Saturday saw nine of the nation's 14 undefeated teams take the court, and all of them won. Arizona won at Michigan. Oregon beat Illinois. UMass cruised once again. These teams are getting press, and deservedly so. But scroll down the list of box scores and you'll see 'Toledo: 9-0'.
Not many people outside the MAC know the Rockets. They haven't played in the NCAA tournament since Sugar Hill Gang's 'Rapper's Delight' was just hitting the radio. And last year, even had they qualified, they couldn't have participated because of a woeful APR score which precluded them from dancing.
But here they are, 9-0. They won at Boston College, they won at Detroit. They won at Robert Morris. This certainly isn't a murderer's row, but they've played nine games and won them all.
Their current projected RPI is 70, and that's with them losing eight games. It's not impossible that with a little luck mixed in they could finish with a better RPI and perhaps the MAC could be a 2-bid league for the first time in 15 years.
Toledo is getting it done on offense, where they have the 10th most efficient attack in the nation. Defensively, they're awful (264th), but for neutral observers this just means their games are fun to watch.
They're led by junior point guard Juice Brown who became the MAC's best point guard when Ohio's D.J. Cooper graduated. He's averaging 14.6 points and 7.2 assists, and his assist rate is 13th in the nation. Justin Drummond, a 2-guard who transferred from Loyola (MD) is averaging 15.2 per game, and 1st Team All Conference Rian Pearson is bettering that at 17.2 per game.
The Rockets next take the court on Tuesday, on the road at 5-3 Arkansas State.