan. 20, 1997)
28 – Creighton (Feb. 2, 2001 – Feb. 13, 2004)
20 – Missouri State (Feb. 15, 2003 – Mar. 3, 2005)
20 – Illinois State (Jan. 30 1988 – Feb. 28, 1990)
20 – Illinois State (Feb. 4, 1985 – Jan. 1, 1988)
19 – Drake (Feb. 3, 1996 – Jan. 17, 1998)
18 – Illinois State (Jan. 21, 2010 – Present)
18 – Southern Illinois (Jan. 21, 1995 – Jan. 5, 1997)
15 – Missouri State (Feb. 18, 2000 – Jan. 31, 2002)
14 – Missouri State (Jan. 9, 1999 – Feb. 5, 2000)
12 – Wichita State (Feb. 25, 1999 – Jan. 18, 2001)

IN ELITE COMPANY
A total of six leagues, including the Valley, can boast at least 80-percent of its teams in the top half of the RPI (a rank of 171 or better). The Valley's top eight teams have RPI rankings ranging from 51-154.  The other five leagues are the top-five rated RPI conferences, including the Big 12, Big East, SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12. 

The Valley is above one BCS league, the ACC, which has only nine of its 12 teams (.750) in the top half of the RPI.

Below is a breakdown of those leagues with at least 80-percent in the RPI’s top half (RPI of 171 or better):

RPI, League, #of Teams with Top-Half RPI
2. Big East 16 of 16 (1.000)
5. Pac-12 12 of 12 (1.000)
1. Big 12 10 of 10 (1.000)
4. Big Ten 11 of 12 (.917)
3. SEC 11 of 12 (.917)
10. Valley 8 of 10 (.800)
6. ACC 9 of 12 (.750)

THE RPI REPORT
For the fifth straight week, the Missouri Valley Conference holds steady at the No. 10 position in the latest (Jan. 16) Collegiate Basketball News RPI Report.  As a league, The Valley has the 10th-best strength of schedule, up one from its previous spot, its best of the season.

THREE REMAIN IN THE TOP 100
Three Valley teams rank in the RPI’s Top 100, led by Missouri State (51).  Wichita State (67), up 16 spots from last week, and Creighton (98) also represent the MVC among the nation’s top teams in the RPI.

.500 MAGNUM
The Missouri Valley Conference currently sits at 58-52 (.527) in non-conference action (through games of Sunday, Jan. 1).  With just one contest remaining in non-MVC action, the Valley has already secured yet another above .500 season.  The Valley has posted non-conference records above .500 in 16 of the last 20 seasons, and have not recorded back-to-back below .500 seasons since 1992.

LET'S TAKE A CLOSER LOOK
The Valley’s 58-52 non-conference record is a bit deceiving with 23 of those defeats (44 percent) coming at the hands of the six BCS conferences - the ACC, Big Ten, Big East, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC - leagues with composite winning percentages above .729.

LOST IN TRANSLATION
Of the MVC’s 52 losses in non-conference action, 31 (.596) have come against teams in the RPI’s Top-100.

AGAINST THE FIELD
The MVC holds a winning record against 13 leagues in non-conference play (ACC, Atlantic-10, Big Sky, Big South, Great West, Horizon, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Mountain West, Southland, Summit, Sun Belt and WAC) and at least a .500 mark against another three (Big West, Conference USA and Metro Atlantic).

CAN'T HANG
The MVC holds an unblemished record in non-conference action against nine other leagues, including ACC (1-0), Atlantic-10 (1-0), Big Sky (1-0), Big South (2-0), Mid-Eastern (1-0), Mountain West (3-0), Southland (4-0), Sun Belt (5-0) and the WAC (1-0).

TOPPING POSTSEASON TEAMS
To date, MVC teams have 18 wins against teams that participated in either the NCAA, WNIT or WBI postseason events last season.  The 18 wins over postseason teams tops the league total of 17 postseason wins last season.