The website RPIForecast.com includes a handy tool named the RPI Wizard. It lets you change a past result on a team’s schedule or predict a future result to see what kind of impact that would have on the team’s RPI.
It’s all the good things about time travel without any of the worry. You can change the future and the past without disrupting the space-time continuum — or, in the case of Marty McFly, accidentally erasing your future self.
Play around with the Wizard a little bit, and you can see Dayton would jump from 56, its current spot, to 46 if it had beaten Illinois State in December. If the Flyers had won the two games they lost at the buzzer at UD Arena against Southern California and Saint Joseph’s, their RPI would be 34th. If the Flyers had won all their games but lost to Delaware State, the lowest-ranked team on their schedule at 320th, they would rank sixth in the RPI.
Based on those little nuggets, Flyer fans should stay away from the Wizard, unless they like torturing themselves. Just following the roller-coaster season — with all the thrilling victories and heartbreaking defeats — is torture enough.
The Flyers (19-9, 7-6) enter the final eight days of the regular season with the final chapter of their season still unwritten. They could win all three remaining regular-season games and march straight into the big dance, or they could lose all three and head to Brooklyn for the Atlantic 10 tournament needing a March miracle.
The final stretch continues with an 11 a.m. game today against Massachusetts at UD Arena. The seventh-place Flyers play at first-place Saint Louis (which suffered its first A-10 loss Wednesday at home against 11th-place Duquesne) at 9 p.m. Wednesday and host sixth-place Richmond at 7 p.m. on March 8.
“You’ve got to approach every day the same way, each opponent the same way,” Dayton coach Archie Miller said. “You can’t start worrying about the end of the season with two weeks to go. You can’t worry about seeding or NCAA tournament or any of that stuff.”
Despite Dayton’s 79-53 loss at Saint Joseph’s on Tuesday, the NCAA tournament experts still consider the Flyers a bubble team. They likely need to win at least two of their last three games to stay there.
If they just win their last two home games, they would climb to 45th in the RPI. The five A-10 teams to make the tournament last season ranked in the top 50. UMass ranked 55th last season and went to the NIT.
“There’s a lot to play for,” Miller said. “Every team we’re playing right now is playing for postseason aspirations, seeding in the conference tournament. We’re no different.”