Inside the Bracket: Irish RPI is ailing

When it comes to scheduling in college basketball, there are weak opponents and there are bad opponents. The first kind merely provides boring tune-up games before the start of conference play. The other kind -- foes found in the dregs of D-1 -- are so bad it actually hurts, specifically in terms of RPI.

Playing teams in the 300s in the RPI can saddle teams with such a bad strength of schedule (SOS) that it could almost entirely negate playing in a premier pre-season tournament and an 18-game slate in the Big East. Just ask Notre Dame.

A first glance suggests that the Irish played a fine schedule this season. Beyond the Big East run that includes home-and-homes against No. 3 UConn and No. 12 Louisville, the Irish added games in Maui against No. 6 North Carolina and No. 15 Texas and a Feb. 7 contest at No. 11 UCLA.